Interview with Marion Shannon, August 15, 1997

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Interview with Marion Shannon, August 15, 1997
Shannon, Marion ( 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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August 15, 1997

(Ms. Yvonne Daily): This is Yvonne Daily and today's date is

August 15, 1997. I'm interviewing Mrs. Marian Shannon at her home

in 2191 Northwest Fifty-Eighth Street and this is Side #1 of the

tape. Mrs. Shannon, I'm going to be asking you some questions

regarding family life. Where were your parents born.

(Mrs. Marian Shannon): My father was born in North Carolina

in a little town called Terry, I think and ah, my mom was born in

Pensacola, Florida.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, Overtown, well we never knew anything

about Overtown, it was called Colored Town and ah we lived

Twentieth, Twenty-First Terrace and Sixth Court and that was a good

ways from the regular downtown section of Colored Town. We were

all affected by the border was Seventh Avenue and Twenty-Second

Street to First Avenue and South to Fifth Street, that was, that

was the border for Black, and ah my, my parents came here with the

Silver Meter because my father worked on the Seaboard and that was

the ah like 1928 or '29 when the Seaboard came into ah Miami and ah

I came in 1938. I was in high school then I came. I went to

Booker T. Washington High School and finished there, from there I

went to Hampton Institute.

(Ms. Daily): What years did, did your parents live in


(Mrs. Shannon): They lived in Colored Town (laughter)


(Ms. Daily): (laughter) Okay.

(Mrs. Shannon): ...Ah from...well they moved a couple of

times because they lived near Eighteenth, Eighteenth Street and

Sixth Court on and...

(Ms. Daily): What years? they...I don't know the years

because that was before I came to live with them but umm I'd say

from '29 to '54 when we moved out here in Ridgeway.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): Umm, my father worked on the railroad. He

was a the headwaiter on the Seaboard and my mom didn't work until

I got out of high school.

(Ms. Daily): What work did she do?

(Mrs. Shannon): Ah, sometimes she worked in, in Miami Beach

homes and sometimes she worked at the little small businesses but

ah when she was working on Miami Beach, she had to have a card in

order to go to and forth.

(Ms. Daily): Where were your grandparents born?

(Mrs. Shannon): My grandmother was born in Avian, Michigan

and my grandfather was born in Escambia County, Florida.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): No.

(Ms. Daily): What...could you describe what it was like

growing up in your parent's household?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, one thing, you got your lessons

everyday and when Miss Ann Coleman took one of the little houses

that she had in her yard and made a little library out of it, I


would, in the afternoons at the library after I had done my

homework and ah most, most of my time was spent at home. We didn't

have a lot of places to go for young people you know and ah, we

went to the movies on Saturday (laugher). But Booker T. was like

the hub, they always had some activities going on at the school

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

regarding employment from 1945 to 1970. The first one is, describe

the jobs you had.

(Mrs. Shannon): I only had one and that was Booker T.

Washington when I came out of college in 1944. I started working

at Booker T. Washington, my alma mater umm in 19...September, 1944

and didn't stop until 40 years later, 1984.

(Ms. Daily): What did you do?

(Mrs. Shannon): I first started as classroom teacher, then a

counselor, then a test person, did all the testing.

(Ms. Daily): What year, years did you have this job?

(Mrs. Shannon): 1944 to 1984.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): (Laughter) Well doing those hours, times, we

had so much to try to get into minds of the kids until sometime I

would stay after school and work with kids til 5:00 o'clock.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): I retired.

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


(Mrs. Shannon): Ah, Charles L. Williams was the principal of


the school and he also attended umm Hampton Institute during the

summer and they told him about me and I, I was already ready to go

to New Orleans to take a job at Southern University and he called

the president and told him he wanted to keep me here and I was glad

cause I, I was really young, I didn't want to leave my ma

(laughter), so I, I got the job. He wanted someone to start a

newspapers, you know, and I had been the editor of the newspaper on

campus plus I had done some columns for the Miami Times when I was

high school, so I got the job.

