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The speaker is a 26-year-old Black woman with a college education from Charleston, West Virginia; she was recorded in 1970.



County: Kanawha
State: WV

Commentary:
Founded in the late 1700s, Charleston was originally the site of a fort for rangers to protect the Great Kanawha Valley. Many well-known historical figures frequented the area, and Daniel Boone was one of the first pioneers to live in the settlement. After the Civil War, the town grew quickly, spurred by the railroad industry. From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, the local economy shifted to include the coal, oil, and gas industries. Around the same time, an influx of African-Americans came to the area from the Deep South to escape the oppressive conditions of sharecropping. There was a shift in the city???s demographic, and Charleston became home to the largest African-American population in the state. In this segment the speaker discusses resistance to change in the city and the need for minority groups to join forces to make progress.
Inf: The first thing you have, you have the old people who were used to the old ways. They don???t want to change. And then you have them against you and you just really can???t accomplish anything. ???Cause let???s see, the early part of last summer they had this big tent city and they were making this, um, well they were stressing points about them bringing the new highway through the downtown district, and they were really uprooting a whole bunch of old folks, you know, people who were eighty or ninety. And these people, you know, had, you know, really worked hard, paid for their homes and all. And, uh, the grown people didn???t go along with them. I mean the people that they were fighting for, which were the elderly people, wouldn???t go along with them. And, see, they were trying to get them to keep them from putting them up that way, say like up here on Capitol City Hill, putting them down here on this, uh, new project that one of the prominent New York lawyers got here in West Virginia and [FW: Uh-huh] uh, when they built it they built it wrong. They had it extending over these high extension wires and, you know, all it would take is, say, one great thunderstorm and everybody on that top flight would just be electrocuted. There???s no bus service. You know, how is an eighty- or ninety-something-year-old man or woman gonna get off of a hill? They can???t drive ???cause they???re too old, you know. And, you know, most of the kids most likely are already married, have families of their own. They???re not gonna come back here, you know, and, um, but, you know, they just don???t reason it out. And then, then you always have people, you know, it???s just like th-, the expression, you know, you have a bushel of apples, one of them is bad, you know, if you don???t remove it the whole thing???s gonna go bad. And this is why with any organization, until you can really get a foundation, you take what you can get. And you try to make, you know, do your thing.

But, um, the only thing I found, it???s like, until the Negroes or Black men of America decide that we???re all gonna be one and get together and pool the green cards they say is (s???posed to be in) Black part together and really, you know, build a foundation, we???re gonna take us another hundred years to get even farther, and, you know, just think, it???s really saddening to think that people like Martin Luther, and the Kennedy brothers, and the Everetts, um, Medgar Evers, um, w-, those, uh, Black students in Mississippi and even the White students in Kent State, or like the ki-, kids rioting in, um, Wisconsin, you know, it just seems, you know, so ridiculous, and, uh, Black boys getting killed over in, uh, uh, the Vietnam War that, you know, all this dying and bloodshed is really for nothing ???cause we aren???t really getting a thing accomplished.


The speaker is an 18-year-old Black man with a high school education from Charleston, West Virginia; he was recorded in 1970.



County: Kanawha
State: WV

Commentary:
Founded in the late 1700s, Charleston was originally the site of a fort for rangers to protect the Great Kanawha Valley. Many well-known historical figures frequented the area, and Daniel Boone was one of the first pioneers to live in the settlement. After the Civil War, the town grew quickly, spurred by the railroad industry. From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, the local economy shifted to include the coal, oil, and gas industries. Around the same time, an influx of African-Americans came to the area from the Deep South to escape the oppressive conditions of sharecropping. There was a shift in the city???s demographic, and Charleston became home to the largest African-American population in the state. In this segment the speaker talks about competitive wrestling and various wrestling holds.
FW: You plan to wrestle this coming, coming fall?

Inf: I don???t know because, um, they might not, well, the school might not let me, well, the board might not let me because, uh, too many semesters in school. Otherwise I would [FW: Oh, hmm]. So, I don???t know. And, you know, in the eleventh grade I would have wrestled one thirty, one thirty-five, but I was ineligible because I was going, coming from another state during the school year and had to wait after January. That???s all I can tell you about wrestling, except for some about some of the moves and stuff. But, uh, the one that I think is the most dangerous is the, uh, Guillotine and the French Cross.

FW: What???s the Guillotine?

Inf: The Guillotine, it???s, um, it???s where you have your, it, it, it twists your body, it, and mostly the strain is on your back and it can break your back and so they, they didn???t use it, you know, they discontinued the use of it because it was real bad. And the French Cross is hard on your shoulders and your back. But they, they use it ???cause it???s good for a pin. So is the Guillotine but the Guillotine is worse. And then the Cowboy and, and um the [Aux Inf: Isn???t there something for you like Grapevine?] Grape, Grapevine? [Aux Inf: Laughter] Yeah, there is a Grapevine, I???m sorry. Grapevine and the um, uh, Fireman???s Carry, Fireman???s Carry and, uh, uh, uh, the T.

FW: What???s, what???s the Fireman???s Carry?

Inf: Fireman???s Carry, that???s when you be in, uh, on a break???no, not a breakdown, you be standing up and um, well y-, you, you have to catch the man off guard, grab him by one arm and you go down (xx) and grab him by the other leg, go like that.

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