Interview with Genevieve Lockhart, August 13, 1997

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Interview with Genevieve Lockhart, August 13, 1997
Lockhart, Genevieve ( Interviewee )
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Subjects / Keywords:
African Americans -- Florida
Overtown Oral History Collection ( local )
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This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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This interview is part of the 'Overtown Collection' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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4oTocaiN. o~Cf

August 13, 1997

(Ms. Yvonne Daily): This is Yvonne Daily and today is August

13, 1997. I'm at the home of Mrs. Genevieve Lockheart in Overtown

at 1291 Northwest Fifty-Second Street. This is Side #1 of the

first Tape.

Mrs. Lockheart, I am about to ask you some questions regarding

your family like and the first question I will ask you is where

were your parents born:

(Mrs. Genevieve Lockheart): My parents were born in the

Bahamas, mother and father.

(Ms. Daily): Did they ever live in Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Yes, when they left the Bahamas, when they

left the Bahamas, they went to Key West, Florida and they lived

there for a number of years and then afterwards they came to Miami

and when they came to Miami (and you hear that phone?)...

(Ms. Daily): ...I don't hear it.

(Mrs. Lockheart): I was born here in Miami, February 22,

1924, two years before the '26 Hurricane, they told me (go ahead).

(Ms. Daily): What years did they live in Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): What years?

(Ms. Daily): Yes

(Mrs. Lockheart): They were before I was born, I understand

they built the house there on Fifth Avenue, 1733 Northwest Fifth

Avenue. I don't know what year they built it but I know I was born

in that in that area so it was there, they must have built it prior


to '24, I guess, I'd say '22 or '23 because I was the first child

born in the house.

(Ms. Daily): What sort of jobs did they have?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well at that time, my mother was just a

house wife and my father, I think, Oh boy, I can't remember neither

place...he worked at a hardware store, I don't whether he say it

was Bailey's...I can't remember the name it's been so long but he

was employed in a hardware store some place on Flagler Street, I

don't remember. My mother was a house wife.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe what it was like growing up

in your household, parents' household?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Yes. In the household they were both

Christian people, my father an Episcopalian, my mother was a

methodist lady and as a child I remember growing up and we went to

Sunday School at St. Peters African Orthodox Church on Third Court

and Seventeenth Street and grew up in a christian and loving

environment where the father provided everything. We had a father

for many years before he died and he took care of us. There were

four children in the family, two boys and two girls and all of us

went to school that I can...all of us went to school, attended the

Dunbar Elementary School, and from there we graduated, I graduated

since I'm the one talking. I graduated from Booker Washington and,

of course, at that time things were getting to be pretty hard for

parents. They didn't have much money because they weren't paying

large salaries like they doing now but they did send me to Florida

A&M College where I was able to finish and get a B.S. Degree and


they helped the other children, cause my brother, well he went to

Florida A&M too and studied science and at that time he was drafted

into the army the latter part of his school year and so he went

there and I think he was in the army about, I'm just guessing now,

2 or 3 years so when he returned he decided he wanted to go to

dental school, so he went to Howard University and completed his

dental school and presently he's a dentist in ah 1001 Northwest

Fifty-Fourth Street, Dr. George K. Sands. The other sister, she

went to Shaw University and she finished and worked for a number of

years at Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School and the youngest

brother who was David, David went to Charleston, West Virginia and

he took industrial arts. And after my a number of years he got

married and had a son and then he got sick and he died so there are

only three of us living, two girls and one boy.

(Ms. Daily): The next set of questions will be regarding

employment between 1945 and 1970, describe the jobs you had.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Thus far, during that period of time, when

I finished school in early '40s at Florida A&M, there was no

employment for the people in this area. Teachers who were working

at that time, they stayed on their jobs until either they died or

retired so unfortunately, I didn't get a job here in Dade County so

then I went back to Tallahassee and worked at the Lincoln High

School for 4 years. Then later, after my mother became ill and I

came back to Miami and that's where I got a job, at Booker T.

Washington as a registrar of the school with Mr...the late Charles

L. Rays and I stayed there I guess until about 1963...'62 or '63


and there was an opening in the Teacher Core Program, pardon me,

for personnel then I went over to the University of Miami and

stayed there for 3 years in this program, Teacher Core Program and

at the completion of that time I was assigned to the Allapattah

Junior High School where I remained until I retired.

