MARSHALL: What's your middle name, Maude?

FORBES: I never tell it.

MARSHALL: Well, we, we, I’m not gonna, I won't tell it.

FORBES: E. [Laughs]

MARSHALL: E, what is that, an initial?

FORBES: Just E. [Laughs]

MARSHALL: Okay. Maude E. Odum Forbes.

FORBES: Right.

MARSHALL: Okay. Now Maude, you born here, weren't ya?


MARSHALL: You born, be-, before your parents came here?

FORBES: I was born in Alabama.

MARSHALL: You born before they came here.

FORBES: Right.

MARSHALL: How old were you when you came here?

FORBES: Seven.

MARSHALL: So you been here since you were seven. And, uh, of course you are the third


MARSHALL: child?

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: Your oldest sister, was that the one I just met?

FORBES: Probably.


FORBES: 'Cause she lives in Detroit.

MARSHALL: She is the older one?

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: What's her name?

FORBES: Josie.


FORBES: Morris.


FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: Okay, and then next came…

FORBES: Earlene.

MARSHALL: Earlene. And, of course Earlene lives here. That's Earlene…

FORBES: Patterson.

MARSHALL: Patterson. And then you have a brother.


FORBES: Albert.

MARSHALL: Albert Odum, he live in Detroit?

FORBES: Ann Arbor.

MARSHALL: Ann Arbor, okay. And that's, was that just four?

FORBES: Four. We have an adopted brother.


FORBES: Lorenzo.

MARSHALL: Lor- oh, Loren-, is this the, this is Lorenzo's dad? Is this Lorenzo,

FORBES: This is Lorenzo.

MARSHALL: that lives here?

FORBES: the one that work in your church.

MARSHALL: Yeah. Is that the one?

FORBES: That's the adopted brother.

MARSHALL: I didn't realize he was your adop-, I knew he was a cousin.


MARSHALL: He was a cousin, really?

FORBES: Mm-hmm. He's first cousin, but we adopted him.

MARSHALL: Good. That's nice.

FORBES: [laughs]

MARSHALL: I like it.

FORBES: So he's our brother also. [Phone rings]

MARSHALL: Ah, good. Now Maude, um you have been around Ypsilanti long enough to have uh, observed many things, of course, uh, since your arrival here, there have been a lot of changes. And, I guess what I'd like to have you tell me is, 2:00uh, some of the changes that you have observed, at least from your vantage point of, uh, first being a child growing up here, and second from a person [being interviewed…].

FORBES: Well, I think probably more people have, uh, gone toward trades, or education or [something] when I was a child. And, um, housing patterns of course have changed. Umm, attitudes in the city has changed, therefore we're seeing [ ] people, uh, city government, uh, school district, all of the elements of, you know, the city you've seen involvement on all parts, without any question and, uh, without any controversy, actually. Other than that, um, I don't really see 3:00that many great changes.


FORBES: Which, other than those,


FORBES: which are very important.

MARSHALL: The changes have been subtle, I guess. And they have come in such a way in Ypsilanti, until they have really not made a lot of splashes.

FORBES: Right, Ypsilanti is, uh, I think the type of town that you don't hear a lot of controversy. Uh, people will say today, like for instance, I remember a banker telling me and my husband, um, that they would never lend money for a black person or minority persons in general to build or buy a house, uh, across Michigan Avenue. And that same bank financed my houses today, and that was within like a three, four year period, when that station-, that statement was made, that the change was there. And there was no big controversy about it. It's just that you have to have someone break the barrier.


FORBES: And once the barrier was broken, that was it.


MARSHALL: Tell me something, and that's, this is not the first time I heard that statement. Without going into names, in that period of change, did the person who was making these refusals, did he step down or out, somebody else step in,

FORBES: No he was there.

MARSHALL: or was he the same person?

FORBES: He was there when the changes were made.

MARSHALL: [Changes].

FORBES: He was the president of the bank and he was still president when the changes were made.

MARSHALL: When the changes came.

FORBES: But it's just, um, people went ahead and, uh, pushed for the progress anyway. And this bank that didn't want to be left behind, so, uh, that same banker, uh, I know in fact, that same bank financed our house, when we built our house across Michigan Avenue,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.


MARSHALL: Well now it’s interesting 'cause, uh, in '60 or '70, when Ruthe and I were trying to buy, we went to both banks and we were refused.


FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: Now, there could have been other reasons. We were new,

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: of course. Uh, and we got, uh, we went to Detroit and, uh, and that was in 1973, 1974. And, off course now, well, we've no problem. The other thing I remember is Johnny Barfield talking about the fact that he went to a local banker, who was still here and was still [ ]. I know him, he knew him, everybody knows. But he went to this banker, he says when he was starting off in business and owned the bars and wanted to buy his wife a coat for Christmas, and he [ ].

FORBES: Oh, yeah. That was a problem.

MARSHALL: And he went, but, but, when he borrowed the 500,000 dollars a few months ago, he borrowed that from the other bank. [Laughs]

FORBES: Those were the problems, and I guess they were problems that were being 6:00faced all over, so I never looked upon Ypsilanti as being unique.


FORBES: And, um, I never really, um, held that, you know, as something to make me upset or angry because it was just that way at that time. So, I s-, like now I take the good times with, uh you know, the progress that we've made the same as I took those times when we weren't really in the driver seat for making the progress. I never really had any uptight feelings about it.

MARSHALL: Would you, would you agree that perhaps a difference in Ypsilanti and some other places, including Ann Arbor, was in comparison with other places in this area, Ypsilanti was perhaps more liberal in its feelings and its treatment 7:00of blacks than were some of the other places?

FORBES: Couldn't really say because um, I never was that involved in other areas.


FORBES: I do feel that black people in Ypsilanti has made more progress than, um, even Ann Arbor, who was supposedly more influential and affluent, uh. I think that if you weigh it, you'll find more black businesses, uh. We used to think that all the educated people were in Ann Arbor, black educated people. That's not true, and, uh, I think it was just a myth because Ann Arbor was a city that, um, had money and has money compared to Ypsilanti, say. Uh, it wasn't just black white even, it was just Ann Arbor against Ypsi because when we were in school, we were all-, Ann Arbor was our greatest rival.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: In reality, Ann Arbor still is the greatest rival. You know, so, it's 8:00just, you are joining a city, and it just happened to be one of those cities that's a little bit more affluent. I do feel, perhaps that um, we've made more progress as black people in Ypsilanti than the Ann Arbor blacks have.

