Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:10am
Mary Frazier was born in 1910 in Marion, Arkansas, where her father owned a 140-acre cotton farm. She describes sharecropping, Black land-ownership, and the devastating effects of the boll weevil infestation on the cotton industry in the early twentieth century. When her father’s farm went under, she moved to Detroit to live with her aunt in the Black Bottom neighborhood. Over the course of her career, Frazier worked as a domestic laborer, hospital worker, and U.S. Postal Service employee. She completed her high school education at age 83.
Mary Frazier was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Thu, 12/01/2016 - 3:03pm
Please take a moment to take our Living Oral History Survey and let us know what you learned.
Johnnie Rush was born in 1931 and was the only black person in his class at Ann Arbor High School. He recalls many fond memories of activities with the Second Baptist Church and his family, and he talks about the many challenges for African American businesses as Ann Arbor changed over the years. Mr. Rush is a licensed barber and has run his own barbershop for 55 years.
Sun, 09/28/2014 - 12:54pm
Please take a moment to take our "Living Oral History Survey and let us know what you learned.
Johnny W. Barfield was born February 8, 1927, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a child he sold soap house to house and, after tenth grade, joined the U.S. Army where he served in France and Germany. After leaving the Army in 1947, Mr. Barfield became a wall washer for the University of Michigan, where hard work, entrepreneurship, and innovation helped him build the largest cleaning business in Ann Arbor. Mr. Barfield is widely recognized for his philanthropic work and support of the African American and business communities.