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World War II

African American Studies

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Hill, Elighu Eldrid, Bronx African American History Project Dec 2010

Hill, Elighu Eldrid, Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Interviewee: Eldrid Hill

Interviewer: Dr. Mark Niason, Ricardo Soto-Lopez, Dana Driskell

Summarized by Sheina Ledesma

Eldrid Hill is a former lieutenant of the New York City Fire Department who has been a long time resident of both Harlem and the Bronx. He has also been deeply involved in local politics and urban planning and a member of Community Board 3 in the Bronx for several decades. Hill was born on July 12, 1928 in Harlem. His mother was from the Dutch side of the island of St. Martin while his father was from St. Kitts. His father was an alcoholic …


Peterson, Robert, Mark Naison Aug 2009

Peterson, Robert, Mark Naison

Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP)

Interviewee: Robert Peterson

Interviewer: Dr. Mark Naison, Kathleen Palmer

Date of Interview: August 5, 2009

Summarized by Michael Kavanagh

Born in Brooklyn, December 18th 1926, Peterson has lived in the Bronx most of his life. His Father’s parents were first generation European immigrants from Sweden and Norway, respectively. They both settled in Yonkers, NY, where they first met and later got married. In 1895, Peterson’s father was born in Yonkers, NY. At the beginning of World War I, his father joined the United States Navy as a ship navigator. When World War I ended, his father returned home and worked …


Nesbitt, Robert, Bronx African American History Project May 2009

Nesbitt, Robert, Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

Robert Nesbitt (b. January 8, 1924) was a soldier in the Tuskegee Airmen unit during World War II. He was born in Harlem, on 125th St. and Broadway, the son of an ex-military father from South Carolina and a mother from North Carolina. During this time, Harlem was fairly integrated: his neighbors included blacks as well as Irish, Jews, and Italians. When he was eight years old, his family moved to Corona in Queens, to an almost universally black neighborhood. Unlike many young African-American men, Nesbitt attended high school at Haarem high, where he developed a passion for mechanics …


Brown, Roscoe, Bronx African American History Project Oct 2008

Brown, Roscoe, Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

INTERVIEWER: Mark Naison

INTERVIEWEE: Roscoe Brown

SUMMARY BY: Patrick O’Donnell

Roscoe Brown is the head of a Center for Urban Education at CUNY. He grew up in Washington, DC during the Great Depression. Educated at Dunbar high school in DC and Springfield College in Massachusetts, Brown joined the Tuskegee Airmen in 1943. At Springfield, Brown was one of only 15 black students. He studied Pre-Med and played football, basketball and lacrosse—in fact, he was one of the first black lacrosse players in America.

Brown flew 68 missions with the airmen, and participated in the longest mission of all time: a …


Bataan, Joe, Bronx African American History Project Jun 2006

Bataan, Joe, Bronx African American History Project

Oral Histories

173/4(?)th Interview

Interviewee: Joe Bataan

Interviewer: Mark Naison, Maxine Gordon

Interview took place June 12, 2006

Summarized by Concetta Gleason 2-1-07

Bataan Nitalano’s mother is African-American and his father is Philippine. His father joined the navy and did a lot of seasonal work as a short-order cook. Bataan would see his father only six months of the year. His racially mixed family was a rarity in Spanish Harlem where he grew up. His father was Catholic and his mother encouraged his attending Church. Although the neighborhood was mostly Spanish, there was a lot of Blacks, Chinese and Jewish people …