(Ms. Daily): Where...well you did tell me about those jobs,

where they were. What years did you have those jobs?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I can't remember the years, I can't go

back. Now, at Lincoln High School, I'm just gone guess now,

because I can't remember. 1940 until about 1945, Lincoln High

School, Tallahassee, Florida and 19...must have been '45, I can

think of it...'45 or '46, Booker T. in Miami until 1963 I believe.

Then from '63 until maybe '63...3 years that was '66, I was in the

University of Miami, National Teacher Core Program and from

there...when I left there in '63, I it wasn't '63, it was

a little later than that. It was '70 when I went to Allapattah and

I went to Allapattah in 1970 and there I remained until I retired

in 1988, it think it was '88.

(Ms. Daily): What kinds of hours did you work?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well the hours fluctuated, at sometimes I

was on a schedule from 8 until 5 and then at other times I was on

a schedule from 7:00 o'clock in the morning until 5.

(Ms. Daily): When and why did you leave those jobs?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, I had an opportunity to increase

salary like most of us and I left Lincoln High School because of

illness of mother and then I came here, got a job in Miami. There


I stayed until opportunity opened for the Teacher Core Program,

that increased my salary, then when I left there I went to

Allapattah, my neighborhood school.

(Ms. Daily): How did you find work?

(Mrs. Lockheart): How did I find work?

(Ms. Daily): Umm hum.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well work was kind of difficult in that day

and time to find because ah, I was turned down at Dade County when

I first finished because the enrollment was low and they didn't

hire you until enrollments would pull up and evidently enrollment

didn't increase so I was still home waiting for a job and after

there was an opportunity at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, I

went there where I got a job as teacher of business and english and

stayed there for 4 years and left there because of illness of my

mother in Miami and I was the eldest one, had to come down and be

with her and that's all.

(Ms. Daily): Where did the other members of your family work?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, other members of my family did very

little work because they were in school most of the time and when

they came, I told you my sister worked at Phyllis Wheatley, until

she retired, then my brother was in the service and after a stint

of about two years in there, he went to Howard University and when

he came back from Howard, he opened up his dental shop on Sixteenth

Street and Third Avenue in Miami and from there he transferred to

1001 Northwest Fifty-Fourth Street, there he is until this very



(Ms. Daily): Now this set of questions will be concerning

businesses and the first one asked, what kind of business did you


(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, I didn't own no business, it was

parents had rental business. Yeah, my parents had rental houses,

umm Northwest Fourth Avenue and Fourteenth Terrace but I was in the

school system, you know I didn't own no business.

(Ms. Daily): Where were those jobs located or where was their

business located?

(Mrs. Lockheart): There business was located on the corner of

Fourteenth Street...Fourteenth Terrace, I'm sorry, and Fourth

Avenue, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Who were his employees?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, it always was, they had little

houses, there. They were like duplexes, they were rental, they had

rental houses, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Who were your customers?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I guess people from the community who

rented the houses, I don't know there names, I don't remember the

names, you know that.

(Ms. Daily): Whom was their main competition? Did they have

competition, who were their main competition?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Like who? Like what?

(Ms. Daily): Who competed with them? Did they have

competitors in the rental business?

(Ms. Lockheart): People in the house?


(Ms. Daily): No, your parents.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh, no, I don't think they had any

problems, no because tenants in that day and time, they paid

directly to the homeowners, oh no, they didn't have no complaints,

umm hum, they didn't have no rental agent

(Ms. Daily): When and why did you move, or did they move or

close the business?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, they didn't move or close the

business, 1-95 came back and dispossessed us and that's why we no

longer have those rental units.

(Ms. Daily): How did 1-95 dispossess them? What happened

really when 1-95 came through?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, I suppose they did most of the

dealing with my mother because they didn't deal with me, I was in

the school system so I didn't have much dealing with them, It was

my mother who dealt with them at that time because the rental

business was in her name after my father died.

(Ms. Daily): So did she sell to them or did she just move


(Mrs. Lockheart): No, she did not sell to them, they just

took what we had. They decided what they what they were going to

do and sent her a notice that they were obtaining the property,

that's all I can hear her say. Now how much she got for it, I

don't know. At that time she had improved on the property. She

umm...let me see what she had done? She had removed those small

houses and had put up a 10 unit apartment house there and we


obtained a mortgage through the D&H Construction. I don't know,

that's all I heard her say and, of course, when 1-95 went through

there in '60...between '65, she had not completed the payment for

the new project so ah, she able...she said, they paid her just

enough money to pay out the mortgage and she had nothing left for

her and we thought this was a real terrible thing because we had it

only had about 5 years, the improvement of the new...they were two-

bedroom units, apartments listed there.

