University of Delaware Library

New London Road/Cleveland Avenue oral histories and research materials

2004-2006


Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 642


Title: New London Road/Cleveland Avenue oral histories and research materials


Inclusive Dates: 2004-2006


Extent: 0.3 linear feet and 23 audiocassettes (2 boxes)


Abstract: This collection contains 22 oral history interviews providing a wealth of information on history and culture of the New London Road/Cleveland Avenue community in Newark, Delaware. These interviews, collected during two oral history projects by University of Delaware Professor Bernard L. Herman and students from 2004-2006, feature members of the New London Road community and discuss various aspects of life in the predominantly African-American community. The collection contains transcripts of selected interviews created by students as well as research data, recipes, and galley proofs for the book "Food Always Brings People Together: recipes, poems, and stories from the New London Road community, Newark, Delaware," written by the University of Delaware Center for Material Culture Studies, under the direction of Professor Herman.


Language: Materials entirely in English.



Citation

MSS 642, New London Road/Cleveland Avenue oral histories and research materials, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS media

Box 2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes

Location

Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/

Source

Transfer from the Center for Material Studies at the University of Delaware, 2008.

Processing

Processed and encoded by Evan Echols, September 2011. Interview summaries provided by Kyle Herring, August 2011.

Materials Available in Alternative Format

Access to streaming MP3 files of the oral histories and PDFs of the transcripts is available by following the links in the finding aid below. These digitized files are housed in the University of Delaware Institutional Repository.

Typed transcripts are also available for selected recordings.

The University Department of Art Conservation New London Road Community Walking Tour is available here.


The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi


Historical Note

In 2004 the Department of Art and the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware launched the Art As Social Activism Oral History Project. The project involved collecting oral histories from residents of Newark's New London Road Community in order to document the culture and history of the city's African-American community. The material created by the project culminated in the publication of the book People Were Closein 2005, an oral and photographic history of the community.

Building on the work by students and community members, the Center for Material Culture Studies launched the Stories and Food Oral History Project. Students from the American Material Culture Studies Research and Writing Seminar (AMCS 402), under the direction of Bernard L. Herman, Professor of Art History, continued to interview members of the New London Road Community and created transcripts for the interviews. These interviews focused on the foodways of Newark's African-American community from 1880 to the present. Using information gleaned from the oral histories, the students created a collaborative cookbook, entitledFood Always Brings People Together: Recipes, Poems, and Stories from the New London Road Community, published by the University of Delaware's Raven Press in 2006.

In 2011, the interviews with members of the New London Road Community were used by the University of Delaware Department of Art Conservation to create the New London Road Community Walking Tour, a tour of the neighborhood’s main streets, complete with stories about the lives of the people who lived there. The tour starts at bottom of New London Road and ends at St. John AME Church, stopping at important community landmarks and locations in between.

Sources:

Maguire, Ryan. "UD celebrates New London Road's African American community." UDaily. November 3, 2011. http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2012/nov/community-celebration-110311.html (accessed November 5, 2013).

Sources:

Further historical information derived from the collection.


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 22 oral history interviews providing a wealth of information on history and culture of the New London Road/Cleveland Avenue community in Newark, Delaware. These interviews, collected during two oral history projects by University of Delaware Professor Bernard L. Herman and students from 2004-2006, feature members of the New London Road community and discuss various aspects of life in the predominantly African-American community. The collection contains transcripts of selected interviews created by students as well as research data, recipes, and galley proofs for the book Food Always Brings People Together: recipes, poems, and stories from the New London Road community, Newark, Delaware, written by the University of Delaware Center for Material Culture Studies, under the direction of Professor Herman.

Series I. contains the interviews of several members of the New London Road/Cleveland Avenue neighborhood. They recount their experiences growing up in this Newark, Delaware, African-American community and detail education, community life, sports, church functions, and influential community members such as the Saunders and Wilson families. Also mentioned are significant locations in the area, such as White Clay Creek, Green's Field, The Hollow, and businesses such as the Wagon Wheel and Bell's Funeral Home. The interviews also touch on the topic of race relations in Newark during the mid-20th century and issues of school integration and desegregation.

The series also contains thirteen transcripts of the oral history interviews. One of the interview transcripts, that of Bobby Hubbard, is not accompanied by an audio interview. Abstracts have been provided for 11 of the interviews.

