Bridgeport’s history is Black – The 1982/83 AAEA: Oral History Project

From the city’s founding up into the present day, this has been a simple truth.

This Black History Month the Bridgeport History Center is featuring a different collection from our holdings each week.

This week we are highlighting the History Center’s records of The Afro-American Educators Association: Oral History Project.

In 1982 and 1983, the Bridgeport Afro-Americans Educators Association conducted 23 interviews with Black Bridgeport residents in order to capture the Black experience from World War I to the 1970s.

While the audio is currently unavailable, the transcripts of each conversation are wonderfully unique and insightful into what has changed in the city and what has stayed the same. Β Geraldine Johnson, the first Black superintendent of Bridgeport public schools, speaks at length about her career in education; Arthur Collins compares life in Washington, D.C., to life in Bridgeport after he moved; Elsie McGriff speaks of sneaking down to her father’s workplace at the Bridgeport Brass Company when she was young.

View all 23 interviews here.