From Porch Swings to Patios: Oral History Project

Interview of Rebecca Fuller McGuiness on December 2, 1980.

Rebecca Fuller McGuiness was born in in 1892 in Charlottesville and has lived there her whole life. Her grandmother who lived with them "came up in slavery", so McGuiness would hear of things that took place on Vinegar Hill back to those times. McGuiness graduated from Hampton Institute and was a teacher at Jefferson School in Charlottesville for forty seven years, retiring just before desegregation. Her husband had a tailor shop on Vinegar Hill and though they never lived on the Hill, they had many friends who did. McGuiness reflects on the urban renewal project of Vinegar Hill, concluding that for the most part it meant loss for the black community, of homes for those who had lived there quite a while, as well as access to certain businesses for the entire black community. McGuiness belonged to the Neighborhood Association as well as the Eastern Star social organization. She names some of the "prominent negroes" of Charlottesville, as well as the black doctors and dentists that she can recall, but emphasizes the central role of the church in community affairs.

Listen to the Interview (37 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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