Series II. contains notes, recipes, and photographs related to the 2004 and 2005 projects to document the history of the New London Road community by the University of Delaware Center for Material Culture Studies and Department of Art. The photographs include images of events celebrating the history of the community, lectures, and family photographs and clippings from community members. This series also contains several galley proofs for the 2006 book Food Always Brings People Together: recipes, poems, and stories from the New London Road community, Newark, Delaware. Information contained on a DVD included with the collection has been printed out and placed in folders 1-12. Some of this material was collected and transferred by Katelyn Uehling, a University of Delaware undergraduate who wrote her senior honors thesis on the New London Road community. Building a relationship between a university and its surrounding community : the Community Remembrance Project revisited is cataloged and available in Special Collections.

Digitization of audiocassettes and transcription is an ongoing project and links will be added to the collection as more material becomes available.


Selected Search Terms

Topical Terms
African American fraternal organizations--History--20th century.
African American churches-History--20th century.
African American schools-History--20th century.
African American cooking--Delaware--20th century.
African Americans--Delaware--Education--20th century.
African Americans--Delaware--20th century--Interviews.
Community Life--Newark (Del.)--20th century.
Education--Newark (Del.)--20th century.
Food--Social aspects--20th century.
Oral History--Newark (Del.)--20th century.
Segregation--Newark (Del.)--20th century.
Geographic Names
Newark (Del.)--History--20th century.
Newark (Del.)--Race relations--History--20th century.
Form/Genre Terms
Audiocassettes.
Galley proofs.
Interviews.
Oral histories (document genres)
Research notes.
Recipes.
Transcripts.
Personal Contributors
Herman, Bernard, interviewer.
Uehling, Katelyn.
Corporate Contributors
University of Delaware. Center for Material Culture Studies.
University of Delaware. Department of Art.

Related Materials in this Repository

MSS 587, Iron Hill Museum oral history recordings and transcripts


  • I. Oral history interviews and transcripts
  • II. Background information and research

Detailed Contents List

Series I.

Oral History Interviews and Transcripts , 2004-2006   [Box 1]

Myrtle Bond with Marva Smith, Nancy Turner , 2004 December 4

Bond and Smith discuss in depth the daughters of Elizabeth Boulden Temple. The general community is discussed with regard to its safety and what it was like to grow up as a child in it. The schooling in the area is discussed and what it was like to go to school from elementary school up through high school in the neighborhood. Discusses some of the various places and things to do back then around the neighborhood such as the movies, church, the co-op, various fields they went to, and other important locations. They discuss the part of the neighborhood they live in called Terry Manor and its history. The churches in the community are discussed and their role and importance in the neighborhood are explained. They discuss White Clay Creek and the various roles in played in the community as a swimming hole, a place for baptisms, and a place to get water. Bond and Smith both discuss what the area was like during times of war.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Audiocassette 2   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 December 4   [Box 2 F1]

PDF

Winston Green , 2004 September 20

Green discusses his residence in the Newark area starting with his residence on 37 Corbit Street Newark, Delaware, in 1937. He discusses his different residences since 1937 and describes what the neighborhood was like back in 1937. This includes the surrounding area and the various farms that were located nearby as well as the names given to certain areas by the black community. The boundaries and size of the original black community is also discussed as well the early history of the area. The different jobs he held during his residence are explained and his early schooling is discussed. The black community is discussed with regard to community churches, local stores, restaurants, the barber shop, the grocery store, and the various skilled workers in the area (carpenter, brick makers, brick layers, upholsterers). Several important people and families in the area are discussed (the Wilsons, Mr. Quarrel, Bob Jones, Jack Johnson, the Rice family, the Saunders). The presence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s and 1950s and various aspects of racism encountered in the area are discussed. Green also relates several specifics such as his first impressions of Newark, several buildings that have or should have been preserved, and the layout of the area throughout the years.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 September 20   [Box 2 F2]

Alvin Hall and Arnold Saunders , 2004 August 28

Hall discusses what it was like to grow up in the Newark black community his entire life. He discusses what it was like to live in the community mentioning the cleanliness of the area, how safe the area was, and the general feel of community life. Childhood activities are discussed with regard to black community baseball teams, bike riding, roller skating, sledding, swimming, football, basketball, and other community sports. He discusses schooling in the area and his education as well as what it was like when integration was introduced in Newark. He discusses integration in the community and the integration process. Details of his family are discussed including their original residence, his grandfather’s history and escape as a slave, and how he was adopted. Various aspects of the black community are discussed such as its general boundaries and location, the churches in the area, the community meeting centers, George Wilson’s importance to the area, and the general harmony and friendliness of the community.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 August 28   [Box 2 F3]

