Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown

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Barbara Brown

Heather White

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
East Carolina University

[This text is machine generated and may contain errors.]
Heather White (00:01)
Okay, we're recording today is Tuesday, December 27, and I'm here with Miss Barbara Brown. Is that right? Exactly. All right. And she is here to talk to us about the sycamore Hill project. Is it okay that I'm recording you? Okay, so you actually grew up in this area? Is that right? Most certainly. Okay. We're Where was your house about?

Barbara Brown (00:24)
All right. I was born on the corner of reed and East First Street. And, and that was back in 1941. And that's about I guess, about two or three blocks from you. And of course, I remember having to have to, to walk certain days to the church you. I've been a member of Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church here since I was 12 years old. And I would have to, I would come to church every Sunday. That was just a ruling in our house to come to suitable here. What was raining, halen sneaker store? We had to, we came to church. And of course, on Sunday, we had three services that we had Sunday school, the morning worship service, and what we call BTU, that BTU use that stood for that Baptist Training Union. So we had to do that every Sunday. And it was just a joy.

Heather White (01:34)
That's great. And so were you actually born when you started? You lived in this house was the first house you lived in? Okay. And did you live here until the redevelopment happened?

Barbara Brown (01:45)
I did. I went off to college in 1958. And came back and continue to live here.

Heather White (01:53)
Is there anything else you'd like us to know sort of about the area and the people who lived here?

Barbara Brown (02:01)
No, I can't remember. And will forever remember, I guess the little stores, grocery stores or candy stores that we had. my aunt and uncle, Mr. Mrs. Charles [Matglone], owned a candy store on the corner of Kotex, and East First Street. And I will forever remember going to just pay one penny for two or three pieces of candy. So that's just I can just remember that that's great. Between going coming to church here at Sycamore Hill, and between going to the Kansas store was just my life.

Heather White (02:42)
That's great. That's great. How do you have a sense of what people felt like when the community had to be moved?

Barbara Brown (02:52)
Yes, it was really. It was just almost touching. When I say that, because we were just one big happy family. In this area, we could go from house to house, we wouldn't have to lock our doors, we would at that time to raise our windows up and wouldn't be afraid. We just had this spread the village it took a village to as we said to raise the children. And that's exactly what happened here. I can go from one corner to the other. And when I got back home, my mother knew where I'd been. And if I bet she would know before I get before I get back home. And like I said we just was just one big happy family. And we just enjoy that. It's great. And it just made a difference in our lives. It's one so when we had to separate, it's just took a toll on some of us. Yeah, for some of us now we still keep in contact, which is a good thing when we see somebody and then we say from downtown. We just lie to you just enjoy that.

Heather White (04:05)
That's amazing. Yeah. And I think that's the big thing for letting people letting the community who didn't realize that this was a neighborhood and a whole community be aware of the history. Alright. That's great. Cool before I start recording anything else you'd like to add or anything

Barbara Brown (04:24)
I can think of in those days, we'll come back.

Heather White (04:31)
Yeah. Well, we just appreciate you participating so much, and I'm going to stop recording and let you take your photo and get out of this wind a little bit. Okay.

Barbara Brown
Photographs of Barbara Brown taken at the Town Common, Greenville, N.C., accompanied by an oral history interview, for the Beyond Bricks and Mortar project. Brown was born on the corner of Reade and East First Street in 1941. She was a member of the Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church. She recalls attending the church's Sunday School, the morning worship service, and the Baptist Training Union (BTU) every Sunday. She lived in the downtown area until she went to college in 1958, and then moved back to Greenville. She mentions that she will forever remember the businesses in downtown, including the candy store owned by her aunt and uncle. Interviewer: Heather White.
December 27, 2016
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oral histories
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