(Ms. Daily): How did you get to work?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, before I got an automobile, I walked to

Twentieth Street and Sixth Avenue (sneeze excuse me) and sometime

I would get a ride and sometime I wouldn't but I'd walk all the way

down Sixth Avenue til I got to Thirteenth Street and Booker T.

(laughter), walked.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): I didn't have anybody else in my family here

but my mom and dad.

(Ms. Daily): So you're an only child (laughter).

(Mrs. Shannon): Oh, yes, my mom had regretted that a lot of

times (laughter).

(Ms. Daily): Beginning in the late 1950's many immigrants

moved to Miami from the Caribbean including Cuba, Haiti and other

countries. Did those immigrants compete with Overtown residents

for jobs?

(Mrs. Shannon): Not in the beginning ah because ah before


integration in '68, you know, there were, there were always jobs.

I mean if you wanted to find a job, you could find a job, you may

not want to do that particular thing but that was a stop gap, you

know, until you could get something better. Learn, learn a trade

and things like that but ah, after the...I think the big influx was

in 1980 when the Mariels came from Cuba then there was competition

because they would work just for food and stuff, you know, and once

my mother was working at a shrimp place and she came and said one

afternoon that umm, they had hired two the week before and those

two had brought others in, you know (laughter) so that after a

while it was no place for the American Black.

(Ms. Daily): Do you recall people moving into the area from

out of town other than the immigrants?

(Mrs. Shannon): Not, no. Only those people who came

from the north ah with Whites. They, they had their rooms over

there but they still came over and, and mangled with everybody in

the Colored district.

(Ms. Daily): Ah, where were they from?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, we had some from Canada and Michigan,

New York, New Jersey. Most of times, you know, just the northeast,

most of the time.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, some of them got rooms at the Mary

Elizabeth Hotel and some of them umm went to the Marguerite Ann, I

think it was the Marguerite, can't remember if it was the

Marguerite Ann, anyway it was on umm Second Avenue near Ninth


Street, a that was a hotel that was established there. Umm and

some of them lived with friends, you know, because they could go

backwards and forward from the area, back to Miami Beach.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): Most of, most of ah taking care of children

and ah cooking, and cleaning and things like that. Sometime you

got chauffeurs, people who drove.

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

neighborhood life between 1945 and 1970. Could you describe your

place of residence?

(Mrs. Shannon): Umm hum, we were, we lived on the corner of

Sixth Court and Twenty-First Terrace. We had ah front porch that

was screened in, we had living room, a dining room and a kitchen on

one side then we had a hallway and then we had front bedroom, the

bathroom and then the back bedroom and then on the outside we had

a back porch.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): My mother, my father and myself.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): Yeah, it wasn't paved (laughter). Neither,

neither side was paved. Every once in a while they'd threw a

little tar.

(Ms. Daily): Ummm hum and ah anything else that you can

remember that would describe the street?

(Mrs. Shannon): Just sandy.

(Ms. Daily): Sandy.


(Mrs. Shannon): The only, only foliage you had was what you

planted, you know, bushes and stuff like that. Every

once and while you'd see a tree.

(Ms. Daily): Who were your neighbors?

(Mrs. Shannon): Ah the Forbes who lived on the, on the south

end of us, umm I can't remember their names but their last name was

Forbes and we didn't have anybody on the north end and on the, on

the west side was a vacant lot for along time and then they built

a building there. Ah some of the Sawyers' relatives moved down and

lived in it but our nearest neighbor back there was Rutledge family

and across the street, umm ah the Conyors lived on that corner and

ah on the angle from us were, were Father Gibson Norman and his ah,

his sisters and brothers.

(Ms. Daily): Where did they work?

(Mrs. Shannon): Ummm (laughter), well one of the, one of the

girls from the Russell family worked at Booker T. Umm Mrs. Conyors

worked in private homes and Mrs. Rutledge had a rooming house and,

and I don't know where Mr. Forbes worked but he use to play the

clarinet all the time so he must have been a musician somewhere


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

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, before we left, Mr. Forbes had died and

most of the Russells had dispersed in the Liberty City area. I

don't know the name of the people who lived around the corner, on

the north corner but ah that was like a rooming house and they came

and they went.