(Ms. Daily): And were they demolished? They were totally


(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh, they tore the whole thing down, that

whole avenue, the whole section went, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): So she had no chance to relocate or do business

anywhere else because she got nothing?

(Mrs. Lockheart): No, un hun, un hun, didn't have any money,

no, un hun.

(Ms. Daily): Okay, I'm going to move on.

(Mrs. Lockheart): This was not the home now, this is...was

her talking about business?

(Ms. Daily): Yes, the business.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Go ahead.

(Ms. Daily): I'm going move on to another set of questions

and these questions are regarding neighborhood life between 1945

and 1970.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Ninety what?

(Ms. Daily): '95 and '45 and '70


(Mrs. Lockheart): What did you say '90...neighborhood what?

(Ms. Daily): Neighborhood life.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh yeah, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe your place of residence?

(Mrs. Lockheart): The place of residence where we lived is 1733

Northwest Fifth Avenue was a very lovable neighborhood where each

neighbor looked out for one another children. If anything

happened, the neighborhood would take over, more like a family

living affair and...cause everyone in the neighborhood owned their

home, there was no rental in the neighborhood, not on Fifth Avenue

between Seventeenth and Nineteenth Street. It was residential.

(Ms. Daily): Who lived in your household?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Who lived in the household? My mother, I

was there, my brother until he went to the service, the other

brother and sister, just the family no one else.

(Ms. Daily): Your father too?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Until he died, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe the street where you lived?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, Fifth Avenue was a very quiet street,

like I said everybody knew one other and ah, we had no stores in

that area at that time. The nearest grocery store to us was on

Fourth Avenue and Seventeenth Street and everybody did they

shopping either there or at he Tip Top Market on Fifth Street and

Miami Avenue.

(Ms. Daily): Who were your neighbors?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh, you want their names?


(Ms. Daily): If you can.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Yeah, I can remember. Umm, Mr. and Mrs.

William Bethel and children was one, they were on the north side of

us. On the south was Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Butler and then next to

them was Mr. and Mrs. Martin, Mr. (who else)...Mr. Kelly who was a

relative that sold pop in Liberty City at that time and Mr. and

Mrs. Johnson and across the street was Mr. and Mrs. Newbold, Mr.

and Mrs. Joe Brady, umm Mrs., a lady named Mrs. Smith, let's see

who else can I remember. Mr. and Mrs. Ingram and their children.

(Ms. Daily): Is that any relation to umm Mayor Ingram?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Who?

(Ms. Daily): Are they any relation to Mayor Ingram?, the


(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh, they may be cousins, I don't know, they

may be, I don't know...and let's see, who else, and on the corner

lived Reverend and Mrs. Gamble, you...did you know?

(Ms. Daily): I've heard the name.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Yeah, they have a church right down here on

Forty-Seventh, not Forty-Seventh, Forty-Third Street and Nineteenth


(Ms. Daily): Where did they work?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Now how am to know where they worked, they

were employed in the community. Where I don't know, I never asked

them, children don't ask people where they work.

(Ms. Daily): What happened to those neighbors?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, most of those neighbors are dead now


but they had heirs that were left and their children are scattered,

some still live in Miami and some in Chicago, New York, you name it

and they are there. I don't know where they are, they are all


(Ms. Daily): Do you know when they leave, when they left the

neighborhood, did they...did you leave them there or did the 95

have any effect on them?

(Mrs. Lockheart): The 95 had effect on them, that why they

moved so, so scattered, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Okay, but you can't say exactly when they moved


(Mrs. Lockheart): No, I don't remember. It was either

between 1963 or maybe '65 or something during that time, when

people leave they don't tell you where they going, un hum, you

know, neighbors don't tell you. This day and time, they don't tell

you they moved, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe the main business areas you

went to in Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Some of the business areas I went to? I

use to go on Flagler Street to Miami...on Burdine's, I went to

Byrons Department Store, I went to the Hub. We shopped at the Tip

Top, got groceries and umm, let me see what other stores I went to

and maybe, oh neighborhood stores.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe where your family went to the

beauty shop or barber shop?

