Oral history interview with Elsie Johnson Fleming

Object Details

Interviewer
Fisher, Holly
Scope and Contents
Elsie Johnson Fleming spoke about her family history, growing up in North Brentwood, and the institutions and organizations located in North Brentwood, Maryland. Most of her descriptions and memories were stated with a lot of detail. Fleming listed and described her close relations (parents, grandparents, great grandparents, siblings), where her relations who lived in North Brentwood lived, and where her family lived prior to moving to North Brentwood. She described in detail her family's daily activities, including chores and work outside of the home, when she was growing up; the home she grew up in; and the street she grew up on, including the names of her neighbors. She talked about holiday traditions and family celebrations, specifically the Fourth of July and family reunion; when and for what reasons family gathered and how often they gathered; and weddings, baptisms, and funerals, extensively about her two siblings who died when they were less than six months old. Fleming discussed who made the important decisions (schooling, jobs and occupations, marriage) in the family; how children in her family and in the community were disciplined; how conflicts in her family were resolved; and the values and expectations taught within her family and within the community. She talked about who cared for aging, sick, or dependent family members; what success and achievement meant when she was growing up; some of her siblings attending college; her attendance at Cortez Peters for typing school; who supported her with her schooling and learning; and how the community took care of one another. Regarding the institutions and organizations located in North Brentwood, Fleming described her memories of Brentwood Elementary School, including singing, the field meet, May Day, oratorical contest, and seventh grade graduation; and schools students attended after seventh grade. She talked about her memories of the churches in North Brentwood, including programs and activities; and what makes North Brentwood special. Fleming also talked about what she remembers about the businesses in North Brentwood and who owned them; the incorporation of North Brentwood; the installation of the electric lights; the first mayor, Jeremiah Hawkins; the fire department and the firemen's hall; the police department; the night court; the doctors; the beer gardens; town plays and festivals; and the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Fleming also stated her parents owned their house and what happened to the house after her parents died. Elsie Johnson Fleming was interviewed by Holly Fisher. ACMA_AV000634_A is a duplicate of ACMA_AV000629_A, and consists of only approximately half of the interview. Digital audio files include white noise and static, louder at beginning and end of the recording; interviewee can be heard clearly for the most part.
Date
circa 1993
Extent
2 Digital files
2 Sound cassettes
Type
Archival materials
Audio
Digital files
Sound cassettes
Topic
African Americans
African American families
Manners and customs
Social values
African American neighborhoods
Communities
Interviews
Place
North Brentwood (Md.)
Citation
Footsteps from North Brentwood exhibition records, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
General
A text transcript of this interview is available in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.  The text transcript is not verbatim of the audio recording. 
Title created by ACMA staff using text written on sound cassette, contents of audio recording, and textual transcript.
Back to Top