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Interview with Washington Marrisett, 1984 August 03; 1984 August 17

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Creator:Marrisett, Washington
Creator:Hamrick, Peggy
Title:Interview with Washington Marrisett, 1984 August 03; 1984 August 17
Date:1984 Aug. 3, 1984 Aug. 17

In this interview, Washington Marrisett discusses his life in Birmingham from the Depression through the Civil Rights Movement. Marrisett remembers the Depression and the things he did to get by. He discusses the soup wagons in Kelly Ingram Park; the lines were segregated, but everyone ate the same food. He says he sold junk and scrap he would find in the garbage, including aluminum, iron, copper, and rags. He also hoboed for a time, traveling from Detroit to Birmingham. He explains that hoboing was dangerous. He remembers seeing blacks and whites, men and women in the life. Marrisett explains that while he didn't take advantage of Red Cross aid, he did go on welfare. He remembers that the people in the welfare office--even the blacks--made it hard on blacks to their checks. Marrisett also worked on the WPA, cleaning up parks and cutting grass. He says they were paid in something like foodstamps rather than with money. Marrisett also talks about working for the railroad in the twenties and during World War II. He enjoyed the travel. He demonstrates some railroad working calls for the interviewer. Marrisett recalls the rallies that took place during the Civil Rights Movement and speaks kindly of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Interviewed by Peggy Hamrick on August 3 and 1984 August 17, 1984.

Types:Oral histories | Transcripts | Sound recordings | Sound | Text
Subjects:Marrisett, Washington | King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | Depressions--1929-Alabama | African Americans--Alabama--Birmingham--Social conditions--20th century | African Americans--Civil rights--Alabama--Birmingham--History--20th century | Depressions--1929--Alabama--Birmingham--Social aspects | Birmingham (Ala.)--Social conditions--20th century | African Americans--Economic conditions--20th century | African Americans--Segregation--History--20th century | New Deal, 1933-1939 | United States, Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham, 33.5206608, -86.80249
Collection:Working Lives Oral History Project
Institution:William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library
Contributors:William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library (University of Alabama)
Original Material:

Archive of American Minority Cultures

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To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library.

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Forms part of the online collection: Working Lives Oral History Project.

Persistent Link to Item:http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0008_0000003_0000045