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00:00:11 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Okay, our early period, again, is 1916, when you first arrived in Philadelphia.

Segment Synopsis: Grey speaks of traveling around the city of Philadelphia, looking for work before finding a job with three friends in Camden, New Jersey at the Campbell Soup Factory.

Keywords: Camden, New Jersey; Campbell Soup Company; Ferry; Paoli, Pennsylvania

Subjects: African Americans--Employment.; Migration, Internal.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.

GPS: Location of Campbell Soup Factory
Map Coordinates: 39.939649, -75.108096
00:02:05 - Work in Camden and World War I

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Partial Transcript: Okay, um, could you describe for us, um, your workplace? Were Blacks separated from whites in the particular job, uh, you had to do?

Segment Synopsis: Grey speaks of his work, wages and the work conditions at Campbell Soup, and his movement after an unsuccessful strike to other "gang jobs" at the New York Shipyard, Eavenson Soap, Victor Talking Machine and Pelham Gas Company during the first World War.

Keywords: Campbell Soup Company; Eavenson Soap; Gold; New York Shipyard; Overtime; Plant; Silver; Strikers; Strikes; Victor Talking Machine; World War I

Subjects: African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.; World War, 1914-1918

00:06:56 - Work experience in the 1920s

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Partial Transcript: Um, were there any other jobs that you worked in, in Philadelphia, prior to your leaving during the First War?

Segment Synopsis: Grey states his work experiences after the war, including employment at Lit Brothers and the Vine St. Laundry, after his return to Philadelphia from New York in 1928.

Keywords: 11th and Vine (Philadelphia, Pa.); Laundry; Lit Brothers; Vine Street (Philadelphia, Pa.); Vine Street Laundry

Subjects: African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.

GPS: The location of Lit Brothers in Philadelphia
Map Coordinates: 39.943427, -75.153721
00:10:06 - Childhood and undocumented birth year

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Partial Transcript: How old were you then?

Segment Synopsis: Grey speaks more about his work at Campbell Soup, and about changing his name from Graves to Grey, because Graves was too difficult for him to spell. He then talks about his childhood in Savannah and Cat Island, Georgia. He didn't know his father or the year of his birth and when he came to Philadelphia he figured he needed to be 21 to get a job so in 1916 he told his prospective employers that was his age, despite the fact he lacked an actual birth certificate.

Keywords: Brothers; Cat Island, Georgia; Fathers; Midwife; Savannah, Georgia; Sisters

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Southern States.; Childhood

00:12:47 - Growing up in Georgia and South Carolina

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Partial Transcript: Um, could you tell us a little bit about how it was in Savannah? Uh, is there anything that you re, remember from your childhood? Anything that sticks out in your mind?

Segment Synopsis: Grey talks about moving back and forth between his mother and father, and in between the states of South Carolina and Georgia. He also recalls his experience as a child working as a sharecropper on Booker T. Washington's property and not being around enough white people for there to ever be racial problems of which he was aware.

Keywords: Blacksville, South Carolina; Booker T. Washington; Buford, South Carolina; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Sharecropping

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Southern States.; Childhood; United States--Race relations.

00:17:49 - On learning his age and the segregated South

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Partial Transcript: So you don't have any recollections of any type of, uh, discrimination, uh--

Segment Synopsis: Grey talks about tracking down his niece in 1982 and figuring out his own age by determining that they were born only one year apart. He briefly recalls having to walk on opposite sides of the street from a woman who was passing for white with whom he had made friends so as not to draw suspicion to either one of them.

Keywords: "Passing" for white; Life in the South; Traveling shows; Washington, D.C.

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Southern States.; Childhood; Race discrimination.; United States--Race relations.

00:21:12 - On his free train ride to the North on the Pennsylvania Railroad

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Partial Transcript: Okay. Um okay, uh, maybe we'll focus now on your trip North. Um, had you heard of any rumors or any warnings, um, from friends or others prior to your trip?

Segment Synopsis: Grey recalls a movement to get African Americans from the South to northern cities. Taking advantage of the free transportation, he and his friends kept moving up, as the rear car was uncoupled so that they would end up on the last car of the thirteen car train to make it as far north as possible, which is how he made it to Paoli, Pennsylvania.

Keywords: Campbell Soup Company; Charleston, South Carolina; Four Mile Hill; Free transportation to the North; Paoli, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Railroad; Train coaches

Subjects: African Americans--Employment.; Migration, Internal.

00:23:53 - Reasons for leaving the South

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Partial Transcript: Okay, um, what was your reason for leaving and wanting to come North?