(Ms. Daily): When did they leave?

(Mrs. Shannon): Hum?

(Ms. Daily): When did they leave?

(Mrs. Shannon): I don't know, I don't remember. I, I'm sure

it was, it was after we left because we left in '54 and I'm sure it

was after we left, those that hadn't died.

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

went to in Overtown?

(Mrs. Shannon): (Laughter) well, there really wasn't a

gathering of businesses, they were stretched, you know, spaced out.

I used to work in Ward's Drugstore there on Eleventh, ah Eleventh

Street and Third Avenue ah in between umm doing summers, in between

school and that was Ward's Drugstore. Across from him was ah one

of those greasy spoons and then a doctor's office and then for a

long time on that corner, Eleventh Terrace and Third Avenue was ah

the Miami Times, the original publisher, A.T.S. Reeves, ah worked

there and then after he moved out to Liberty City, umm Mr. Davis

put a print shop there. Now that was about it in that section.

Further down they had the ah, a hall where they had little affairs

and Booker T. Dunn had a barbecue place, Ebenezer Church was on the

corner from umm Ward's Drugstore and down that way on Third Avenue

was Booker T. Dunn's barbecue place and one or two of the little

buildings there had "holes in the wall" you know where you could

pick up clothing and stuff and further down Third Avenue you had

Perry's Florist and the rest was housing and south to that was

Modern Theater and what else? They had a little, little drugstore,


Barclay's had a little drugstore right there on the corner. That

was about it for Third Avenue and Second where you had your tailor,

Joe Taylor had tailor shop and the Ritz Theater was there. Umm a

Tropical Dispatch Newspaper (laughter) and Par Funeral Home was on

the corner of Eleventh Street and Second Avenue, the rest was

housing across Eleventh Street. Ah on the west side of Second

Avenue was Ira P. Davis' Dental Office, ah Godfrey Hawkins Dental

Office and Polite's Restaurant and on that corner was Dennis

Smith's Grocery along there, on that corner. Farther down across

from the Ritz Theater, ah Montgomery had a grocery store and they

had the Rockland Palace and across the street you had Wades and

farther down Second Avenue you had Leonard's Department Store,

Leonard was where you bought most of your things. He was very

nice, he always gave things to the school, you know, awards and

things for the kids and ah they had the Mary Elizabeth Hotel.

Across from the Mary Elizabeth you had the Fiesta Club, it didn't

last too long and that, that's the biggest of...

(Ms. Daily): What's a greasy spoon (laughter)?

(Mrs. Shannon): Greasy spoon (laughter) where you know, well

we call it a greasy spoon, well I call it a greasy spoon is when it

doesn't look too good when you go in to eat.

(Ms. Daily): Could you describe where your family bought


(Mrs. Shannon): Ah, on Seventh Avenue was a little grocery

store and Seventh Avenue and Twentieth-First Terrace and I could

walk up there and ah get whatever my mom wanted me to get but a lot


of time my daddy would bring things off the road. Umm where he

could get a variety of stuff, you know, so we didn't depend too

much on stores when I was high school.

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

barber shop or the beauty shop?

(Mrs. Shannon): Umm hum, we went on Third Avenue to Mrs.

Green's beauty shop. Mrs. Green was mother's friend but Fanny had

a beauty shop on Third Avenue near Eighth Street near Greater

Bethel Church...Eighth Street and a lot of people did their own,

you know, (laughter) it wasn't such a big thing to go to the

hairdresser. I got to go the hairdresser when I was graduated from

high school (laughter) and Mrs. Green gave me those little Shirley

Temple curls, it was a mess.

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


(Mrs. Shannon): Yeah, we had to go, well we had Busby right

down on Twentieth and Sixth, Sixth ah Sixth Court. Ah Busby's

Sundries, they sold some groceries...what time is it?

(Ms. Daily): About 15 minutes to 12.

(Mrs. Shannon): Umm see but when we really wanted to, to get

prescriptions and stuff like that we went to Ward's Drugstore down

there on Eleventh Street and Third Avenue.