MARSHALL: Do you realize that up until 1950, the black population of Ypsi-, Ypsilanti was greater than Ann Arbor.

FORBES: Oh, yeah. I agree. Because when blacks migrated north, they could easily get housing or placement in Ypsilanti than they could going to Ann Arbor. Blacks were all in one little pocket, and it was a small pocket in Ann Arbor. Uh,

MARSHALL: About the only thing they could do was, were in service types of occupations.

FORBES: Right, right. And whereas here, our people more or less went into factories


FORBES: or whatever, and, um, we accepted it that way. Yep.

MARSHALL: Well, that's just one of the things that I have noticed since I have been involved in this study. Um, ah, ah, you, cause you mentioned one thing, one 9:00aspect that I'm quite concerned about, and that is business. From the very beginning, the first settler here went into business.

FORBES: Right, I would agree with that.

MARSHALL: A man came here at 1840, and opened up a barbershop.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: Before he ever moved to town. Uh, there have always been the black business in Ypsilanti.


MARSHALL: Up until 18-, up until about 1885, the leading grocery store in Ypsilanti was black. Uh, there was um, a family who was the leading well diggers and so forth. The Bow family had their grocery store, and then the Bow family also went into the house moving. And they were house movers down to about 1930.


FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: Uh, Mr. Uh, Elijah McCoy's father was in the cigar making business, and that was, well he, he was able to send his son to Scotland and go to school because he was making money. Uh, I guess the thing I'm leading up to is, uh, I want you to tell me about businesses that you remember, uh, since you've been here.

FORBES: Well, there was of course, the co-op store on Jefferson.

MARSHALL: That's a new one.

FORBES: And, uh,

MARSHALL: Co-op store.

FORBES: Right. That was Mrs. Dorsey and Mr. Francois. It was a whole group of people. It was a cooperation that opened up this grocery store.

MARSHALL: Where was it?

FORBES: On Jefferson Street. Right on the corner of Jefferson, and what is that cross street there ... Jefferson and I can't think of the little street that 11:00cross there.

MARSHALL: There's Katherine. There’s, uh,

FORBES: No, Jefferson. Up.


FORBES: South of, uh, Harriet School.

MARSHALL: Oh, up there. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. I got you. Okay.

FORBES: And that was a very active grocery store.


FORBES: And, uh, then, of course, Mr. Mays had a beautiful built from the ground store there on Monroe Street, a grocery store.

MARSHALL: Is that the father of uh, uh, Mays, Trent Mays? Mays and the barbershop.


MARSHALL: Or, Mays who's in


MARSHALL: in Lansing.

FORBES: No. No. They might be related, but I don't think so. Um, and, um, there was a Mr. Shacklefort and he had a grocery store on Monroe Street. Uh, then of course, we had barbershops. At the time most of them, sometimes, were in the homes. But, uh, then they started to build, like on Harriet Street, they started 12:00to build the barbershops. And, uh,

MARSHALL: When you came here, concerning barbershops, when you came here, around the time you came here, were there still barbershops downtown primarily serving whites?

FORBES: Far as I know, they all were when I came here.

MARSHALL: Wow. The first barbershops, of course, served whites exclusively. Now, my, yeah, the first ones.

FORBES: Well, to my knowledge all of them when I came here, downtown, were serving white. I don't know any that served blacks when I came here. There might have been, but I wasn't that, my father had some man who cut his hair,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: and so I never thought about it one way or the other. [Laughs]

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: And the man cut my brother's hair,


FORBES: so otherwise I'm not sure. I know my Uncle Elmer used to cut hair in his house, Elmer Roberson. And, uh, other people that used to cut hair in their houses,

MARSHALL: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

FORBES: so, uh, then we, of course, Mr. Pete Brooks had the gas station.


MARSHALL: That was over on, over there on,

FORBES: Huron.

MARSHALL: Huron, yeah.

FORBES: Mm-hmm. And, um, there was another person who ran a gas station and I can't remember who it was, I can’t remember who that person was, but there was another gas station, I know.


FORBES: But, uh, that's about all that I remember as far as, um, established black businesses, and those businesses were well established at that time.

MARSHALL: Dickerson was gone when you came.



FORBES: He was dead when I came. At the time, of course, Dr. Perry


FORBES: was the dentist here, and then, um, Dr. Bass came right after we were here.


FORBES: And then, of course, there was Dr. Jefferson who came and he ran his dental office up in the old Dr. Dickerson's house there on First. And, uh,

MARSHALL: I believe Dr. Jefferson came some time in the '40s.


FORBES: No, he came in the, um


FORBES: [ ] I'm trying to think of how old I was. I was in high school. It was in the earl-, late '40s, early '50s when he came. Uh-huh.

MARSHALL: Di-, Where did he go? Did he leave or

FORBES: He left. And I think they went to New York


FORBES: after they left here. Yeah.

MARSHALL: Um, just a side issue, you know, you probably heard Dr. Bass say that he never been able to influence by people with medicine. He was just jubilant over the little hall, you know.

FORBES: Oh, yeah. [Laughs]

MARSHALL: [Laughs] He said finally he got somebody from Ypsilanti going into medicine.

FORBES: Dr. Clark was still practicing, too.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah, yeah.

FORBES: When I came here, when I was a child, he was still practicing.

MARSHALL: Well, [ ] about these business now, you, you came up to about into 15:00the '50s for your businesses. Do you remember Mrs., uh, Goodman's boutique?

FORBES: Oh, yes. Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot about Mrs. Goodman. Yes, she had her business, also on Harriet Street, right? She had a very nice business there, a boutique.


FORBES: Beauty shop, the whole bit. It was very nice. She used to give a lot of fashion shows, and um, they had a very nice established business. And, then, uh, there was the restaurant, um, on Harriet right across from where Mrs. Goodman was. Present building that Ometha

MARSHALL: Oh, yeah.

FORBES: is in.


FORBES: And that was a very nice restaurant, and then there

MARSHALL: Who ran that?

FORBES: Uh, the Cartwrights.

MARSHALL: Oh, yeah.

FORBES: But, it was Reverend Cartwright’s first family.


FORBES: And then, there was, uh, of course, the Blue Bird Cab Company. Mr. Fleming's,


MARSHALL: I never heard that one before.

FORBES: Oh, yeah.

MARSHALL: Fleming.

FORBES: Mr. Fleming's. Very well established when I was a kid. Uh, he used to work out of his apartment there in Parkridge, where all of us lived in Parkridge Housing.

