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Legacies Project Oral History: Shirley Northcross

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:21am

Shirley Northcross was born in 1936 and grew up near Dayton, Ohio. Her father ran the Miami View Golf Course, and she recalls visits from famous athletes like Joe Louis. She was the first Black student to graduate from Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio. After getting a degree in physical education from Michigan State University, Northcross started out a substitute teacher and a counselor for the Camp Fire Girls of America. She taught physical education at Northwestern High School in Detroit for over 30 years.

Shirley Northcross was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Louise Adams

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:09am

Louise Adams was born in 1928 and grew up in Ecorse, Michigan. She was the first Black student to graduate second highest in her class at Ecorse High School in 1946. She studied art education at Wayne State University and taught in public schools from 1951 until her retirement in 1983. She married Chuck Adams in 1951 and they had two children, Marcus Adams and Sylvia Adams Burns. They lived in Detroit and then Inskter, where the family built their own home. Louise Adams passed away on June 12, 2014.

Louise Adams was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.

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AACHM Oral History: Hortense Howard

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:30pm

Hortense Howard was born in Bloomington, Illinois in 1927. Soon afterwards, her family moved to Ann Arbor, where she and her sisters became known as the “Bacon Sisters” for their choral performances at sorority houses and other venues. Ms. Howard attended a music school in Detroit because she “wanted to sing like Sarah Vaughan,” and she met many African American singers while working at the Gotham Hotel. She ran her own daycare, Sitters Unlimited Family Day Care, in Ann Arbor for twenty years.

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AACHM Oral History: Joetta Mial

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 3:52pm

Joetta Mial was born in 1931 in Jackson, Michigan, and later moved to Ann Arbor. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and spent her career as an educator in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. In 1987, Joetta became principal of Huron High School after serving as a teacher, administrator, counselor, and class principal at Huron and Pioneer High Schools.

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AACHM Oral History: Fred Adams

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 3:01pm

Please take a moment to take our Living Oral History Survey and let us know what you learned.

Fred Adams was born in 1934 and grew up in Ann Arbor. He recalls summers playing in the Huron River, youth activities with the Dunbar Center and Jones School, his work as a paperboy, and some of the black neighborhoods and businesses in the Ann St. area. Mr. Adams worked for Johnson Controls for 41 years and owned his own business as an Industrial Manager.

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AACHM Oral History: Dorothy Wilson

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 12:16pm

Please take a moment to take our Living Oral History Survey and let us know what you learned.

Dorothy Wilson was born November 28, 1911, in Mount Vernon, New York. She grew up in New York, where she also met her husband, living for several years in Brooklyn. She became a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked at the Brooklyn State Hospital. After her husband’s death she retired and moved, in 1972, to Ypsilanti to be near her family where she became active in volunteer work for Church Women United through Brown Chapel AME Church in Ypsilanti, the Beyer Hospital Auxiliary, and the Ypsilanti Historical Society.

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AACHM Oral History: Lydia Belle Morton

Sat, 09/21/2013 - 3:31pm

Please take a moment to take our Living Oral History Survey and let us know what you learned.

Lydia B. (Cromwell) Morton was born in Ann Arbor in 1916. Her Great-Grandmother came to Ann Arbor with Judge Kenny’s family in 1867. Her grandmother Laura Bell Chester was born in Ann Arbor in 1874 and her mother was born in Ann Arbor in 1894. Mrs. Morton has one brother George Richard Cromwell. From her four children, she has 12 great grand children, 6 great, great, grand children; all but four were born in Ann Arbor. Seven generations have lived here in Ann Arbor.