Cora Young Interview

Center for Cultural Preservation


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00:00:00 - Where She Was Born

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Partial Transcript: Cora introduces herself, gives her date of birth and where she was raised. She grew up in the Brooklyn section of Hendersonville, NC. They were uprooted during urban renewal

Keywords: brooklyn; urban renewal; Hendersonville

Subjects: When and where Cora was born

00:00:58 - Cora's Brooklyn Neighborhood

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Partial Transcript: Ms. Young discusses how she thinks Brooklyn got its name and the fact the town was divided by the railroad tracks. She felt it was a good place to live, one big family. Cora loved her neighborhood. Cora describes the 2 houses she grew up in. She talks about the house not being “great” but they were warm and comfortable. There were 6 children they had food, clothes and they were warm. They survived. She has fond memories of having fun with the other neighborhood kids. They played games and went to church. The community supported each other. She feels that doesn’t happen anymore. She comes from an old fashioned background. The kids stayed pretty close to home. There were a few places to play hide and seek but mostly they stayed in the neighborhood. There really wasn’t a lot to do. Cora remembers her parents as being great parents. They were strict but fair. Her dad worked at Berkeley Mills and her mom stayed at home until the kids were grown. There were places to play and they had a good time. Cora fondly remembers the family reunions they had while she was growing up. There were good times and bad times. She laughs about her husband being hit by a train and is sad remembering her house burning down. She cherishes the memories of the family gatherings. They are still a family tradition.

Keywords: Brooklyn; church; Berkeley Mills

00:09:36 - Family Gatherings

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Partial Transcript: Cora talks about how the family gatherings unfolded. They started gathering at her mom’s house. Now they are gathering at Cora’s house. Her children now plan the gatherings. There are lots of memories and stories told during the gatherings. Her mother made great biscuits. Cora’s mother was a great cook. The family gatherings were large. She remembers the 4th of July celebrations. Most of her siblings have passed.

Keywords: memories; gatherings

00:12:40 - Cora's Father

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Partial Transcript: Cora talks about her dad and what kind of a man he was. She talks about his work history at Berkeley Mills and then cement work. Her father was a deacon of the church. He was a good man. He served on the Urban Renewal board.

00:14:48 - Living Through the Depression

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Partial Transcript: Cora talks about growing up during the depression in Hendersonville, NC. The family got vouchers for food. She was a child and really didn’t notice the difference. Family friends always made sure they had enough to eat. Her parents knew how hard life was but the kids didn’t. Friends always stepped in the help. Kids today have no idea what hard times are. Faith kept them going.

Keywords: he depression

00:17:51 - Growing Food and Self- Reliance

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Partial Transcript: Cora talks about how they grew food and shared food with the community. They raised cows and pigs. They never really wanted for food. Cora tells the story of Daisy their pet cow. Her mother made most of their clothes or they got hand-me-downs from her mother’s employers. Cora talks about how she feels people now a days would survive if another depression hit. Kids have no idea how to take care of themselves these days. They lack the skills of everyday life. Kids are lazy these days. Cora is proud of the fact that the children in her family are learning how to take of themselves and others.

Keywords: butchering animals; garden; growing food

00:24:40 - Segregation and Education

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Partial Transcript: Cora discusses growing up in the Brooklyn neighborhood and the fact that there was not much difference or tension between the white families and black families. Cora talks about her school days. She went to elementary school on 6th avenue and high school on 9th avenue. It was very cold in the 6th avenue school. They did not have the same books as the 8th avenue school which was a white school. Their books were old. When integration started they went to a school on 4th avenue. The 9th avenue school was good. The teacher took time to teach. They had some sports programs. The 8th avenue school and the 9th avenue school would play against each other. Her education could have been better but it could have been worse. Cora explains how the integration of the schools happened. First rumors stared and then it just happened. At the start of the new school year there would be no more black or white schools. Despite rumors, there were no real problems. What changed after integration? There was some push back to integration but it was not too bad. Most of the black teachers lost their jobs. Cora feels we still need more black teachers. The curriculum changed for a while more kids graduated. Compared to other places it was a smooth transition.

Keywords: 9th ave school; black schools; integration; segregation

00:33:42 - Integration and Its Effect on Black Community

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Partial Transcript: Cora talks about how integration changed the relationships in the community. The relationships were not bad to begin with. There were a few issues but it seemed to be because of adult interference.

Keywords: integration

00:35:16 - Urban Renewal

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Partial Transcript: Cora talks about Urban renewal. It began in the 50’s. Promises were made but they never happened. Housing should have more accessible but most people were not able to purchase a new home. The community lost their canteen. The only plCora talks about the Brooklyn neighborhood after Urban renewal. Many of the people who wanted to move to Green Meadows could not afford it. She goes on to talk about the quality of the homes in Green Meadowsace for kids to hang out is the Boys and Girls club but it was not a replacement for the canteen. The community lost their church. Cora and her family were the last to leave. Cora describes what 7th avenue looked like before urban renewal. There were promises made to the people who moved to 7th avenue. Cora talks about where everyone went when the relocation started. The community disappeared. She goes on to describe what the Brooklyn neighborhood was like before Urban renewal. Brooklyn was a safe and welcoming community. There were cafes, markets and small shops. Cora talks about how the community felt when they had to move out. New relationships had to be made. The feeling of community support was lost. They lost their church and had to come to Flat Rock to worship. They came to Flat Rock, the Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church. They worshiped there until their new church was rebuilt.

Keywords: relocation; urban renewal

00:48:52 - Church

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Partial Transcript: Cora talks about the community’s church, Union Grove Baptist church and its history. There was a book published outlining the history of the church. Cora talks about the services and programs that were available at the church. It was a good time but times have changed. There are still many community programs. Cora talks about her many roles at the church. Cora explains how the church supported the community and how things have changed and why. Cora mentions the Benevolence fund that helped support the community.

Keywords: Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church; Union Grove Baptist Church; black church

00:56:08 - Cora and her husband work history/train accident

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Partial Transcript: Cora described her work history. Cora talks her husband, his support of the community aCora describes the train accident her husband was in and the publicity surrounding the accident. When her house burnt she lost all the articles and pictures. nd his work history. His sons worked with her husband. She talks about her sons, their careers, and the relationship to the family. Her husband was a good provider and a good man.

Keywords: Berkley Mills; train accident; work

01:04:53 - What She's Learned

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Partial Transcript: What can we learn from Cora and her life experience? Cora feels that we need to learn acceptance and patience. She does get lonely but keeping in touch with friends and her faith brings her peace. We should talk to people more and not jump to conclusions. Cora mentions her father and his good advice. With the state of the economy and the world does Cora think this generation can cope? Cora feels we are too dependent on things rather helping ourselves. We need to think positive and rely on faith. Cora says we are addicted to stuff. We are given too many things and expect to get what we want. Her generation survived on what they had. We need to put our lives in God’s hands and learn patience. Cora reminisces about the old days and a conversation with the meter man. Cora says that children today dictate to their parents what they want and it shouldn’t be that way.

Keywords: wisdom; reminisce

01:12:59 - Cora Looks At Old Photos

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Partial Transcript: Cora brings out some old pictures and the book the church published to share with David. She talks about the fact that there were not enough people to speak up and fight Urban renewal.

Keywords: urban renewal; photos