MARSHALL: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

FORBES: My father was the first family that lived in Parkridge Housing. And then came Reliable Cab, Mr. Al Taylor started that. They had very good companies 'cause cabs, of course, were very important then because there was

MARSHALL: So few people owned cars.

FORBES: a lack of cars. Right. And then a group of men, a corporation, start or build an excellent restaurant right there on the corner of uh, Harriet and Hamilton called The Place. It was an excellent place, and it was sold out during, after urban renewal. Uh, we used to go there, and it was like a soda fountain, four-course meal. It was, when it first opened and it was elegant. You felt like dressing up to go there when you first, they first opened it.


MARSHALL: Do you remember the names?

FORBES: The persons who established it?

MARSHALL: Of any of them.

FORBES: Leonard Morgan, Don Taylor, those were the two main, um, investors. There were others, but those were the two major investors, Don Taylor and Leonard Morgan.

MARSHALL: Mm. That's interesting.


MARSHALL: That one I hadn't heard.

FORBES: Mm-hmm. And of course, Mrs. Mahaley.

MARSHALL: Oh, yeah.

FORBES: She had her, um, night spot there or club [ ]. Then, it was also a drug store. She had

MARSHALL: Well, now was that her and her husband, or was it after her husband died?

FORBES: You mean the drugstore?


FORBES: I think it was developed before her husband died. Because I think after her husband died, um, I forget the man's name who took it over and ran it.


FORBES: Um, but it was run there for quite a while.


FORBES: It was a nice place, too. Very nice place. And then, Amos Washington had a grocery store right across the street on Harriet from, um, Mrs. Mahaley's 18:00business there,


FORBES: the, well, it was the Washington family


FORBES: that ran a grocery store there, which was always nice. And, who else? So, there were really quite a number of black businesses, and they were all quite well established, and um, well run, well equipped. A lot of them faded out with urban renewal, and then a lot of them faded out because of whatever. I don't know.

MARSHALL: One of the interesting aspects of that, of course, is that, um, when they were starting these businesses, they were not able to go downtown like white folks and borrow large amounts of money. They, these people financed these things themselves.

FORBES: Well, that's true. That's true, but even so as I recall, each one of 19:00these businesses I've named, the co-op store, Mr. Mays's store, all those places, the drug store, Mr. Washington's store, Mrs. Goodman's shop, all those places were all well equipped.


FORBES: They were well built.

MARSHALL: That’s what I mean.

FORBES: They were nice. Nicely run places.

MARSHALL: Which means that these people had to be very frugal in order to get the money

FORBES: That’s right.

MARSHALL: to start their business.

FORBES: They were putting the finance back into their,


FORBES: into their businesses.

MARSHALL: And see whenever you talked, well, anyway we all know when we get into particular into white businesses, they go into business, but they always operate on somebody else's money.

FORBES: Well, that's true.

MARSHALL: Our business were, were operated on our own money.


MARSHALL: [Laughs]

FORBES: And they did a good job, as I remember. All of them.

MARSHALL: Mm-hmm. Well, that, uh, that interests me because, um, because uh, uh, I, I particularly been interested in developing, what I was developing on, the subject of, of black business. In fact, our next our next meeting is going to be discussing the whole economic base and economic changes that have taken place 20:00for black people,

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: In Ypsilanti. Uh, turning, turning from, turning from business into education. Now, how do you remember that? Uh, you, um, that's been interesting to me because I learned that we had a graduate from Eastern in 1915, but who never was [able to get a job teaching]. And then, I began to pick up Gene Beatty came here around 1935, but he gives me the name of a woman who was here before him. One woman, and she evidently looked like she was white, but she eventually left and went to Detroit where she has retired. But, then from the time you came here, how about education then? 'Cause evidently, the only person that you 21:00would've know here who was black in education would've been Gene Beatty? [ ] or was there anybody else?

FORBES: That's not true [laughs]. When I came here, all my teachers were black.

MARSHALL: Oh, you. Yes. 'cause you went to Perry School.

FORBES: Yes [laughs].

MARSHALL: Yeah, you went to Perry School, right.

FORBES: So, that's not true [laughs].

MARSHALL: Well, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well this, yeah, I was getting my story mixed up because Gene, Gene said he was, said until, well when he came in, he said, "[ ] white principal." But, then when he became principal, then he began to get the blacks in. I think that's the way it was or something like that. But, uh, but everybody was at Perry.

FORBES: Yeah. All the teachers at that time.

MARSHALL: All the black teachers were at Perry, then.

FORBES: Mm-hmm. They were at Perry.

MARSHALL: And then, only later did they begin to scatter out through the school system.

FORBES: Right. Right.

MARSHALL: But, that's um, and then, of course, uh, the other thing...Oh, yes. 22:00Anton-, let me back up for a moment. And talking about businesses, 'cause there's one businesses you didn't talk about, and that was your own business.

FORBES: Well, you were talking about when I was a child.

MARSHALL: Well, I'm talking about as you grew up. I'm talking about starting when you were a child.

FORBES: Oh, I was just naming

MARSHALL: Starting when you were a,

FORBES: off all those that were

MARSHALL: No. Just starting when you were a child,

FORBES: established when I was a child.

MARSHALL: starting when you were a child and come along up to the present time because you know they get the Forbes Construction company.

FORBES: No. 'cause I was, I, I thought you meant you only want to hear

MARSHALL: Yeah [laughs].

FORBES: when I, what, wh-, who-, who were in business when I was a child.

MARSHALL: No, I'm interested in the whole period.

FORBES: Well, then I missed a lot

MARSHALL: Anything you remember.

FORBES: of them in between because, uh, Tom Hall ran a service station on, um, um, Huron Street. Um, then you know of all the barbershops that were finally established on Harriet. Um, Tom A-, Hall also had a car wash on Michigan Ave. 23:00quite a long time.

MARSHALL: I remember that.

FORBES: Um, then you got Tom Hall's lawn services, uh, his nephews who were in the lawn business. Um, uh, of course, uh, my husband who went into his own construction company, Forbes Construction, and that's been about, what, 16 years I guess. He was in that. Um, then there, I'm trying to think of other people who were into business. I can't [ ]

MARSHALL: Well, other than Johnny, 'cause Johnny came.

FORBES: Of course, Johnny Barfield started as, you know, with his janitorial service. He used to

MARSHALL: Well, I was talking to him on tape about his.

FORBES: So, uh, then from there, he's branched.