(Mrs. Lockheart): At that time people didn't go to no beauty


shop, because the children they would just wash your hair and put

it in candy curls, you didn't know nothing about no beauty shop and

the barber shop, I know my brothers went to the barber shop,

Smith's barber shop on Seventeenth Street and Fourth Avenue, that's

all I can remember.

(Ms. Daily): But did your mom go the beauty shop?

(Mrs. Lockheart): No. Mother never went to the beauty shop

in her life.

(Ms. Daily): Okay and where did you buy groceries?

(Mrs. Lockheart): The Tip Top, I told you. The Tip Top

grocery on Fifth Avenue, not Fifth Avenue, what's that? On what

street was the Tip Top on? Seventh Street between Miami Avenue and

Second Court or something like that.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe where your family went to the


(Mrs. Lockheart): Byron's Drugstore downtown on Flagler


(Ms. Daily): Could you describe where your family went to the


(Mrs. Lockheart): Cleaners? At that time, you were your own

cleaner, you did you own work. I don't recall, I really don't

recall, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe the churches your family


(Mrs. Lockheart): Yes I can. Ah, there two churches

involved. St. Mary's Wesleyan Methodist Church which is still in


existence on Forty-Eight Street and Ninth Avenue, my mother

attended and my father, St. Peter's A.O. Cathedral, Third Court

between Seventeenth Street and Nineteenth Street.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe where you went for

entertainment such as theaters, bars, restaurants, sporting events?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, I don't think my father went to no

bar. I know my mother never went to no bar and at that time, the

only event or what not was radio in your house. I don't remember

then going no place, you know people didn't have...

(Ms. Daily): I've heard people talking about the Classic...or

(Mrs. Lockheart): They didn't go to nothing like that, no un

hun, un hun.

(Ms. Daily): I've heard about some hotels that were real


(Mrs. Lockheart): No, my parents, they were christians, they

didn't go to nothing like that, un hun.

(Ms. Daily): When someone in your family got sick where did

they go to the doctor's office?

(Mrs. Lockheart): There was a doctor...there were two doctors

they went to. One was a man by the name of Dr. E.P. Harley, he was

on Eighth Street between Third Avenue and Fourth and another was

Dr. Sawyer, I think his...I don't know where his office...he was on

Second Avenue and Fourteenth Street somewhere. They had two

family...we had two family doctors, Dr. E.P. Harley and Dr. William

B. Sawyer, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): How long did you continue to patronize those



(Mrs. Lockheart): Say what?

(Ms. Daily): How long did you continue to patronize those


(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, if we needed them, we would go there,

umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): When did you begin to shop or go to

entertainment outside of Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, I'm trying to think what I activities

I went to in Overtown. Well being a member of Delta Sigma Theta

Sorority, I went to a Delta dance on Second Avenue that was between

Eleventh and Tenth and occasionally I would go to a football game

at the Dorsey park and ah, yeah I went to the Lyric Theater's

movies occasionally and that's about the only things that I can


(Ms. Daily): During the period from 1945 to 1970 what were

the main things that made Overtown a community?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well I would say we were a community

because I would say everybody was lovable and ah took everybody

family as their own. They stuck together and it was just a short

area. If I can recall, the community only extended from Sixth

Street to about Twenty-First Street and from West of Miami Sixth Avenue or Sixth Court. It was just a short area,

I mean a short section.

(Ms. Daily): How and when did the sense of community change?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well the community changed right after 1-95


went through and split everybody. That was a terrible thing

because had gone different places and different areas, like you

say, you lost contact because we more family like but after the

split there was no more family and the con...and ah, a love...being

more lovable and appreciative of having neighbors because it was


(Ms. Daily): How has Overtown changed since 1970?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Since 1970? Well, really I don't go

through there very much, it's so depressing to go through there

with building boarded up and houses knocked down and haven't been

replaced and umm the people seem like they're derelicts most on the

streets and whatnot and there to extract whatever you have from you

and many years nobody bothers you if you travel among that way. So

it has changed greatly to me.

(Ms. Daily): This set of questions will be regarding 1-95.

When and how did you first hear about the building of I-95?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, I really didn't hear about it until

I came home from school and mother was telling them people coming

through there and they say they wanted to buy the land and they

weren't interested in the house, they were just looking for land,

umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Where were you living?

