Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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Negro youth interview subject 19
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TitleNegro youth interview subject 19
DescriptionTranscript of an interview done by J. Howell Atwood. Atwood interviewed 22 Negro youths in Galesburg, Illinois in the late 1930s for the American Youth Commission as part of a larger research project investigating conditions and needs of Negro youth in the United States. Atwood's research informed the paper "Negro Youth in Galesburg, Illinois" published in 1941 in "Thus Be Their Destiny: The Personality Development of Negro Youth in Three Communities." Inteview questions are presented with the transcribed answers in the transcript. Interview subjects are not named.
CreatorAtwood, Jesse Howell; American Youth Commission
Time Period1930s
IdentifierJ. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection (box 9)
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-07-05
Transcript1. [Name]
# 19

2. [Sex]

3. [Age]

4. [School years accomplished]

5. [Birthplace]
Ky [Kentucky]

6. [State or states lived in]
Ill. [Illinois] Ky [Kentucky]

7. [Father's occupation]
Moulder & WPA

8. [1st vocational choice]
School teacher

9. [2nd choice]
Hair dresser

10. [3rd choice]

11. [How do or did you like school?]
All right

12. [How treated by teachers?]
Just fine

13. [How treated by coaches?]

14. [How treated by white students?]
just like the colored children do;
nice to me

15. [Did you have a chance to take part in the school's activities?]

16. [What activities?]
Programs -- pageants, assemblies.

17. [Were you encouraged?]

18. [Did you feel that they were interested in you?]

19a. [What teacher seemed of most help to you?]
Math teacher in J. High

19b. [How did he or she help you?]
Lets me stay after school when I've
been out. Explains to the group &
also individually.

20. [If you quit before graduating from high school, please explain why?]


21. [Employed?]

22. [Kind of work?]

23. [How long have you worked there?]

24. [Has it a good future for you?]

25. [Your plans for future -- say next year?]
Go on into the 9th grade

26. [2nd year]
On through high school

27. [3rd year]
[On through high school]

28. [4th year]
[On through high school]

29a. [Favorite pastime -- winter]
none special

29b. [Favorite pastime -- summer]
play ball

30. [Where enjoyed?]
a. --
b. Cook school

31a. [Do you date?]

31b. [Where go?]

32. [Do you drink?]

33. [Do you dance?]
no. (Just by myself.)

34a. [Church -- membership]
Yes Allen

34b. [Church -- attend]

35. [Club membership?]

36. [What club or clubs?]

37. [Do you hear your friends talking about their future plans?]

38. [What do they say?]

39. [Are they worried?]

40. [What is your attitude toward the church?]
I like to go. It's very important.


41. [How does it help young people like you?]
It teaches you how to live, where to
go, how to treat your friends and

42. [What more could it do?]
It could have a junior choir & incre-
ase the Christian Endeavor. They did
try to have a junior choir but the
young people didn't seem to be
interested. They go out to the Lake in
the afternoon Sunday & want to
say till it closes -- don't want to come
in to attend church in the evening.
They just come to S.S. -- about 30 --
summer & winter.

43. [What more should it do?]
They should have rules & regulations.
re. the adult choir. In S.S.
there should be a regular time to
start & to let out. The teachers
are irregular in attendance too.

44. [What is your attitude toward the city officials here in Galesburg? (aldermen, police, mayor)
No feeling. Police are O.K.

45. [How do you feel toward the Main Street merchants?]
They are nice

46. [How do you feel toward the various movie theaters in town?]
They're nice. When you sit on the
wrong side the ushers just come &
tell you to sit on the other side. They're
nice -- polite.


47. [Did you go to the NYA recreation center on West Berrien Street?]

48. [Is there any substitute for that center -- now that there is no NYA center?]
The beach. I don't go to the "center"
now that the NYA isn't there. (Folks

49. [Where do the CCC boys spend their free time when they're in town?]
Beach. They're not supposed to come
to town.

50. [Do you like the colored beach at Lake Storey?]

51a. [Do you know young colored people who don't go out there?]
White Horse Army church people do not

51b. [Why don't they?]
Rules of the church -- Have service all
day Sunday.

52. [How does life for young Negroes in Galesburg compare with life in other places you know about or hear of?]
Don't know

53. [Name a place you think is better. Why is it?]
54. [Name a place you think is worse. Why is it?]
In Peoria it's about the
same as here. I haven't been
other places.

55. [What do you think of the WPA set up?]
It's nice for men who haven't any

56. [What contact have you had with the emergency relief case workers?]

57. [If you could have two wishes come true what would those wishes be?]
a. I'd like to be rich.
b. I'd like to work in a colored
hospital in st. Louis -- don't
want to nurse, but I could cook.
I like to cook. Took it in 8th grade.


58a. [Who is the outstanding Negro man in the U.S.?]
Don't know

58b. [Who is the outstanding Negro woman in the U.S.?]
Don't know

59a. [Who is the outstanding Negro man in Galesburg?]

59b. [Who is the outstanding Negro woman in Galesburg?]

60. [What is the greatest obstacle in the way of Negro youth here in Galesburg?]
I don't know

61. [Do you live at home?]

62. [Are both parents living?]

63. [Do you have any conflicts or arguments with them?]

64. [What are the biggest points of misunderstanding?]
Don't have any

65. [Have you a room to yourself?]

66. [Do they expect you to contribute to the family purse from your earnings?]

67. [How do you feel about this?]
OK -- if I were earning.

68. [Is there some other problem which troubles you or your colored friends of about your age which hasn't been asked about in this interview?]
Physical Description8.5 x 11 in. handwritten sheets
FilenameNegro youth interviews/subject 19
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