FORBES: And then, um, Forbes Party Store came a reality. We were there for six 24:00years. [ ] Supplies across the street from Forbes.

MARSHALL: Oh, was that yours?



FORBES: Um. Yeah.

MARSHALL: Wait a minute. I haven't been in those other store since you sold it.


FORBES: I ain't been there too much.


FORBES: And then, of course, uh Joe Richardson bought the party store on, uh, Washington Street.


FORBES: Joe's Party Store, now it has a new owner.


FORBES: Oh, that's about it as I

MARSHALL: Well, of course, well there, there, there are some others that I already have, but you are mentioning a lot of them that I would've missed, and of course, I know about that, uh,

FORBES: Alex's market.

MARSHALL: The box store.

FORBES: Oh, yeah. The Box Shop.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

FORBES: Fred Woods and The Box Shop.

MARSHALL: Yeah. Allen's Supermarket.

FORBES: There used to be Allen's Supermarket on, uh, Huron Street. Yep. It was 25:00an excellent store. The Allen family, they relocated back to Inkster.


FORBES: After, uh, the urban renewal went though the area there


FORBES: and the highway went through. And, they own a large supermarket in Inkster. I mean like, um, lar-, one of the, the old A&P bus-, buildings, like.

MARSHALL: My face brightened up because as you said that, it reminded me of something. When I first joined the Business and Professional League, there was an Allen who was a member of it, had been. I mean, I never met him, but I remember seeing a record of a, of an Allen who was a member.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: And Allen had paid his membership into the Business and Professional League two, three years before I got here. And, somehow they hadn't deposited his check.


FORBES: [It probably was Mr. Allen].


MARSHALL: And there was a check. And I remember taking it back to the club, and they just decided, let it go because he was no longer here. But he was somebody I never knew. But, I never quite understood how that thing happened, but now I see.

FORBES: That probably was Mr. Allen.


FORBES: The father. It was a family run business.


FORBES: The father, mother, sons, daughters, the whole bit


FORBES: and they still run a successful business in Inkster.

MARSHALL: Hm. Well, that's, that's, that's an aspect of life, of course, that interests me because, um, I think, I think the vibrancy of a, of a community can be measured in terms of how, of it's entrepreneurs

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: really 'cause these are people who have to put something back in. And they sort of serve as a base for, for all of it.

FORBES: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I've never had any regrets about Ypsilanti. I've always 27:00thought that it was a place to live in, a good place to live in. The schools, I never had any upsets about the schools as far as I was concerned, and I always had excellent teachers when I was at Perry, course it was Harriet Street then.


FORBES: And there were a lot inf-, good influence on me. And when I went back there to teach, quite a number of them were still there.


FORBES: And I think it's because of them, that I probably stayed in education because they made it sound good


FORBES: and made things, uh, interesting for me to want to stay. They were so helpful.

MARSHALL: In other words, you're glad you stayed in education.

FORBES: Mm-hmm, I have no regrets. I don't know anything else. I, my second choice would have been going into some business. I would've, but I know for me to be happy in business, I would've had to been an executive at GM, Fords, or 28:00somewhere. And I probably could've done it if I had pushed to do it, but I, after I started in education, I just became satisfied with it. And then, after I got married, I was very satisfied with it because I knew, um, um, you know, I was happy with it.


FORBES: Yeah. I've had no regrets with the 24 years of it. It's been quite nice.

MARSHALL: That's really [ ]. I was a librarian for 41 years.

FORBES: Oh, really?

MARSHALL: And I don't regret any of it.

FORBES: Nah, I don't think I could stay that long, but [laughs] [ ].

MARSHALL: [Laughs] It sneaks up on you.

FORBES: I know it does. It doesn't seem as though it's been 24 years for me.

MARSHALL: But, see, I, uh, I came right out of school and went right on to library school, and uh, three years later I got married. Well, two years after I was out of library school, got married. And the next thing I knew I was a library administrator, you know.

FORBES: [Laughs]

MARSHALL: Down south, and it's been a good life for me.


FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: And when we, when we, when, as Ruthe and I often do, we can never forget that background, and we look at what we've done and y-, you-, I think you tend to measure yourself against your background, or measure yourself against your parents and aunties, I think we do a little of both. And, where they were,

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: how far they had come, and then we look at what we have done, and we said, well, they foun-, they provided a foundation for us. We've done pretty good with that foundation.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

FORBES: Yeah, that's how I feel, too. I think that my parents gave us the best.

MARSHALL: But, without that foundation, you don't know what would have happened.

FORBES: That's true.

MARSHALL: I think that's, that's the way it is.

FORBES: I think we were very fortunate.


FORBES: And I think we had the best parents in the world, still have the best father with this, uh.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

FORBES: We've been very fortunate.


FORBES: We got nothing but encouragement to, um, try to succeed.

MARSHALL: Mm. Yep. That's my buddy. But, um, as, as I, as I, um, I guess the 30:00other thing I wanted to get you onto, you've been an observer also of the political process.

FORBES: Ah. That's one subject I never discuss.


FORBES: I don't know that much about it because I've never really been involved in politics.


FORBES: I vote on voting day, and that's it.

MARSHALL: Do you remember the first city, city, uh, uh, alderman, councilman?

FORBES: I don't remember the first one. I, I heard that it was Frank Seymour.


FORBES: I, I remember Mr. Seymour vaguely, but I never really knew him, uh, you know, 'cause I, at that time I was in school,


FORBES: in sports, and working,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: and um, um, I never really, um, paid it that much attention,


FORBES: but I remember who Mr. Seymour was. I remember when he was in office, and I remember it was a big thing.


FORBES: But, uh, other than that, I don't have that great recollection,



FORBES: but I knew it was Frank Seymour.

MARSHALL: What did you do when you were in high school?

FORBES: What did I do?

MARSHALL: Mm-hmm. Beside go to-, I mean what in-, what activities were you in?

FORBES: Well, I was in drama club, uh, [laughs]. I was definitely into sports 'cause I've always loved sports, played every girls sport there was. Uh, yearbook staffs, uh, future teachers’ club, uh, oh God. The boosters group. I can't remember [laughs].

MARSHALL: Those are the at least, or the principal one. And then, how much of that was transferred to college?

FORBES: Well, when I

MARSHALL: You went to Eastern, right?

FORBES: Yeah, I went to Eastern. I wasn't involved in anything at Eastern because I had to work.


FORBES: And so I didn't have time for all that other stuff, so I was never on anything on Eastern except I pledged sorority,

MARSHALL: Oh, yeah.

