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Oral History


In this interview, Francis Thomas is interviewed by Kern Jackson about his memories and reflections on the Down the Bay neighborhood of Mobile. This includes discussion of Black societies in Mobile from Down the Bay and Maysville in years past, most particularly the Sons and Daughters of Honor Hall. Mr. Thomas also mentions that his mother worked in photography with noted Mobile photographer Erik Overbey. His father worked as a molder for Mobile Pulley Works. He discusses the historic importance of baseball Down the Bay, and in the Black community in Mobile more broadly. Mr. Thomas describes some of the geography of Down the Bay, including landmarks such as the Tennessee Ditch. He shares a number of memories of Lemuel Keeby, the former principal of Williamson High School. Mr. Thomas also shares some memories and reflections on integration in Mobile and the complex phenomenon of being among the “firsts.”

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.