An oral history interview conducted with Julia Pitts during Lakeland Heritage Weekend 2008. Mrs. Pitts discusses her childhood in Beltsville, Maryland. How living in a predominantly white community affected her childhood, the relationships that existed in that community, and being educated in an all African-American, one room school house from first to seventh grade. Though she was born in Montgomery County, Maryland, where her parents met, they moved to Beltsville when she was young. She describes how her family lived on the "white" side of Beltsville, and how she walked to school on the other side of Beltsville, because the school in her community was only for white children. She discusses her relationships with white children in that community, how the community stuck together, and how she didn't feel the effects of segregation until later in life. She also discusses her different places of employment. After dropping out of school after seventh grade, to help her mother support the family after her father died, she worked as a nanny for people within her Beltsville community. She later got a job at the University of Maryland, through a contact in her community. She worked at the University on the housekeeping staff, a job she didn't keep for long, because she applied for a position with Prince George's County. She spent most of her life working for Prince George's county as a community aid. Mrs. Pitts explains segregation's effect on her life, on the lives of her two children, and on those who lived in the Lakeland Community. She discusses in detail a case of discrimination at a local bank, which prompted the NAACP involvement. She briefly explains how she felt about Urban Renewal in Lakeland, and how other people in the community felt about it. Her home was not affected by Urban Renewal but she understands how it effected others who lost their homes. A common theme throughout the interview was Mrs. Pitts' involvement in church groups and both the Baptist and Methodist churches in Lakeland. She is an active member of Church Women United, and mentions the organization several times throughout the interview.
Front left to right are children Joanne, Harry Jr. and Douglas
Interview transcript Delphine Gross with her grandmother, Agnes Gross for a class in the 1980s Agnes Gross' house was on the land of the College Park Community Center, but was taken bc of eminent domain. They then relocated to a property in on 54th Ave. Agnes Gross is the youngest of 14 siblings. The interview is marked up with notes from the teacher. The first page is the interviewer asking Mrs. Gross about her family, her hometown, and when she was born, more about her background in Murkirk - her schooling, the church she attended, etc. Asking about a nearby school, Mrs. Gross's father's land, and Mrs. Gross's work history. Going into detail about Mrs. Gross's family, what she stored during WWII, and her siblings., More about Mrs. Gross's siblings - then more of her work history. When doing domestic work, she was paid as little as a quarter an hour. Mrs. Gross raised her baby-sitting rate to a flat five dollars, which was somewhat expensive at the time. For context, she also says that you could get the best pork chops for fifty cents. She also speaks on how some things, mainly convenience, are better now than they were when she was younger, and how some things are worse (such as crime). Speaking of how times have changed, such as the segregation in public spaces she faced when she was younger. Also speaking about life during the Depression - you would help anybody who came to your door., Working conditions - people, especially black people, were paid very low wages. Often they'd work until they physically couldn't anymore - she speaks of old women who would "pull themselves up on the streetcar" because they needed the money from working.
Evening Star December 22, 1926 page 3 Ad "Get your holly, by golly" Advertising the sale of holly, Christmas trees and wreaths on sale 5 miles from the District on Washington-Baltimore boulevard by Pleasant Brown of Lakeland