FORBES: and it wasn't that active in that, and still isn't [laughs]. So, uh, 32:00when I went to Eastern, I went to school full time, took full credits, and I worked full time, so I didn't have time.

MARSHALL: You didn't have time.

FORBES: All that. My thing was to get through Eastern and get out.


FORBES: And get to work.

MARSHALL: Did you do your master's at Eastern?

FORBES: Mm-hmm. And specialist. Yeah.

MARSHALL: I thought you finished Eastern, but uh, so many people go to Eastern. They never go to any other universities.

FORBES: No. I never saw the university offering that much in education that would make me change. Eastern to me, you have a better school [ ]

MARSHALL: 'cause Vanzetti was the, another person who did that, came through Eastern and got his master's at Eastern, I think. Yeah.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: Before he went on, on, went into law school.

FORBES: Right.

MARSHALL: He went to law school at the University of Michigan.

FORBES: Right. Now, if I had changed my area or something like that, or if I had gone on for a Ph.D or whatever,


FORBES: of course, I would've transferred. But, I started working on a Ph.D and I said, I didn't see it, so I ended up getting an Ed.S., and that was enough.



FORBES: For what I'm going to do [laughs].

MARSHALL: Well, tell you my story. My, some of my, I put in two years with, with the objective of getting a Ph.D, and, and, and, and, and the thing that stopped it was the job came along.


FORBES: Well, I started weighing what I would do with a Ph.D, nothing.


FORBES: N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Nothing. And, uh, as far as I would be going in Ypsi Public Schools, the Ed.S. was enough


FORBES: 'cause, um, that's as far as I was going 'cause I knew I'm not gonna go to the university level. And, uh, nowadays, I know I'm not. So, that was, uh

MARSHALL: Somebody offered you a professorship?

FORBES: No way. That wouldn't interest me at all.

MARSHALL: You want to work with, you like working with kids.

FORBES: I like working with the children, and then when I finish that, I'm gonna be through with it period [laughs]. I'm not going looking for any other job [laughs]. Other than prac-, my own, uh, personal business, working at home, 34:00personal business. That'd be enough, home and my personal business.

MARSHALL: Of course, we have a lot of pride in, I take a lot of pride in people like you who choose to stay and work with people like that. Um, at least, I, yeah I know there is a lot of pride in it because I know other people who've chosen to do likewise, and in some cases, even turned down administrative positions in order to make that contribution where it really counts. On the other hand, we have some people who, I guess call them [ ].


FORBES: I, I really feel as though I'm not a powerful person, and uh, so I, I feel I have to do my little thing just being naturally me. And I could do that within the profession and without the profession. And, I think, perhaps, in many 35:00cases, I'd probably do more, without the profession than I do within.


FORBES: 'Cause within you're in your limits of your job description and all that kind of thing. You can make some impacts, but to me I make more impact on people in needs of people, just being me, the, uh, person.

MARSHALL: What about your rewards?

FORBES: Awards?

MARSHALL: Rewards.

FORBES: What rewards? [Laughs]

MARSHALL: Rewards from working.

FORBES: I have personal rewards.

MARSHALL: The rewards, yeah. That's what I'm talking about, the personal reward, not the financial, anything like that.

FORBES: I just, I, I just personally feel that, um, um, if we have an opportunity to have some type of enlighten, that it's not something that you wear on your shoulders, you know. Or, you look at, I don't even know where my degrees are, you know.


FORBES: I, I, that kind of thing doesn't bother me. I got those because the law said I had to have them


FORBES: to do the job. So, mine is to see, particularly young people, that I 36:00have come in contact with as a teacher or a friend or just knowing them in the community and to see some of them become contributing individuals no matter what their jobs are. Or if they're unemployed, at least they're within the law.


FORBES: You know, and they're, uh, influenced somewhat by religion. And, uh, maybe a few of them still remind me they're up in their 20s and near 30s and they remind me that I spanked them one day about something. But they remembered it.

MARSHALL: [Laughs] Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: So it must have, that spanking must have done something. If they're 20 and 25 years old and they still remember I spanked them in the first grade. So, and I tell them, I said, "Good." That's the best thing you can tell me, you remember that spanking.

MARSHALL: That’s right.

FORBES: You never get another when you remember that one.

MARSHALL: Of course, for me, that's what I mean. And I think that's the greatest reward.

FORBES: For me it's great, yeah.

MARSHALL: To educate them.

FORBES: It's the best, [ ].

MARSHALL: About three weeks ago, I had a young man from Detroit say in my 37:00kitchen at home and he brought me a copy of his book. And he mentioned me in the press.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: To me that's the greatest kind of reward [I can get].

FORBES: Greatest reward. That's right, that's right.

MARSHALL: Because I had so much of an influence on him, when he was at Lincoln, that years later that he should remember that.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: And say, “I will remember this man and, and I remember this man and what he did for me.”

FORBES: Yeah. A lot of my students remember me as being a strict disciplinarian.


FORBES: And uh, they'll say, "Boy, you didn't play around when Miss Forbes came by." Or some of them remember me and my maiden name: "Boy, Miss Odum, I remember when you used to get on that smacking with so and so." But perhaps, by my getting on them then, made them better people today, you know. And I'm glad they remember.


FORBES: And they remember when I made them stay after school and miss recess because they didn't complete uh, assignments or they didn't take time and try to learn.



FORBES: 'Cause I used to tell them, “I worked too hard preparing myself to try to impart this knowledge, you all better sit down and learn something.”

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

FORBES: I mean, I'm not wasting the state's time. And I tell them just like that, "came here to waste my time, you can go on and get up outta here" and they'll tell you in a minute. So those things, um, and remembering the kids. Like, there are very few students that I taught that can walk in here today and they might be 30 years old and I might have taught them when they were six and I bet you I could tell their name. 'Cause they were so important.


FORBES: Very few of them. And they look at me and they say, “how do you remember me? You remember me?” “Yeah, 'cause you were very important.” And that's why I always tell, like, student teachers when they come here or whenever I work with them. “First thing you do more so than listening to what I'm doing: learn the kids names and learn which name belongs to Mary or which one. 'Cause kids feel turned off when I'm John and you call me Jack.”

MARSHALL: That’s right, right.


FORBES: You know, they feel that you're not really taking an interest.


FORBES: So people's names, and to some people that's all they have, is there name. And that's all that they're ever gonna have is their name. That's the way I used to look upon some of the kids at Perry. Most important thing you're gonna ever have is your name. So let's make that a very important item.