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


(Mrs. Shannon): Cleaners? Most of the stuff was put in the

machine (laughter) but ah, my dad would always bring cleaning stuff


you know. We hardly ever had to worry about a cleaner.

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


(Mrs. Shannon): Yeah, Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church, on Eighth

Street between Second and Third Avenue.

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

entertainment such as theaters, bars, restaurants or sporting


(Mrs. Shannon): Well, my mom and her friend Mary Felton would

go to Mary Felton's husband's little hole in the wall that he had

down on Second Avenue but, but that was it. If I didn't go to the

movies, I didn't have any place to go or if I didn't go to

something at Booker T., my mother would go with me or something

like that, we didn't do a family thing because one thing my father

was on the road, he didn't get, get to stay at home more than two

or three days at a time, you know, so we didn't plan nothing.

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

they go to the doctor's office?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, when I first got to Miami, I ate some

green mangoes and my mom had to call Dr. Kirshon, (laughter). Dr.

Kirshon was my doctor for the whole time I was in high school, J.

Lang Kirshon.

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


(Mrs. Shannon): Umm, well when I came out of college they


were still there so I did the same I'd done always.

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

entertainment outside of Overtown or out of town?

(Mrs. Shannon): (Sighing) Well, one time Mrs. Sawyer took us

over to the Deauville Hotel because she knew the owners and we got

a chance to ah eat out on the terrace and everything and that was

back, that was back in the '40s but other than that I didn't, I

didn't...the first time I went on my own to, to umm the beach for

anything was in the '70s. Umm and they weren't too happy about you

being there then but when you had the money, you know they would

let you in.

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

the main things that made Overtown a community?

(Mrs. Shannon): The families, the families made it a

community. I mean the father was there, the mother was there and

they controlled the children and when I was teaching at Booker T.,

all you had to do was visit the home sometime and say something

about them helping the kid or something like that and you'd get

great response. You didn't get the kind of response you get today,

that's not my child, my child didn't do this and that, you know,

but ah whether they believed you or not they were very courteous,

they were very nice and you could see a change in the kids two or

three days after.

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

(Mrs. Shannon): Well I guess it must have happened after

school integration in ah the late '60s, '68, '69, like that. Umm


the difference in the teaching of Black kids was not, was not

something that the Whites knew about and see we, we could tell when

a kid hadn't had anything to eat, we could tell when the kid needed

something to wear and we didn't throw it at them, we, we sit them

aside so that the other kids didn't have anything to talk about.

You know, you understand what I'm saying? But as things changed

and seemed like the parents thought that their kids would get a

better education if they went to the Whites, that that's what broke

up the...the rhythm of the family.

(Ms. Daily): How has Overtown or Colored Town changed since


(Mrs. Shannon): Ummi Well we had that big ah 830 or 826 or

whatever and, and 1-95, that broke up the Overtown area, Colored.

Colored Town. That broke it up, that was the final blow. It, see

we had on my street, we had a teacher, we had a doctor, and we had

a ah seaman, man had his own boat, and then we had some people who

weren't so prosperous but you could always tell the difference when

you saw how they acted and so you knew how to select what you would

do but as the role models moved out of the Colored Town area, all

was left...that was the bad part, that was the really part.

' (Ms. Daily): Now this set of questions will be regarding I-

95. I'll ask you some questions on that. When and how did you

first hear about the building of I-95?

(Mrs. Shannon): Ummm hum, we were moving out when we really

found out what it would do, we were moving out. They, they had

bought up a lot of the building along Sixth Avenue, on the side and


the people were saying they were going to bring a road through but

I mean you had a town meeting to describe anything. We had a few

guys like I.P. Davis umm who, who, so called Mayor of Black Miami,

you know, ah but they didn't, they didn't call meeting and explain

what was going on so actually when we really understood what was

happening, it was already happening and the people, they almost

gave their homes away because there was nobody to advise them on

how to deal with these people who were buying it up.

(Ms. Daily): Where were you living?

(Mrs. Shannon): Same place.

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

the time?

(Mrs. Shannon): Ah, my mother was renting from the Forbes.

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

the expressway would come through Overtown?

(Mrs. Shannon): Getting out.

