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Oral History


In this interview, sisters Lillian Bush and Claire Anderson are interviewed by Kern Jackson about their memories and reflections on the Down the Bay neighborhood of Mobile. They relate some of their family history, including the work of their father and grandfather in relation to the establishment and growth of Bethel AME Church. The sisters also discuss the ways that their parents navigated segregated spaces such as downtown Mobile. They describe their father’s involvement in voter registration activism with John L. LeFlore. Ms. Bush describes her experiences helping to integrate Southern Bell under Mr. LeFlore’s leadership, becoming one of the first Black employees of the company. The sisters also discuss Black Mardi Gras traditions in Mobile, and the hairdressing business of their aunt Valena Williams. The interview concludes with discussion of urban renewal and gentrification in Mobile.

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