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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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Oral history interview conducted by Jeanmarie Theobalds
February 21, 2014
Call number: 2011.019.075
JEANMARIE THEOBALDS: My name is Jeanmarie Theobalds. I'm here with Mrs. JaniseMitchell. It is February 21st, 2014 and we are in the Brooklyn Historical Society's Learning Room. Ah, Mrs. Mitchell, could you please introduce yourself?
JANISE MITCHELL: Well, I am actually born and raised in Philadelphia and I movedto Brooklyn approximately, I don't want to give out my age, but approximately 31 years ago. I work in New York City. Social Studies teacher in junior high school. Been living in Brooklyn, as I said before, the last 31 years in different neighborhoods, Park Slope and my current neighborhood, Bergen Beach Marine Park, Old Mill Basin, that area. Love history. Love doing anything related to history and I really am very excited about doing this project, Oral 1:00History, because so much of our traditions and family information just comes from listening to you know older people. Not, just can remember being a little girl and going down South to visit my grandparents and --
JEANMARIE THEOBALDS: What part of the South is your family from?
JANISE MITCHELL: Both sides of my family, my mother and father were from NorthCarolina. And so some of my fondest memories were just you know being a little girl, taking the family road trips before there were satellite radio in the car, before there was air conditioning in the car and just you know my father waking up very early because it was usually a 14-hour drive and everyone in the seat, including the dog, and just driving you know to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit my grandparents and the extended family and just really listening to their 2:00stories and not realizing until I got much older how much family information and how much history were actually in those stories. So I'm just really excited about being here and hopefully someone 3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00 7:00 8:00 9:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 24:00 25:00 26:00 27:00 28:00 29:00 30:00 31:00 32:00 33:00 34:00 35:00 36:00 37:00 38:00 39:00 40:00 41:00 42:00 43:00 44:00 45:00 46:00 47:00 48:00 49:00 50:00 51:00 52:00 53:00 54:00 55:00 56:00 57:00 58:00 59:00 60:00 61:00 62:00 63:00 64:00 65:00 66:00 67:00 68:00 69:00 70:00 71:00 72:00 73:00 74:00 75:00 76:00 77:00 78:00 79:00 80:00 81:00 82:00 83:00 84:00 85:00 86:00 87:00 88:00 89:00 90:00 91:00 92:00 93:00 94:00 95:00 96:00 97:00 98:00 99:00 100:00 101:00 102:00 103:00 104:00 105:00 106:00 107:00 108:00 109:00 110:00 111:00 112:00 113:00 114:00 115:00 116:00 117:00 118:00 119:00 120:00 121:00 122:00 123:00 124:00 125:00 126:00 127:00 128:00 129:00 130:00 131:00 132:00 133:00 134:00 135:00 136:00 137:00 138:00 139:00 140:00 141:00 142:00 143:00 144:00 145:00 146:00 147:00 148:00 149:00 150:00 151:00 152:00 153:00 154:00 155:00 156:00 157:00 158:00 159:00 160:00 161:00 162:00
0:00 - Introduction and childhood in Philadelphia
8:53 - Parents' backgrounds, courtship, and marriage
22:28 - Family cooking styles
31:01 - Middle class identity and white flight
35:11 - Race relations in adolescence
45:05 - Attending college and courtship with husband
57:37 - Marriage to husband and family dynamics
70:27 - Moving to Brooklyn from Philadelphia
74:12 - Drug addiction and violent crime in Park Slope, Brooklyn
92:23 - Interracial marriage and raising mixed race children
115:41 - Moving from Park Slope to Fort Greene, Brooklyn
124:32 - Gentrification and social class in Brooklyn
150:17 - Children's education and conclusion
Oral History Interview with Janise Mitchell
Janise Mitchell was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were both from North Carolina and attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. Mitchell majored in communications and minored in theater at Temple University in Philadelphia. She later moved to Brooklyn, New York, where she worked as a social studies teacher and lived in Park Slope, South Slope, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, and Marine Park.
In the interview, Mitchell talks about her childhood, in particular the strong sense of community in her neighborhood in Philadelphia. She speaks about her parents' courtship and marriage. Mitchell also discusses her courtship with her husband, their experiences as an interracial couple, and raising their children in Brooklyn during the 1980s.
CitationMitchell, Janise, Oral history interview conducted by Jeanmarie Theobalds, February 21, 2014, Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations oral history collection, 2011.019.075; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Mitchell, Janise
- African Americans
- Interracial marriage
- Racially mixed families
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- Park Slope (New York, N.Y.)
- Philadelphia (Pa.)
Finding AidCrossing Borders, Bridging Generations oral history collection