Interview with Dorothy Graham

All right, now tell me how you and your family came to find out that you were going to have to move from where you lived.


My house was in my mother's name. And, she received a letter saying that, um, I don't remember now exactly what it said, other than, "By the right of eminent domain," or something to that effect, we would have to move. And other people, they compared notes, and other people got the same kind of notice**. There were some meetings, of course at Booker Washington in the auditorium, the largest auditorium in town, where people expressed their disbelief that they had to move. And they were told that they, city officials told them that they had to move. I went downtown to find out, I took a day off from school, and I went down to find out, ah, why. I didn't get much satisfaction, but I was told that they were coming through and that we would have to find out someplace to go, and that they were going to pay us for the land. Now we had a twelve room house with three baths, and, ah, we rented rooms upstairs. This was my mother's income. But that was not to be considered. How much you would get, I don't remember how much they said approximately, how much each foot, so I came back and I talked with my mother and I said, "I guess we'll have to start looking for someplace to go." Now, you didn't know where to look because you knew there were sections of town where you did not live. So, I went to the bank, I had mortgaged the house in order to do the house over, ah, about two years before that. And, I told the woman in the bank that she had to help me find somewhere to go, because I felt that the bank could have stopped this if they had been thinking about it or had wanted to. And she explained to me that there wasn't much that they could do, but here is a list. And she gave me a list of places then I went around mostly in the evenings and weekends. And, ah, I had moved back to Miami because my husband was supposed to move back down here with me, and then we decided instead to get a divorce, well--


Stop down.