MARSHALL: That's really [good]. [ ] to do with kids. But we got a situation, we got a situation [ ]. They, they uh, that's just one of those things that, I don't know where I got it, where I picked it up.

FORBES: Well, I've always felt that people's names, my mother taught us that.


FORBES: That people are too important to just take them for granted or to pass them over.


FORBES: My mother used to take two hours to walk from Parkridge to downtown Ypsi because she stopped and talked to everybody.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [ ] [Laughs]

FORBES: Spoke to everybody. And if there was a dog on the porch, she talked to the little dog, or the cat. Uh, Mr. Jones who might have been way back in the 40:00living room, she looking for him.


FORBES: So, uh, that taught us. And we used fuss about it when we were kids, "Aw Mom, come on." But I find I'm the very same type of person.


FORBES: As I've grown older. And I've always said I wouldn't be that way.


FORBES: But um, I find I stop and talk to the dogs too if they don't try to bite me. I'm more cautious than my mother is, you know? My mother didn't fear or fear that people would harm her or mistreat her.

MARSHALL: She came up in a different day though.

FORBES: And that kind of thing, but I guess I'm a little bit more cautious about it.

MARSHALL: Well, you in a different day. You have to be a little bit more cautious now.

FORBES: But, uh,

MARSHALL: She came up in a time when people left the doors unlocked.

FORBES: That's right.

MARSHALL: Neighbors looked out for each other.

FORBES: Well we were that way, too. When we were growing up, we didn't mistreat or misact or anything 'cause anybody was your disciplinary.


FORBES: But, uh, I found, you know, as I grew older, things changed.



FORBES: So you do react a little differently.

MARSHALL: Do you remember, as you grew up here, do you, do you remember the nice homes that black folks had?

FORBES: Mm-hmm. Sure. The nicest homes, um, the two houses there on Harriet Street. One which the Basses bought. And, um,

MARSHALL: Is that where they live now, or is that…?

FORBES: No, no, no. Uh, Dr. Bass and his wife.

MARSHALL: Oh, oh, oh.

FORBES: They ended up buying that house and I can't identify who was in it before. I know the people, but I can't recall their names that lived there prior to Mr. and Mrs. Bass buying it. And then right next door to that house down Harriet was the Andrews. Uh, Mr. Andrews is the one who date Mrs. Burton. At your church.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

FORBES: Okay, he and his family, first family. They were right next door and that was uh, two beautiful houses there. On Jefferson Street, um, Mr. and Mrs. 42:00P. Brooks.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

FORBES: They had a lovely place. The Goodmans always had a nice place. Uh, the Dennis' on, uh,

MARSHALL: Oh yeah, on Adams Street.

FORBES: Adams Street. In fact, um, most of those houses right in that area there, Adams Street, right down to, um, where John Burton presently lives?


FORBES: Black people lived all the way down there, to that point. 'Cause I remember 211 South Adams was the last house that black people lived in. That's right across from where John Burton presently lives.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah, yeah.

FORBES: Those were all nice houses in comparison to you know, houses of anybody. Um, on Madison and Jefferson, there were people that had nice houses at the time. The Ramseys on Madison. Um, the Simpsons on Jefferson had a nice 43:00house. The Kennedys on Madison. The Kennedys on Jefferson. There was lots of nice houses. It was very, but then a lot of those generations kinda got older and, um, the area really needed developing because there were a lot of makeshift houses, too.

MARSHALL: Yeah, mm-hmm.

FORBES: The Dorseys had a nice house on Jefferson. And um, that led up to the period of time when urban renewal came in, which was not effective anyway. Didn't really develop the area, but uh, was supposed to have. But they were, they, Hawkins Street, Hawkins was a beautiful street.

MARSHALL: The only reason I'm asking that question, I was, uh. In 1915, within the state, there was a big celebration of the 50 years of the Emancipation Proclamation and a book was put out by an agency of the state, actually, it was 44:00a special committee that was appointed. And in that, they were citing the progress of the negro, and that was the word they used,

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: up to that time. And in this listing were nice homes of black people all over the state of Michigan.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: A large number of them were Ypsilanti people.

FORBES: Oh, well there were m-, Ypsilanti was a, uh, black, south, south side of Ypsilanti was beautiful.

MARSHALL: Now, very few Ann Arbor, very few Ann Arbor.

FORBES: Well, Ann Arbor people just had a little packet on Fourth Avenue, Fifth Avenue,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: uh, which were older, rundown, more or less [ ],


FORBES: when they got it. But Ypsi, um, black people were spread out like from Washington St-, I mean Watling Street, which is, you know,


FORBES: right by the expressway, right down to, uh, Michigan Ave, of course, coming north.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: And then, as far down as Washington, Huron, you know. Then there were 45:00people over on Prospect, uh, over in that area. Uh, and people had nice houses.


FORBES: First Avenue, those houses were very nice. The Kerseys, you know basically all out lived on First and Second Avenue. And um, they were nice houses. It was nice. The area was nice.

MARSHALL: Well, you know, that ties in with something else that I had noticed and that is that, um, there have always been thriving builders

FORBES: Oh yeah.

MARSHALL: within this black community.


MARSHALL: The Kerseys were only one.

FORBES: The Basses.

MARSHALL: Yeah, the Basses, I understand [ ]. And uh, they have always been very proud builders.


MARSHALL: And uh, and their, their work was

FORBES: Excellent.

MARSHALL: Wha-, the way, the way somebody's put it, I think it was, uh, Mos, Mos Cur-, Mos, uh, Bass was telling me, he said sometimes when they would build for 46:00black people they would have to stretch out the collection of money.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: But when, but they would make that money, and, with the white folks, which enables them to work for the black folks [laughs].

FORBES: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: But uh, then there was this area back up on First Street, on Second Avenue, they used to call Kerseyville. The Kerseys first got here and then it seems that every time a child of the Kerseys would get married, they'd give them a place.

FORBES: Yeah, they stretch [ ] house out.


FORBES: First, and then it became First and Second.

MARSHALL: Yeah, right. Uh-huh.

FORBES: Yup. Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: But, now this, that all ties in because you see, the other thing is that uh, uh, when, when, when, while I knew already that when the Brown Chapel was built, all three buildings, now Brown chapel has actually had three buildings. But in all three building, the way they got them, was to have meetings of members and they'd come down with their hammers and their saws and they build.


MARSHALL: Well, Second Baptist was pretty much the same way up until this last building.