(Mrs. Lockheart): At 1733 Northwest Fifth Avenue.

(Ms. Daily): Did you rent or own the place you lived in at

the time?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Yeah, I told you I was born and raised


there so we lived there, umm hum, it was ours, it was homeowners.

(Ms. Daily):

(Ms. Daily): What kind of a reaction was there to the news

that an expressway would come through Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well people were excited and they were

sorry that it was coming through cause they didn't need it to come

through and ah, there was no warning to them. Nobody explained

nothing to them. Ah just told them they were coming through to

take their land and that was all. No meetings, townhouses, nothing

like that was held, no town meetings or nothing like that, as far

as I can remember.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe what was said about the

expressway at the time? How the people felt? How did they express


(Mrs. Lockheart): They expressed themselves that it really

wasn't that much help to our community, usually it was more to the

people to the north, you know, because it destroyed and divided our


(Ms. Daily): What did the others who were implementing this

change, what did they have to say about it?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I don't know, I didn't attend any meetings.

(Ms. Daily): They never had any...

(Mrs. Lockheart): No, no, they hadn't made no comment, un

hum. I know it caused many people to lose their lives, elderly

people because when they took their property they had nowhere to go

and they had insufficient money to buy to go any place else, that's


all I can say.

(Ms. Daily): What affect did you thing 1-95 would have on

Overtown at the time? How, what did you feel?

(Mrs. Lockheart): During that time? Like I said, divided the

community and caused the people to go in various areas, you know,

split them up and it was never rebuilt, it was never rebuilt, un


(Ms. Daily): Did you discuss 1-95 with any of your neighbors?

(Mrs. Lockheart): What, this?

(Ms. Daily): The passing through of the 95? Did you discuss


(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh sure, the neighbors discussed it. They

discussed it and they were terribly upset about it and grieved that

it had to happened and because a lot of them like I said became ill

and died as a result of having to remove from their homesite that

they had been to X number of years, you know.

(Ms. Daily): Did you attend...well you did say that there was

no meeting at all.

(Mrs. Lockheart): No, no meeting, not that I know

mother didn't tell me there was no meeting so I don't know.

(Ms. Daily): What was the most important impact of the

expressway on you, you as the individual?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well as an individual, at that time, I

didn't have a car so I really didn't need no expressway. For all

the area that we lived, our little car could just take us around

but like you said, it did divide us and tore us apart and tore up


the community, tore up our businesses, where we had it and

destroyed our home. So I was really upset.

(Ms. Daily): What was it like when the expressway was being


(Mrs. Lockheart): Well I don't know much about the

construction, what they did because that was out of our area, you

know up the northern area, I don't know, un hum.

(Ms. Daily): What was the community able to get from public

officials in return for 1-95 going through Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I don't think they got anything. Now,

that's just my thinking.

(Ms. Daily): The next set of questions umm, I'll ask you is

ah what...this set of question regarding your decision,

if your decision to move was because of 1-95.

(Mrs. Lockheart): You mean when I moved now?

(Ms. Daily): When you moved then..

(Mrs. Lockheart): un hun.

(Ms. Daily): If the decision you made then was because of the

1-95 passing through.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh yeah, that's why I moved out here in the

Allapattah area. (Telephone ringing) Pardon me one second.

(Ms. Daily): When did you decide to change your place of


(Mrs. Lockheart): In 1960. Between '60 and '61 when I moved

out here.

(Ms. Daily): Why do you think it was appropriate to change


your place of residence?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Because 1-95 had destroyed our home and it

was no place for me to live so I had to find a new place and they

didn't offer us nothing.

(Ms. Daily): To whom did you sell your property?

(Mrs. Lockheart): To whom did we sell it? We didn't sell it.

They destroyed it, they knocked it down.

(Ms. Daily): Why did you decide to sell the property to that

person or company?

(Mrs. Lockheart): We didn't decide, they decided, they came

and told us that they had to get rid of it. They were going to

knock it down if we didn't get rid of it.

(Ms. Daily): Were you fairly compensated?

(Mrs. Lockheart): No we were not fairly compensated?

(Ms. Daily): How long were you given to pack up and get out?

(Mrs. Lockheart): The house or the apartment? The house? I

think it was just about a month...a month's notice.