(Ms. Daily): Did you discuss it with your neighbors?

(Mrs. Shannon): No.

(Ms. Daily): Did you attend a meeting where it was discussed

or sign a petition or discuss the issue with public officials?

(Mrs. Shannon): No. No. No.

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

expressway on you?

(Mrs. Shannon): Humm, well I can't blame it for making me

move out I guess but that, that's probably the main reason we



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


(Mrs. Shannon): Chaos. You had to detour here and detour


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

officials in return for 1-95 going through Overtown?

(Mrs. Shannon): I don't know if anybody tried.

(Ms. Daily): How did 1-95 affect the community?

(Mrs. Shannon): Tore it up. Separate everybody. You had

almost ah, ah, one community right here and another little

community right here and another little community there and another

little community there, yeah, they really tore it up

(Ms. Daily): Now, I'm going to ask you a question and that

will move us into the next set of questions. Did you decide to

move because I-95?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, I, I was trying to get to Liberty City

for a long time. I had even bought some property over in

Brownsville but ah, when, when this whole thing hit the fan, I

said, we have to go now, so I talked it over with my mom and dad

and I started looking. Sometime my mom would go with me and ah we

had a friend, Flossie, who lived in Liberty City, she came to the

house one day and said, come on we want to take you to see some

houses Ridgeway that are going to be sold to Blacks.

(Ms. Daily): What happened to the property that you were

living on after you left?

(Mrs. Shannon): The buildings were torn down.


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

compared to your former residence?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, I don't know how much my mom and dad

paid but when I came out here, I made a down payment on the house

and ah, the, mortgage was $60.00 a month but I had two. One $60.00

and one $50.00 so that's one hundred and ten.

(Ms. Daily): Was it affordable?

(Mrs. Shannon): Yeah, it was affordable, I made it affordable

because know, when you want something, you have to do

without other things so I did.

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

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

(Mrs. Shannon): Well, when I first came out here it was

mostly Whites all around but as soon as you see a Black face you

know they get out (laughter). The only person who stayed a long

time was a lady just about 4 houses down, she stayed until the late

'80s before she moved.

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

you, well it's about eminent domain and if your house or apartment

was taken but umm, I don't think it relates to you.

(Mrs. Shannon): No it doesn't apply.

(Ms. Daily): So I'll go on to the next set which is regarding

1-395 and State Road 836 and I'll ask the first one. When and how

did you first hear about the building of 1-395 and State Road 836?

(Mrs. Shannon): When they were tearing up the roads. We

knew, we knew the people were selling, didn't specify what was


happening, we didn't know that.

(Ms. Daily): Where were you living?

(Mrs. Shannon): The same place.

(Ms. Daily): Umm, that is ah...

(Mrs. Shannon): Yeah, its Sixth Court and Twenty-First


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

at the time?

(Mrs. Shannon): No. I was, I was living with my parents

(Ms. Daily): Still living with your parents.

(Mrs. Shannon): Umm hum.

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

the expressway would come through Overtown?

(Mrs. Shannon): I don't think anybody really knew what was


(Ms. Daily): Did you attend a meeting where it was discussed

or sign a petition...?

(Mrs. Shannon): No. No. No. That the same question you


(Ms. Daily): Yeah, so...The next set of questions I ask you

will be regarding public housing. When and how did you first hear

about the building of public housing?

(Mrs. Shannon): Long time ago. Liberty City was the first

public housing project, ah in Dade County that I know about and ah

we had a lot of teachers who umm moved into the Liberty City

Housing Project. Not a lot but I know 5 who moved.



(Mrs. Shannon): I was still a student at Booker T. when that

was built.

(Ms. Daily): Do you know what the community was able to get

from public officials in return for public housing going through


(Mrs. Shannon): I have no idea.

(Ms. Daily): How did public housing affect the community?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well it upgraded instances because people had

an opportunity to apply to get into one of the better areas.

(Ms. Daily): Alright, I'm moving on to the next set of

questions regarding Metro-rail. When and how did you first hear

about the building of Metro-rail?