MARSHALL: Uh, the, I've got some pictures of the Second Baptist. Uh, just like I've got pictures of Brown Chapel. And these people came down there and you would have one or two skilled craftsmen.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: And they would, these other people would just come in there and work [laughs].

FORBES: Mm-hmm. Yeah I remember when I was

MARSHALL: And they did a beautiful job.

FORBES: When I was a child. Um, uh, Second Baptist, uh, my uncle of course was the minister there then. And um, these brothers uh, what are their names? There's two brothers.


FORBES: No, no, no. These, these people belonged to Second Baptist. Their last names was Mitchell. We call them the Mitchell brothers in fact.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: And they both were tradesmen and they would have work parties there on Saturday.


FORBES: Uh, the little work that was done in that church,



FORBES: Mr. Hamilton, Vanzetti, [ ] supposed to be a good tradesmen. Um, him and um, Mr. Babbs, I don't know if you ever heard of Mr. Babbs.

MARSHALL: Yeah, I've heard that name, Babbs.

FORBES: Uh, all those people would have their hammers and saws and down there working. That's how all of the work was done.


FORBES: So I remember that very well.

MARSHALL: In other words, that's the way, what I think it's that kind of thing that has helped us to survive all over.

FORBES: Right.

MARSHALL: And then I think they did a little better in this community because there was a little bit more of it.



FORBES: People in this community have always been more or less, you have your so-called influential groups and you always will, yeah, you know.

MARSHALL: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

FORBES: But, uh, like it was exclusive to be a member of Palm Leaf at one time, you know, that kind of thing [laughs].

MARSHALL: [laughs] Yeah.

FORBES: Which is good 'cause you need those kinds of things.


FORBES: But, uh, people basically in the community have always been very common 49:00people. The majority. Now when I was a kid growing up, uh, we used to have rivalry between Second Baptist and Brown Chapel. And we always, of course, had the majority of the youth at Second Baptist because um, Brown Chapel just didn't have any children.

MARSHALL: Most people were Baptists [laughs].

FORBES: That's right, we were all Baptists. So it was more or less like the Baptist Church against the Catholic Church

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: if we really wanted to look at it as far as black people were concerned.


FORBES: And we always had more going in our church.


FORBES: And they were more prim and proper. That's why now it's probably hard for me to accept you all over there clapping and shouting and knocking over bins [ ] an hour and making noise because we always did. And when people uh, at Brown Chapel wanted a little spirit they came to Second Baptist.

MARSHALL: [Laughs] They came to Second Baptist.

FORBES: Didn't tell their friends they came, 'cause that was a little underneath them you know.


FORBES: We always had, and we always had youth groups, we always had Sun- big Sunday schools, Sunday school picnics, the whole community went on the Sunday 50:00school picnics. We'd have three and four and five Greyhound buses chartered.


FORBES: Six, go all over the place. That was a big time for everybody. Not just the church.


FORBES: And there was always something to do. And then we would always go to church, and go to the BYPU, stay for the evening service, leave there and go on Hawkins Street to the Holiness Church

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

FORBES: and watch the people dance and fall out and speak languages.

MARSHALL: [Laughs] The unknown tongue.

FORBES: Unknown tongue. See they doing that in the Baptist Church.

MARSHALL: Yeah [laughs].

FORBES: [ ] Well, that just shows how things change. We used to end up, minister used to talk about us, I'll never forget, Elder Anderson, at, uh, the church right across from [ ] there on [ ].

MARSHALL: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

FORBES: Oh, that man used to talk about us, he made us feel as though we were the dirt of the earth. Well we’d go back every Sunday night and let him talk about us again [laughs]. 'Cause he would talk about us wearing makeup and being 51:00unholy and that kinda thing. Even right up until he had both legs amputated eventually.


FORBES: And then, before he died. We were crazy about him. Man would treat us so bad and talk about us so bad in the service. And after service was over, he treated us nice. You know, he was nice to us.


FORBES: But uh, that was his job to try to make us repent.

MARSHALL: Yeah [Laughs].

FORBES: And we had left our church and that was our Sunday night entertainment, to go over there. It was fun.

MARSHALL: Well, that, that just shows you how some of them places are [ ].

FORBES: Another thing we used to do, too, uh, when my uncle was there as the minister. He was crazy about young people.


FORBES: And he made sure wherever he traveled he took the youth church or choirs, youth choirs, and um, wherever, he exposed us, wherever.


FORBES: And uh, we had a lot of movement in that church. You, there was never a 52:00dull moment, there was plenty to do.

MARSHALL: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

FORBES: And uh, it was fun and we used to always want to take turns riding in the car with him.


FORBES: Because he was, he'd sp- he'd speed.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

FORBES: Police would stop him and sit there and listen to him tell all these stories to the police why he was speeding


FORBES: and get away with it. And we just got the biggest thrill out of Uncle Garther speeding [laughs]. And getting the ticket. But, and then we would want to ride with him the next time.


FORBES: And you ever heard him do that jolly laugh, to the, to the police and,

MARSHALL: Are any of his children anything like him? Is S.L.?

FORBES: S.L. is like him. Very much like him. Uh, S.L. tries hard to be like his father there. Garther Junior is like him. Um, in fact all of them are like him. They're, they're very warm, nice people.



FORBES: He was just a very warm, kind man and, uh, he went out of his way for, you know, like S.L. takes a lot of influence with the courts and all this.

MARSHALL: Yeah, mm-hmm.

FORBES: Oh boy, that poor man kept a lot of people out of Jackson prison.


FORBES: My uncle did. He'd go to the judges, everybody knew him. When they'd see him coming.

MARSHALL: I understand he and Breakey were very [ ] [Laughs]

FORBES: Oh lord, yeah. Breakey was sending them away like, ripped and dirt on, on the beach [laughs].

MARSHALL: They say Breakey would say, "You go to church?" "Yes, sir." "Well where you go to church?" "I go to Second Baptist." "Well, I’ll have to confirm with Reverend Roberson about that.” [Laughs]

FORBES: Yup, that's true.

MARSHALL: And if he found what they did, he'd turn them over to Reverend Roberson

FORBES: Mm-hmm, yup.

MARSHALL: and if they didn't and they promised to go

FORBES: [He had] lot of trouble.


FORBES: Yeah, he was, he spent a lot of time helping people.


FORBES: Lots of times. And the people downtown all knew him



FORBES: because he spent a lot of time trying to make things right for people.

MARSHALL: I've heard good things about him. Lots of good things.

FORBES: He's a good man.

