From Porch Swings to Patios: Oral History Project

Interview of Mattie Tompkins by Jamel Spencer on December 18, 1980.

Mattie Tompkins was born c. 1956 in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood, and lived there until age six, when her family moved to low income housing in Westhaven. She remembers her parents being glad of this move toward more modern living and sees the overall urban renewal of Vinegar Hill as a positive event for the black community of Charlottesville. She recounts in detail the schools she attended, and how she obtained job assistance from OIC [Opportunities Industrialization Center?] in Charlottesville, which helped her land her current job in a telephone company. She comments at length on her self-help philosophy of life and on limited and localized social responsibility, particularly regarding racial injustice.

Listen to the Interview (40 minutes long):     28.8K     56.6K     Other

From Porch Swings to Patios: An Oral History of Charlottesville's Neighborhoods Prepared by the Department of Community Planning Advisory Board and students of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 1982 - 1984.

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