Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Ann Todd Jealous, September 5, 2020

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:03 - Influences on her decision to join Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: --It's, uh, September 5, 2020.

Segment Synopsis: Ann Todd Jealous is introduced. She talks about growing up in Baltimore during Jim Crow segregation and how she attended the first high school in Baltimore to be desegregated. She then talks about her college years at Antioch College in Ohio, and how she heard President John F. Kennedy speak at a graduation ceremony at American University in Washington, D.C.

Keywords: 1963-1965 (Date of service); American University (Washington, D.C.); Civil rights movements; Desegregated High School (Baltimore, Md.); Jim Crow; Philippines (Country of service)

Subjects: African Americans--Legal status, laws, etc.; American University (Washington, D.C.); Antioch College.; Baltimore (Md.); Blacks--Segregation--United States.; Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; School integration--Maryland--Baltimore--1950-1960.

GPS: Baltimore (Md.)
Map Coordinates: 39.289444, -76.615278
00:06:14 - Volunteer work while growing up, including racial injustice

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, so you say growing up you couldn’t, couldn't imagine having the opportunities to do a lot of things and that probably included doing something like, like the Peace Corps.

Segment Synopsis: Jealous speaks about how volunteer work as a young person led to the Peace Corps and being interested in the rest of the world.

Keywords: Episcopal Church (Baltimore, Md.); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Racial justice; Volunteering

Subjects: Baltimore (Md.); Race discrimination--United States.; Voluntarism.

GPS: Baltimore (Md.)
Map Coordinates: 39.289444, -76.615278
00:07:42 - What she thought about the Philippines and her pre-service training

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Partial Transcript: What did you think about the Philippines?

Segment Synopsis: Jealous speaks about getting ready to leave for Hawaii for training. She talks about her training and how Hawaii was similar to where she would volunteer in the Philippines. She felt training was valuable as it was very physical and included 10 hour/day language training. She talks about the training cohort and how many were selected to go to the Philippines. She speaks about being one of very few African Americans or people of color in the training cohort. She describes how her college experiences at Antioch College challenged her and prepared her for the Peace Corps. She continues recalling some of the experiences she had in training that helped prepare for her Peace Corps years.

Keywords: Application process; Barrio; Cultural training; Language training

Subjects: African Americans--Hawaii.; Antioch College.; Hilo (Hawaii); Japanese--Hawaii--Social life and customs.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; Tagalog language.

GPS: Hilo (Hawaii)

Map Coordinates: 19.705556, -155.085833
00:21:27 - Initial weeks in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer

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Partial Transcript: So when you went to the Philippines, did you go directly to your, your site?

Segment Synopsis: Jealous describes landing in Manila and how different the big city was from the barrio where she volunteered. Her first experiences were visiting regions and meeting people who welcomed them. She recalls that she was very ill from the food in the first few days and suffered narcolepsy from stress. She describes the importance of the American Catholic nuns and priests.

Keywords: Illness; Manilla (Philippines); Municipality of Siniloan (Philippines); Philippines 10 (training cohort)

Subjects: Laguna (Philippines : Province); Narcolepsy.; Nuns--Philippines.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.

GPS: Siniloan (Philippines)
Map Coordinates: 14.42, 121.45
00:27:44 - Peace Corps assignment in a village or barrio called Siniloan

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Partial Transcript: So, um, was it, um, kind of a rural, undeveloped area that you were in?

Segment Synopsis: Jealous describes the town. She lived with a family and she was adopted formally by the town. There was a typhoon during her Peace Corps service. She tells how her memories are divided into before and after the typhoon.

Keywords: Barrio; Living conditions; Municipality of Siniloan (Philippines); Villages

Subjects: Host family.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; Snakes--Philippines.; Typhoons--Philippines.; Water buffalo--Asia.

GPS: Siniloan (Philippines)
Map Coordinates: 14.42, 121.45
00:33:20 - Colorism in the Philippines

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Partial Transcript: So there was no, no time during, uh, your two years in, in this place where you thought that you made the wrong decision and wanted to go home?

Segment Synopsis: Jealous experienced ‘colorism’ and racial issues in the Philippines. Her skin color was light enough for people in the Philippines to accept her. She describes how they did not want her to get any darker in the sun. She relates that the other African American person in her cohort was darker and he did go home early.