Segment Synopsis: Feeling cooped up and seeing the potential for a better life, Grey headed north and never looked back, not returning until 1982. He describes his visit to his home church 70 years after he left.

Keywords: Donations; Ministers; Motivations to move North; Train

Subjects: African American churches; African Americans--Southern States.; Migration, Internal.

00:25:48 - On expectations of the North and the journey itself

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Partial Transcript: Okay, um, back to the train. Um, did you hear from some of the other people that they had the same reasons for leaving as you did?

Segment Synopsis: Grey talks about what he heard about the North before he made the trip to Philadelphia: that he could not only get a job but that he and other Blacks would be treated better. He felt that a Black person could do better overall for themselves, and he wanted to get away from "down there." He picked up and left without a single dollar, but there was food on the train for the passengers to eat. Grey could not recall the name of the train or any of the passengers that he rode with.

Keywords: Expectations before moving north; Free transportation to the North; Money; Train

Subjects: African Americans--Southern States.; Migration, Internal.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.

00:27:10 - On the move from Paoli to Philadelphia

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Partial Transcript: All right. Um, so we--we're headed North, and you--you're in Philadelphia now. Could you describe for us how your first night was in Philadelphia after you arrived here?

Segment Synopsis: After stopping in Paoli and working on the railroad a few days, Grey moved to Philadelphia for better work and found housing in a boarding house at 16th and Lombard Street.

Keywords: Campbell Soup Company; Lombard Street (Philadelphia, Pa.); Paoli, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Railroad; Railroad; Rooming houses; Shanty

Subjects: African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Housing.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Migration, Internal.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.

00:29:41 - Impressions of Philadelphians and the city

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Partial Transcript: Okay, um, how would you describe the people in Philadelphia when you first arrived here and stayed at--

Segment Synopsis: Grey recalls that "Old Philadelphians"--African Americans already living in the city--thought that the southerners weren't as smart as they were. He also remembers steering clear of Broad and South, just to be safe.

Keywords: Expectations before moving north; Impressions of migrants; Jail; Old Philadelphians (O.P.s); Philadelphians; Southerners; Subway

Subjects: African Americans--Social conditions.; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Migration, Internal.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs.

00:32:45 - Travel in and around Philadelphia

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Partial Transcript: What form of transportation was available to you at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Grey shares that he walked most places, took the ferry boats across the Delaware River to work in Camden, and on occasion rode the trolley through the city.

Keywords: Ferry; Market Street; Trolley

Subjects: Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.; Transportation

GPS: 16th and South Streets, Philadelphia
Map Coordinates: 39.944057, -75.168794
00:34:12 - Comparing Philadelphia to Savannah

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Partial Transcript: --(clears throat)--How would you describe, um--or rather how would you compare Philadelphia to Savannah at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Grey describes the cold mornings and hot afternoons in Philadelphia and talks about how people dressed differently because of the weather. He shares how he brought an overcoat from the South despite the fact that it was mid July.

Keywords: Bryan Baptist Church (Savannah, Ga.); Cold weather; Fashion; Life in the South; Public housing projects; Savannah, Georgia

Subjects: African Americans--Southern States.; Clothing and dress.; Fashion.; Migration, Internal.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs.

00:37:06 - On harassment in bars and whiskey as a cure for influenza

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Partial Transcript: What about, um, segregation? Were there some places in Philadelphia that only Blacks could go, and--

Segment Synopsis: When going into bars Grey knew he wasn't welcome back or wanted if the owner would break the glass after he drank from it, so that no one else would have to drink from the "tainted" glass. After World War I Grey expected race relations to get a little better but they did not.

Keywords: Influenza Epidemic of 1918; New Jersey; Prohibition; Segregation in Philadelphia; World War I

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919; Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social conditions.; Race discrimination.; Racism; United States--Race relations.; World War, 1914-1918

00:39:33 - On "Birth of a Nation," and sinking of the Titanic

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Partial Transcript: Uh, in terms of movies, uh, I believe it was 1914--1916, uh, there was a movie released called "Birth of a Nation."

Segment Synopsis: Grey can't remember the Ellsworth Street Riots, but he does recall the advertisements for the Cecil B. DeMille movie "Birth of a Nation." He also recounts that the Titanic sank before he arrived in Philadelphia. He again questions how old he really is.

Keywords: "Birth of a Nation"; Ellsworth Street (Philadelphia, Pa.); Race riots--Philadelphia; Titanic

Subjects: African Americans--Social conditions.; Motion pictures--Social aspects.; Race discrimination.; Racism

GPS: Location of the riots on Ellsworth Street.
Map Coordinates: 39.937220, -75.169416