(Ms. Daily): What happened to the property after you sold it?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well, since the property has been sold, I

think in that area, now they have...they had built some apartments

across the street and may have a pool in the site where we lived

called the Williams' Pool on Fifth Avenue, yeah. They put up

apartments after a couple years, they didn't do it right away,

yeah, yeah, they built apartments, it's right near the catholic

church, where do you live? Let me see if you know anything about



(Ms. Daily): I live in North Miami Beach.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh no, oh no, you fancy lady, umm hum, no.

(Ms. Daily): Where did you relocate?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Here. I told you 1291 Northwest Fifty-

Second Street.

(Ms. Daily): 1291 Northwest Fifty-Second Street?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Un hum.

(Ms. Daily): What was the mortgage or rent your new place

compared to your former residence?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well it was extremely high, extremely high

because the former place we lived rent free because we owned it.

(Ms. Daily): How did your choose your new residence?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well it was chosen by my husband. I didn't

know anything about it until I came...We chose it together I think,

umm hum after they opened this Allapattah area to Black. This was

not open to Blacks at first because the school on the corner was

White but after they opened it, that's how we were able to choose

the site, we had a chance.

(Ms. Daily): Was the neighborhood in your new location

different from or similar to the neighborhood from which you moved?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Yeah, it was quite different because we had

a mixture of Whites and just a few Blacks were moving in gradually.

(Ms. Daily): So how was it? Was it better or...

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well no...well it was a little quieter, the

people tried to keep up their homes and keep the area nice and they

were friendly. Some of them were friendly and others weren't cause


some of them took "White Flight" the minute they saw Blacks coming

and they, they got out.

(Ms. Daily): The next set of questions I ask you will be

concerning eminent domain and the house or apartment that you had,

if it was taken by the state, the eminent domain?

(Mrs. Lockheart): No, I don't how they took it under what

domain but I know bout...I don't know about domain, they take it

they say they want to use it for government or for betterment of

the community but I don't know...they used it just for 1-95 and did

what they wanted to do with it.

(Ms. Daily): What year did you move?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Did I move?

(Ms. Daily): From Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I think, like I said, it was either '63 or

'65, I'm not sure which one.

(Ms. Daily): Who informed you that you had to move?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Now how do I know? Somebody went and told

mother, I don't know, I wasn't there but some man went by...I'll

tell you what he did say because she was so upset with him, lady

you can have your house, put it on your back, all we want is your

land, you know how crackers can be when they talking to Black


(Ms. Daily): Were you evicted?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Hun?

(Ms. Daily): Were you evicted?

(Mrs. Lockheart): No, we got out in the time they said but


the we had to go house hunting for my mother for her to find some

place to live.

(Ms. Daily): What relocation money did you receive?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Hun?

(Ms. Daily): What relocation money?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Oh, not any.

(Ms. Daily): What was...This other set of questions will be

regarding 1-395 and State Road 836.

(Mrs. Lockheart): That's away from me. Go ahead.

(Ms. Daily): When and how did you first hear about the

building of 1-395 and State Road 836?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I don't remember the year but I think I

read in the papers but I don't remember the year.

(Ms. Daily): Where were you living?

(Mrs. Lockheart): At that time?

(Ms. Daily): Umm hum.

(Mrs. Lockheart): 1291 Northwest Fifty-Second.

(Ms. Daily): What kind of reaction was to the news that the

expressway would come through Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well people were not ready for it and they

knew it would tear up our community and we would be displaced and

not get sufficient aid to assist you moving. It didn't add..during

that time, with my mother, I don't know other people could have

gotten something but we didn't get anything, un hun, un hun.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe what was said about the

expressway at the time?


(Mrs. Lockheart): People didn't want it. They weren't

interested in it. It was just to help the businesses, I guess, for

others but not to help the minority for any. I don't know if any

of them received employment as a result of it, I don't know about

that, I don't know.

(Ms. Daily): What effect did you thing 1-395 and State Road

836 would have on Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well I don't see where it would help

Overtown any because it's away from Overtown area. It's too south,

too far from them. It's that 836 that what runs down toward

Coconut Grove and that area? That didn't have the people from


(Ms. Daily): Now this next set of questions will be regarding

public housing. First one asked, When and how did you first hear

about the building of public housing in Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I don't think I ever heard about it, un

hun. I know they have some public housing, but I didn't hear


(Ms. Daily): Another set of questions will be regarding

Metro-rail. When and how did you first hear about the building of


(Mrs. Lockheart): I don't know which year it was but Metro-

rail has been helpful in there are many persons who don't have

transportation they are able to use to get back and forth to work

so that is an advantage.