MARSHALL: I've been very impressed.

FORBES: Fought most his wars with a smile, but, uh

MARSHALL: Mm-hmm. Now he is your, he is your uncle on your

FORBES: Mother’s side.

MARSHALL: Maternal side.

FORBES: Yeah, my mother's brother.


FORBES: The Robersons are my relatives on her side.

MARSHALL: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Well 'cause I, I think a lot of both Garth and, they the only two I really know, course I know your mother. But I knew Garth, I know Garth and I know S.L. and I plan to interview both of them.

FORBES: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: If I can catch them.

FORBES: A lot of Robersons.

MARSHALL: Well, Maude, this has been interesting.

FORBES: [Laughs] Well, I hope it's helpful to you.

MARSHALL: I'm pleased to be here a long time.

FORBES: One of these days I'm gonna write my memoirs.


MARSHALL: Yeah, that'd be nice.

FORBES: One of these days.

MARSHALL: That'd be nice. Well anyway, I, I don't tell you I won't be back because, uh, one of the things that I, one of the things that I…

0:00 - Comparing Ypsilanti

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: What's your middle name, Maude?

FORBES: I never tell it.

MARSHALL: Well, we, we, I’m not gonna, I won't tell it.

FORBES: E. [Laughs]

MARSHALL: E, what is that, an initial?

FORBES: Just E. [Laughs]

MARSHALL: Okay. Maude E. Odom Forbes.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Mrs. Forbes is first asked about her family and their arrival in Ypsilanti from Alabama. She and A.P. Marshall then discuss their assessments of the city and the differences between Black communities in Ypsilanti and nearby Ann Arbor.

Keywords: A.P. Marshall; Albert Odum; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Earline Odum Patterson; John Barfield; Josie Odum Morris; Lorenzo Odum; Maude Odum Forbes; Race relations in Ypsilanti; Racism in banking and mortgage; Ypsilanti, Michigan

Subjects: African American families. African Americans--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History. African Americans--Michigan--Ann Arbor--History.

Hyperlink: 1957 Eastern yearbook photo of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Maude is back row, second from right.

10:20 - Ypsilanti's Black business district

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: Uh, Mr. Uh, Elijah McCoy's father was in the cigar making business, and that was, well he, he was able to send his son to Scotland and go to school because he was making money. Uh, I guess the thing I'm leading up to is, uh, I want you to tell me about businesses that you remember, uh, since you've been here.

FORBES: Well, there was of course, the co-op store on Jefferson.

MARSHALL: That's a new one.

FORBES: And, uh,

MARSHALL: Co-op store.

Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Forbes gives a detailed description of her memories of the Harriet/Monroe Street Black business district that thrived in the decades before Urban Renewal. Mr. Marshall discusses his interest in the history of Black businesses.

Keywords: A.P. Marshall; Al Taylor; Albert Odum; Allen's supermarket; Amos Washington; Black businesses in Ypsilanti; Black doctors in Ypsilanti; Blue Bird Cab Company; Bop Shop; Business and Professional League; Cartwrights; Don Taylor; Dr. Bass; Dr. Clark; Dr. Dickerson; Dr. Jefferson; Dr. Perry; Elijah McCoy, Cooperative Store; Elmer Roberson; Eugene Beatty; First Avenue; Forbes Construction company; Forbes Party Store; Fred Woods; Hamilton Street; Harriet St. School; Harriet Street; Herbert Francois; Huron Street; Inkster, Michigan; Jefferson Street; Joe Richardson; John Barfield; Leonard Morgan; Louise Mahaley; Mattie Dorsey; Maude Odum Forbes; Michigan Avenue; Monroe Street; Mr. Flemmings; Mr. Shackleford; Ometha Smith; Parkridge Housing; Perry School; Pete Brooks; Reliable Cab; The Place; Thelma Goodman; Tom Hall; Trent Mays; Urban Renewal in Ypsilanti; Washington Brothers Grocery; Ypsilanti, Michigan

Subjects: African Americans--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History. African American business enterprises.

Hyperlink: Aerial photo of the Harriet/Monroe Street business district before Urban Renewal.

31:07 - A life in education

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: What did you do when you were in high school?

FORBES: What did I do?

MARSHALL: Mm-hmm. Beside go to-, I mean what in-, what activities were you in?

FORBES: Well, I was in drama club, uh, [laughs]. I was definitely into sports 'cause I've always loved sports, played every girls sport there was. Uh, yearbook staffs, uh, future teachers’ club, uh, oh God. The boosters group. I can't remember [laughs]

Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Forbes describes her college education at Eastern Michigan University to become a teacher. She and Mr. Marshall talk about Mrs. Forbes values as a teacher and how she views her role in the community.

Keywords: Black students at Eastern Michigan University; Black women school principals; Eastern Michigan University; Maude Odum Forbes; Parkridge Housing; Vanzetti Hamilton; Ypsilanti High School; Ypsilanti Public Schools; Ypsilanti, Michigan

Subjects: Eastern Michigan University. African Americans--Education--History--20th century. African American teachers.

41:04 - Building homes and a community

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: Do you remember, as you grew up here, do you, do you remember the nice homes that black folks had?

FORBES: Mm-hmm. Sure. The nicest homes, um, the two houses there on Harriet Street. One which the Basses bought. And, um,

Segment Synopsis: Mrs. Forbes and Mrs. Marshall talk about Black home owners in Ypsilanti and the streets the neighborhood encompassed. She remembers various families and discusses the large number of Black building contractors in the city and how Black families struggled to get loans and build houses. She also remembers her life in Ypsilanti's historic Second Baptist Church.

Keywords: 211 South Adams; African-American home builders; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Bass family; Black homeowners in Ypsilanti; Bow family; Brown Chapel AME; Dr. Bass; First Avenue; Fourth Avenue; Garther Roberson Sr.; Harriet Street; Hawkins Street; Holiness Church; Jefferson St.; Jefferson Street; John Burton; Kennedy family; Kersey family; Madison Street; Mattie Dorsey; Michigan Avenue; Michigan Manual of Freedman's Progress; Mitchell brothers; Mose Bass; Mr. Andrews; Palm Leaf Club; Pete Brooks; Prospect Avenue; Ramsey family; S.L. Roberson; Second Baptist Church; The Dennis family; Thelma Goodman; Ypsilanti, Michigan

Subjects: African Americans--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History. Discrimination in mortgage loans. African American churches.

Hyperlink: An online version of 1915's Michigan manual of Freeman's Progress discussed in the interview.
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