PDF

Kenneth Hall, with Pedro Swann, Clarence Whigham , 2004 August 29

Hall, Swann, and Whigham discuss the growth of the black community in Newark in the early 1950s. They discuss medical aspects of life in the area such as the nearest hospitals, the local doctors, and the area midwife how helped raise man black and white children in the area. The three major churches in the area are discussed and their effect on the community. They talk about security in the area and discuss how safe it was to live in the area until the 1960s. They discuss the arrival of the Chrysler plant and its affect on the area as well as jobs it brought to Newark. Integration in the local schools is discussed and what it was like to go to school during this time. Other race issues are discussed including the various white and black restaurants and the rules for eating at them. They also explain a sit-in that occurred at Deer Park Tavern on Main Street that was organized by George Wilson.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 August 29   [Box 2 F4]

PDF

Juanita Hayman , 2005 September 26

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Transcript not yet available

Bobby Hubbard , 2005 October 1

Summary description not yet available.

Transcript of Interview, 2005 October 1   [Box 2 F5]

Sandra Marrow , 2004 November 17

Marrow provides a walking tour for the interviewer and discusses many of the different areas along the way. The houses along their walk are discussed including the history of the house, what is there currently, and the various occupants over time. The houses along Ray Street are discussed and the house that Marrow grew up in is detailed as well as other properties in her family. White Clay Creek is discussed and its role in the community (it provided water, a swimming hole, there were several houses along the creek, and they picked berries from the area). The strict division in Newark between the white and black communities is discussed as well as race and prejudice in the area. Various stores, restaurants, buildings, and farms that used to me frequented are discussed with regard to their location and ownership. The community’s opinion on the University purchasing much of the community and essentially breaking it up is also discussed.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Audiocassette 2   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 November 17   [Box 2 F6]

PDF

Michael Parker , 2005 October 2

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2005 October 2   [Box 2 F7]

Sarah Patrick and Thristina Jackson , 2004 December 11

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript not yet available

Elizabeth Price , 2006 January 8

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript not yet available

Vickie Penn , 2005 January 25

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Interview not digitized, tape not playable.

Transcript not yet available

Violet Pettijohn , 2004 September 28

Pettijohn discusses growing up in Newark and living with only white families around her at 115 North College Avenue. She discusses her education at the black schools in the area (New London Avenue School and Howard High School in Wilmington). The community atmosphere is discussed with regard to how it used to be and how it is now that the University and students have moved in to all the houses in the area. Her relations with the college students living in the area now are discussed as well as many of her friends and family members who used to live in the area and have since left for various reasons. The layout of the community back in 1930 is discussed with regard to what has changed and various areas people lived in such as "The Hollow" and Terry Manor. Growing up in the area is discussed and her different experiences living in the area. The boundaries of the neighborhood are discussed and the old black community is explained. Different aspects of racism in Newark are discussed. Various establishments in the area that people frequented are discussed including Bell’s Funeral Home and The Wagon Wheel and the different entertainment they provided.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 September 28   [Box 2 F8]

PDF

Madeline Roy and Jaime Roy , 2005 January 13

Madeline and Jamie Roy discuss growing up in Newark and how they came to live on Church Street They discuss their relationship to George Wilson and what he did for the community by building new homes for the black community. They discuss what it was like in the community and its similarity to a village. They explain how the neighborhood broke down into the various streets such as Church Street, Ray Street, and New London Avenue. The community schools are discussed and the education they were able to receive. The history of their house and family is detailed. The layout of the neighborhood how it used to be is discussed with regard to various stores, barbershops, restaurants, and fields to play in. Specific people and places that they remember from the community are discussed.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2005 January 13   [Box 2 F9]

PDF

Arnold Saunders , 2004 August 30

Saunders discusses being born on New London Road in 1943 and what it was like growing up in Newark. He discusses things they did as kids, his schooling, and growing up having his grandmother raise him. The general village aspect of the community is discussed and the relationships between everyone in the neighborhood. Race relations before and during integration is discussed. The barbershop that was owned by his uncle is discussed with regard to its role a community center. The three local churches role in the community and their importance is discussed. He remembers specifics such as the fire in 1949 that killed four children, family meals with his grandmother, holidays in the neighborhood, and when and why he left Newark. He also discusses baseball in the community and the Newark teams he played for as well as other big players to come out of the area.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 August 30   [Box 2 F10]

PDF

Marva Smith , 2004 January 10

Summary description not yet available.