Keywords: Inclusion; People of color; Skin color

Subjects: Colorism--Philippines.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; Race discrimination--Philippines.; Racism

00:37:00 - Peace Corps assignment: Education

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about your job.

Segment Synopsis: Jealous tells about working in the elementary school and was looked up to because she was an American. She describes the structure of the school buildings. She tells how she successfully handled a disciplinary problem in one of the classrooms and modeled American classroom decorum. She shares a story of the book donation from the program in the USA called Cares that donated books to foreign countries. She co-taught English and math and wrote a pre-school primer along with methodology workshops for teachers.

Keywords: Classrooms; Co-teachers; Confidence; Education programs; English (Language); Student discipline

Subjects: Classroom environment.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; Primary school teachers.; School libraries--Philippines.; Tagalog language.; Teacher-student relationships.

GPS: Siniloan (Philippines)
Map Coordinates: 14.42, 121.45
00:43:48 - Race relations in the Philippines / Reaction by Filipinos and Americans to President Kennedy's assassination

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, also, um, I was the first African American of course they'd ever seen.

Segment Synopsis: Jealous recalls that there were very few African Americans in the Philippines. The term “Negroes” was discussed with the principal of the school. She talks about how being an American was very wonderful and respected in the Philippines. There were strong feelings between Chinese or Japanese and the Philippine people. The Vietnam War was escalating during this time and many Filipinos did not know the USA was militarily involved until later in her Peace Corps service. She talks about how the assassination of Kennedy was a difficult time during her service. She explains the languages used in the Philippines. She became fluent in Tagalog.

Keywords: Language and languages; Language skills; Race discrimination; Race relations; Racism; Skin color; Vietnam War; “Negroes” (terminology)

Subjects: Blacks--Asia.; Chinese--Philippines--Ethnic identity.; Japanese--Philippines--Ethnic identity.; Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963--Assassination.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; Tagalog language.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975.

00:52:15 - Close of Service reflections

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Partial Transcript: Well it sounds like you didn’t really encounter any great, uh, difficulties in adjusting to the, the culture...

Segment Synopsis: Jealous would have stayed a third year in the Peace Corps. She was afraid if she stayed an additional year in the Philippines she might not return to the USA. She talks about how she could be herself in the Philippines and did not experience any racism in the Philippines. She tells of her continued correspondence with her host family for at least 20 years, until her work and family made it difficult to continue.

Keywords: Coming home; Fluency

Subjects: Host families.; Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; Race discrimination--Philippines.; Self-confidence.

00:57:27 - Peace Corps staff job and diversity training

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Partial Transcript: --Well, let’s talk about your, uh, your Peace Corps, um, staff job.

Segment Synopsis: Jealous was asked to train new Peace Corps Philippines volunteers in San Jose, California for the summer. She relates that there was not much re-entry help from the Peace Corps so this summer job helped her transition back into American life. She relates a racial problem with a very dark skinned African American volunteer from the south and how hard it was for him to socialize with the white people. She recommends that the Peace Corps has staff that are both racially diverse and also trained to help new volunteers cope. She gives examples of her life experience with racial injustice.

Keywords: Diversity in the Peace Corps; Peace Corps staff; Race discrimination; Race relations; Racism; San Jose State University (United States)

Subjects: Employment re-entry--United States.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; San José State University.; Training

GPS: San Jose State University (United States)
Map Coordinates: 37.3353, -121.8813
01:09:23 - Peace Corps experience influenced the rest of her life

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Partial Transcript: How do you think that, that, um, PC experience as a young person might have influenced the, the rest of your life?

Segment Synopsis: Jealous describes various ways that her Peace Corps experiences taught her to live happily with very few material things. She had faith in her capacity to deal with difficult situations after her service, including travel to various countries. She describes her career and education after returning from Peace Corps Philippines.

Keywords: Career paths; Happiness; Personal growth

Subjects: Career changes.; Contentment.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Self-confidence. Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.

01:19:41 - Stories from memories of her time in the Philippines

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Partial Transcript: Alright, well, are there any, any last thoughts you’d like to add?

Segment Synopsis: Jealous relates several memories of food eaten, areas she visited, and cultural surprises.

Keywords: Deserts (Philippines); Duck eggs; Food culture; Fruit Bats

Subjects: Food--Philippines.; Peace Corps (U.S.); Peace Corps (U.S.)--Philippines.; Political violence--Philippines.