A highlight from 173 - Betty Reid Soskin, Celebrating the 100th Birthday of the Oldest Park Ranger in America


The riveter were to homefront national park in richmond california. Her tours and talks are regular sellouts. There were multiple stories on the home front. This was probably the greatest mobilization of workers since the building of the pyramids. The great wall of china involved every man woman child in the country multiple stories the story of the one hundred and twenty eight thousand japanese japanese americans who were interned. The story of women's emancipation nontraditional labor for the first time african american migration now states that green explosion it puts chicago. The loss of three hundred twenty lives two hundred two of them being black. Betty grew up in oakland in the nineteen twenties and thirties. She raised four. Children owned one of the first black record shops west of the mississippi. She's an activist a singer songwriter. Poet musician betty's life has so many chapters. So we thought we curate a mix tape of betty stories today as a tribute stories that drop in on her life of one hundred years at various points stories gathered and preserved by many producers and archivists over the years. But start at the start in new orleans the year with nineteen twenty seven and i with a six year old and that was the year that the city fathers in new orleans chose to bomb the levies against the rising mississippi. This saved the garden district in saint charles avenue and they sacrifice seventh and ninth wards and the tra may which was our ancestral home. Is year that. My mother arrived in oakland with three little girls. Everything we had left in a couple of cardboard suitcases acoustics to join george allen her father who settled here in oakland at the end of the first world war and was at that time working as a waiter. The oakland athletic club. Sharon lewis shotgun bungalow out in east oakland semi success avenue was my mother's to pullman porter. These a sister and there i would begin life. As a child of the service workers generation our fathers uncles with red caps in the pullman porters in the waiters and the cooks bell hops. The janitors mothers have descended on our domestic servants cleaning people's houses and taking care of white people's children because that who we were as a nation in those years my great grandmother leon team bro had been born into slavery in eighteen forty six in saint james parish louisiana. She was the result of rape migrate grumbler to be one hundred two not dying into nineteen forty eight. My mother was born in eighteen. Ninety four and lived to be one dying in nineteen ninety-five an i was born in one thousand nine hundred twenty one that means the three of us were all adults at the same time that i was twenty seven years old married and a mother by the time my slave ancestor died. I knew her as the matriarch of my family and those three lives had bridged the entire american narrative all the way from the bed. Scott decision civil war emancipation proclamation. Plus b ferguson sokoll and vans eddie. Rosenberg's two civil wars vietnam house and american activities committee can't state in people's park and knock mex- dr king fanny who hamer and emmett till session. Nations it kennedy's moon landing. The mars pro e equals mc squared and nine people at appear circle in south carolina and twenty six people small tricks and texas trayvon martin and oscar grant michael bound and peter gray and black lives matter and all is all of that happened within a lifetime of three women who are all adults at the same time. That's how fast the time goes. My first job was during the second world war as a clerk in the basement of federal building on mcallister. We met at tables with long boxes of pink and luke file cards processed when people took civil service examinations. If your card was blew it would have a warning.

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