Integration



Curator's Notes:

Umi was born in Harlem, USA, but unlike her parents, she left Harlem in 1953 when she was three years old. Her immediate family moved to South Jamaica, in the borough of Queens and ancestral homeland of the Jameca tribe of the Algonquin nation. At that time, South Jamaica was the site of white flight from New York City and the migration of upwardly mobile Blacks to Queens from other parts of the city, which made for significant encounters. Once, while grocery shopping, a white woman approached Umi’s mother to ask if she did domestic work and my grandmother replied, “I only cook and clean for my family.” There is a tendency to view racism, segregation, and the push for integration in the mid-twentieth century United States as something that solely happened down South, but as Malcolm X famously described, racism was just as trenchant up North. And these topics come to life in Umi’s childhood and youth – case in point: she integrated a junior high school in New York City!

Jamaica, L.I.
  • Jamaica, L.I.
  •  
  • Summer 1954
  • open
Report to Parents
  • Report to Parents
  •  
  • 1959-1960
  • open
JHS 67 Class Photo
  • JHS 67 Class Photo
  • Little Neck, NY
  • June 1965
  • open
JHS 67 Autographs
  • JHS 67 Autographs
  • Little Neck, NY
  • June 1965
  • open
Native Son
  • Native Son
  • Jamaica, NY
  • 1965
  • open
la lista y la divertida
  • "la lista y la divertida"
  • Little Neck, NY
  • June 1965
  • open
Audrey's Graduation
  • Audrey's Graduation
  • Little Neck, NY
  • 1965
  • open
Jamaica High Class of '68
  • Jamaica High Class of '68
  • Jamaica, NY
  • 1968
  • open
High School Graduation
  • High School Graduation
  • Jamaica, NY
  • 1968
  • open
Move in - Ohio State
  • Move in - Ohio State
  • Columbus, OH
  • 1968
  • open
The Graduate
  • The Graduate
  • Columbus, OH
  • 1972
  • open
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