Ridge Street Oral History Project

Interview of Booker and Donna Reaves by Mr. Ashlin Smith and Ms. Jean Hiatt on September 8, 1994.

Booker Reaves, who was raised in the Ridge Street neighborhood, was a pioneering black educator in Charlottesville and was the principal of the Jefferson School before and during integration in the 1950s. His wife, Donna Reaves, also worked at the Jefferson School (and later at Albemarle High School) and together they raised four children on 755 Ridge Street. The Reaves discuss schooling before and after integration, social and commercial life in and around Ridge Street, and their experiences as black educators and community members in a racially divided society. The interview covers topics including the development of the Ridge Street neighborhood, recollections from the Jefferson School, Howard University and the University of Virginia, and details about businesses and commerce in Vinegar Hill.

Listen to the Interview - Part 1 (50 minutes long):     28.8K     56.6K     Other
Listen to the Interview - Part 2 (50 minutes long):     28.8K     56.6K     Other

Read the transcription of the interview

Ridge Street Oral History Project: A Supplement to the Survey of the Ridge Street Historic District and Proposal for Local Designation.. Prepared by Preservation Piedmont for the Department of Community Planning, Charlottesville, VA, December 1995. (Excerpted Portion)

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