Interview with Dorothy Graham

Let's start by telling me what it was like growing up in Overtown. Paint me the best picture you can paint. What fond memories you have.


Well, let's see. We, I'm an only child. And I grew up in a house with my mother and my grandmother because my father died before I was born. And, we had neighbors and friends, my grandmother had her friends, my mother had her friends, and they were always in and out of our house. And, my uncle lived next door with his family, and my aunt lived down the street, and we were within walking distance of everybody, it seemed. You walked to church, and you went to all of the churches, depending on the time of day. If you wanted to go to 7 o'clock mass, you did. And then you went to Sunday School, and then later on, you went to other churches, like you went to league in the evening at Bethel because that was the best league in town, you see, and you were on those programs. You sang or you recited, that was something that was very important because it got you in front of the public and you learned to talk on your feet. I don't think children get that anymore, not Black children, anyway, they're, they're not taught to get up and talk, to recite, and this helps ever so much, you know, thinking and knowing what to say in a meeting, political meetings or any, anywhere, you're not afraid.