(Ms. Daily): Where were you living when you heard about?


(Mrs. Lockheart): 1291 Northwest Fifty-Second Street, same


(Ms. Daily): What kind of reaction was there to the news that

the Metro-rail would come through Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I don't know. The only thing I know,

people who were working said it would have been helpful to them job

wise, it would cut down a lot of extra walking that the bus transit

did not furnish for them because many persons had to walk to their

jobs because there was no adequate transportation.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe what was said about the

Metro-rail at the time?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I don't know what they said about it, un


(Mrs. Lockheart): Did you discuss it with your neighbors?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well not any of my neighbors in this area

were effected, not in this area because the Metro-rail, it does go

to Allapattah, Thirty-Six but it doesn't effect us right and

through her, most of them catch the jitney or either...what else

they have? The jitney and Sunlight or something or whatever it is

and they just go down to Flager Street and what not so it really

does help unless you have car...if you don't have a car, the Metro-

rail is no good to you, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): Now the next set of questions, I'll ask you will

be regarding the future of Overtown. What are the most important

and misconceptions about Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): I mean, I think they need to build, rebuild


some residential areas for the people over there. You have a

couple schools and a few churches but there is more that needs to

be done. I think they should revamp the dilapidated houses or

build them up so that will encourage people to go over there and

umm improve the street areas, give better police protection and

other services that they need over there. Beautification, that's

one thing that is needed over there. It's so drab.

(Ms. Daily): But do you think there are misconceptions,

people have ah misconceptions about the Overtown area?

(Mrs. Lockheart): No, I don't they have. I think they would

back, some of them if it was built up and there was some

residential areas and beautification and more businesses provide

for them so they can get employment and all that. I think some of

them might go back that are not homesteaded presently.

(Ms. Daily): What do you think public officials most need to

know about Overtown?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well they need to have some townhouses,

town meetings and be more informative and give correct information

instead a lot of distortion and leaving the minority group for the

last to find out anything that's going on.

(Ms. Daily): What should be the relationship between Overtown

and Downtown Miami?

(Mrs. Lockheart): It should be a close relationship and not

so much as distinction, dividing line and I think there should be

common housing for everyone and umm, what else? Like you say if

business, if they had more business over there, that would bring


the people, umm hum.

(Ms. Daily): When you have visitors from out of town, where

do you take them to show them culture and history of Dade County's

African-American community?

(Mrs. Lockheart): It's so limited. When I have visitors

where do I take them? Well most of my visitors, when they come,

they want to see the Miami Beach area and they want to be able to

go swimming and there is very little in area for that other than we

did have the ah...what's the man's name? The Belkin's Pool which

they closed down, they just reopened it for summer I think but most

visitors want to go there or either down on the Keys. There is

nothing Overtown to show them.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe in your own words what kind

of community you would like for Overtown to be in the future?

Describe your vision as best as you can?

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well my vision, Overtown in the future, I

wish we would have a more closer relationship, family relationship,

new residents put down available for people, better schooling, ah,

other community activities around for them amusement centers for

them recreation for the elderly people and let's see who else? And

for visitors who come through. We don't have anything over there.

You're afraid to go over there, I know I am. I know I wouldn't go

over there at night.

(Ms. Daily): Well this is the end of the interview Mrs.


(Mrs. Lockheart): Un hun.


(Ms. Daily): Thank you very much.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Well you have been very nice.

(Ms. Daily): You have been very helpful.

(Mrs. Lockheart): And thanks a lot. I hope I haven't been

too negative but this is just the way I feel so I have to express

the way I feel and a lot of things I didn't know because like I say

it was told to my mother and she died in 1978 so I can only

remember what she had said. Thank you for coming, glad that I

could have been of a little help. I do hope that it will help.

(Ms. Daily): And it was nice being here with you too.

(Mrs. Lockheart): Yeah, well thank you.

(Ms. Daily): This is Yvonne Daily and today is August 13,

1997, I...this concludes the interview with Mrs. Genevieve

Lockheart at her home at 1291 Northwest Fifty-Second Avenue. This

is the end of Side #1, Tape #1

(Wrong this is the end of Side 2, Tape #1 per the typist)