(Mrs. Shannon): Metro-rail? That's something I didn't know

about. I still don't know that much about it.

(Ms. Daily): Okay, so then I'll move on to the next set of

questions which is the last set. Regarding the future of the

Overtown area, what are the most important misconceptions about


(Mrs. Shannon): That the people are lazy, don't want to work.

Ah, that all of them are criminals.

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

know about Overtown?

(Ms. Shannon): Well, since the White people named it

Overtown, I guess they had things in mind so they need to tell the

people in Overtown why they call it Overtown. Because I remember,


Overtown why they call it Overtown. Because I remember, when, when

the expression Overtown was only used for people in Liberty City,

who, who said, I'm going Overtown. They were talking about they

were going to a place, not, not a name. That's like I'm going back

to where I use to live.

(Ms. Daily): What should be done to improve the Overtown area

now such as transportation projects, attractions, job creation or

beautification program?

(Mrs. Shannon): Well if they put that underground umm area

that they are talking about building there, that would give some

jobs. The main thing is to make some jobs for these people who

really need the work and most of them in the Colored Town area over

there. They don't have any work. So they hang out all night and

get into trouble and everything and you can't blame them, they

don't have anything so I'd say jobs. That's the first thing they

need to do and get those landlords who are gouging the people out

of their money and doing nothing to keep up those places. Get them

out of there.

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

and Downtown Miami?

(Mrs. Shannon): Umm! What should be the relationship of

Downtown Miami with any Black neighborhood? There should be an

individual or group of individual who police the area. Like right

next door to me are the crack people. I called I don't know how

many times but...I've even written my, my representative on the

commission about it and nothing happens. I got a homeless guy


living in my backyard back there but he's nice, he'll wash my car,

you know so I let him stay back there but he shouldn't have to be

back there. Somebody should come and get him and take him to one of

those places for homeless people because he's not going on his own,

he's ah, he's a crack head, 'nuff said (laughter).

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

do you take them to show them the culture and history of Dade

County, Dade County's African-American community?

(Mrs. Shannon): Take them on that little trail the Black

Archives has set up of all the historic places in the area over

there and ah, I tell them about when I use to live and take them to

Booker T. because that was the center of activity during that time

when...we even had Philip Perdue Skyler down there and Roland Young

and all those people. We had enter...cultural entertainment. Mr.

William... (Tape ends).


(Ms. Daily): Is Yvonne Daily and it's August 15, 1997. This

is a continuation of the interview with Mrs. Marian Shannon. This

is side #2 of the tape continuing the interview.

As you were saying Mrs. Shannon, I had asked you when you have

visitors from out of town, where do you take them to show them the

culture and history of Dade County, Dade County's African-American


(Mrs. Shannon): Yes, as I was saying I use the trail that the

Black Archives has set up and I add to that with my own experiences

and ah, I, I was saying that the Booker T. Washington was the hub


of the community because Mr. Williams always saw to it that we had

culture activities that the community could come to, to ah see for

a small fee whatever it was that we would have to give the artist

for it but the he, the school didn't make any money off it, you

know, just so that they would have the activity.

(Ms. Daily): This is the last question. Could you describe

in your own words what kind of community you would like Overtown to

be in the future? Describe your vision in some detail, please.

(Mrs. Shannon): I would to be...have Overtown as a thriving

community it was in the '40s because there are so many people who

need jobs. If we could set up businesses in that community where

they could get jobs, I, I could understand that we don't want to be

re-segregated but at the same time, we are still segregated no

matter what little enclave we live in, so we should do that for the

Colored Town area because that where the Black people's history is,

over there. It's not, it's not in Liberty City, it's not in

Brownsville but it's, it's down there in that border, Twenty-Second

Avenue to Fifth Street, First Avenue to Seventy Avenue, that's

where the history is and so that should be the vibrant area for


(Ms. Daily): Well thank you Mrs. Shannon and it was very nice

interviewing you and being with you for this time that we had to


(Mrs. Shannon): Okay.

(Ms. Daily): Ah, this is Yvonne Daily, it is August 15, 1997.

I am just finished with interviewing Mrs. Shannon and this is the


end of the interview.