Interview is 2 minutes in length.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript not yet available

Pedro Swann , 2004 January 17

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript not yet available

Pat Toulson , 2004 December 16

Toulson discusses growing up in Newark since she was born in 1927. Her family history and what they were like is discussed as well as what the community was like as she was growing up. The three local churches and their role in the community are discussed. Her schooling is discussed and she explains what it was like to go to school in the neighborhood. Various places and locations around the neighborhood are detailed such as Green’s Field, School Hill, Bell’s Funeral Home, The Wagon Wheel, The Elks, and other various stores, restaurants, and community centers that were important. She explains what holidays were like around the neighborhood and discusses what she misses about how the community used to be.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 December 16   [Box 2 F11]

Annette Watson , 2005 October 6

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript not yet available

Samuel Watson , 2004 September 13

Watson discusses growing up in the neighborhood and on New London Avenue. since he was born in 1927. His discussion of growing up in Newark includes his family, sports and activities he did as a child, where he worked in the area, his service in the military, and his employment at the Chrysler plant. Discusses the role that George Wilson played in the community and what he did to help the neighborhood. The importance of the churches in the neighborhood is discussed. He details various areas of the neighborhood (The Hollow, White Clay Creek, Green’s Field, and The Big Field). The different streets that comprised the area known as "The Row" are discussed including Ray Street, Rose Street, and Corbit Street. Various places and people and their role in the community are discussed. The relationship between the black community on New London Avenue. and the white community on West Main Street is discussed.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 September 13   [Box 2 F12]

PDF

Samuel Watson , 2005 October 6   [Box 1]

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript not yet available

Clarence Whigham , 2004 August 27   [Box 1]

Whigham discusses spending the majority of his life growing up in Newark. He discusses his family’s history and how they came to reside in Newark. The layout of the neighborhood and location of various places compared to present day is discussed. The importance of sports in the neighborhood is discussed. Different places where people would gather are detailed. The size of the community and its growth over the years is discussed. The importance of the local churches in the neighborhood is discussed. He explains what he misses about how the neighborhood used to be, specifically he explains the bonds people had and the tightness of the community. He discusses the area known as the "Big Field" and other important places though out the community and where they were located in relation to what is there currently. The black barbershop in the community is discussed and its role and importance to the neighborhood.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript of Interview, 2004 August 27   [Box 2 F13]

PDF

Elks Lodge Picnic Group Interview, 2005 May 5   [Box 1]

Summary description not yet available.

Audiocassette 1   [Box 1 ]

Listen

Transcript not yet available

Series II.

Background Information and Research , 2004-circa 2005   [Box 2]

Contents of folders 1-12 are printouts from the original directories on a DVD. The DVD contains research toward the oral history project from 2004-2006. Files include images of community members who attended project discussions at the Elks Lodge and Mount Zion Church in Newark, Delaware, and other resources such as maps, census data, and other information. Folder titles correspond to original directory headings on the DVD.

Newark Resource Materials , 2004   [Box 2 F1]

ED photos , undated   [Box 2 F2]

Newark Census, 1800-1930 , undated   [Box 2 F3]

Newark Photos art- 9-20, Elks , 2004 September 20   [Box 2 F4]

Newark Photos art- 11-15 Elks , 2004 October 15   [Box 2 F5]

Newark Photos art- 11-15 Thristina Lindsey , 2004   [Box 2 F6]

Newark Photos art- Lily Yeh Talk, 9-14 , 2004 September 14   [Box 2 F7]

Newark Photos art- Mt. Zion, 11-06 , 2004 October 6   [Box 2 F8]

Newark Photos art , 2004-2005   [Box 2 F9]

Newark Photos DLA , 2004-2005   [Box 2 F10]

Newark Project , 2004   [Box 2 F11]

TW Materials , 2004   [Box 2 F12]

Recipes and notes for "Food and Stories" , circa 2005   [Box 2 F13]

Recipes from Violet Pettijohn , circa 2005   [Box 2 F14]

Galley Proofs for "Food and Stories", circa 2005   [Box 2 F14]

Newark- New London Rd. Research , 2004-2006   [Box 2 F15] (Removed to SPEC MSS media)

DVD containing research toward the oral history project from 2004-2006. Files include images of community members who attended project discussions at the Elks Lodge and Mount Zion Church in Newark, Delaware, and other resources such as maps, census data, and other information. Folder titles correspond to original directory headings on the DVD. Printouts of information contained in Series II., folders 1-12.

New London Road Oral History Interviews , 2004-2006   [Box 2 F16] (Removed to SPEC MSS media)

DVD containing Microsoft Word files of interview transcripts.