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Thomas: Hello, my name is Kimberly Thomas and I’m here on Tuesday March 26, 2002 to (interview?) you on the Civil Rights Movement. I would like you-- to thank you for your time. Please maintain eyes on me and not the camera. Please state your name and spell it.
Hope: My name is Marion Elizabeth Larmond Hope and first name is Marion, M-A-R-I-O-N. Last name L-A-R-M-O-N-D for Larmond Hope, H-O-P-E.
T: Describe when and where you were born and a little bit about your parents and grandparents.
H: I was born in Miami, Florida at Christian Hospital in the year of 1950. My grandparents named Roxanne Edwards and Austin Edwards on my mother’s side and my father’s side was Gary and (Caswell?) Larmond and they’re located in Jamaica, but I was raised up here in Miami. Born and raised in Miami, Florida on Seventy-First Terrace and Thirteenth Avenue.
T: Can you describe what it was like in-- living in your area growing up?
H: In my young years, predominantly black neighborhood but surrounded with working people- hard working people. I attended a school- Holmes Elementary, predominantly all black at that time. Very quite--quite quiet, clean neighborhood with working people and church-going people.
T: What schools did you attend?
H: I attended Holmes Elementary in Miami which I believe is on Sixty-Seventh Street and at the time when I was living on Seventy-First Terrace, then I moved over to Sixty-Eighth Street and Twenty-Eighth Avenue, which that time I attended Glade View Elementary which was predominantly white school but it was-- I moved into a neighborhood that was gradually going from white to black or more or less a mixed neighborhood and I finished up sixth grade there and it was really nice. I had a white teacher at that time which was a male, I forgot his name, but he was very nice. Upon graduating from Glade View- sixth grade- I was supposed to attend Madison Junior High, but due to the time, they did not accept- I believe that was the year of ’63, ’64- they did not accept blacks there and I was turned away upon entering seventh grade there and they told me I had to attend Brownsville Junior High at that time which is now Brownsville Middle. I did attend Brownsville Middle in the seventh grade, but my parents attended NAACP meetings, went to school board meetings, and fought because we live in a neighborhood and the school is Madison Junior High that we should go there. And my mother and another parent and the young lady who’s name is Sharon-- I’m sorry (Mayra?) Stanley, she-- her mother and my mother was the two that really fought for us to attend Madison Junior High School for the seventh grade, but again like I said, we had to attend Brownsville. But upon their fighting and meeting, they eventually came to some sort of conclusion with the school board and the community and NAACP that we will be able to attend the eighth grade. (Upon?) completing Madison-- completing Brownsville in the seventh grade, we then attended Madison Junior High for our eighth grade year. Upon-- before entering, they warned my parents not to bring us there before school start, that we was to go-- bring the students to school around nine o’clock, making sure all the other students was in the classrooms, so they could avoid any problems. Upon entering Madison Junior High, approximately nine o’clock- myself and (Mayra) - I went to my class- which was the English class- and I can remember entering the class. My teacher- a female white teacher: Ms.(Orster?)- she greeted me very nicely at the door and she introduced me to the class, she had a seat there in the front row in front of her desk and told me that was my seat and as she welcomed me, I said, “Thank You” and I took my seat, but upon sitting down, there was a little remark said, “Hey nigger.” And I turned around and looked at that person- I know it came from behind me- and I just smiled and I held my head up and kept my head up and I attended that school, I really didn’t have any problems, but I knew the reason why I was there and I knew my parents fought hard for me to be there and that was my beginning of racial and to see the difference how people treat black people/white people. But again, like I said, during my time- eighth grade and ninth grade there- the teachers was nice, the students was nice. If they didn’t like us there, they did not show it to me, other than that just-- that instant when I walked in the classroom.
T: So, you have no taunting memories of Madison? You have no taunting memories of Madison or any other school?
H: No, other than just, like I said that particular incident, that was it and I went there and I enjoyed it. I also was the Edison Senior High- Miami Edison- I was the first tenth grade class as far as blacks. I believe in my class we had about fifteen or twenty of us blacks and we was the first tenth grade also to-- with Edison High School. But the eleventh graders-- there was blacks in the eleventh grade, I think there was about five in the eleventh grade and probably two was a senior- as far as blacks at Miami Edison Senior High School. There, we pretty much- the blacks pretty much hung together. Um, yes, at Miami Edison I wanted to be a cheerleader. The P.E. coach at that time- I forgot her name was- told me no I couldn’t.
T: Because you were black?
H: Because I was black.
T: So, because of that, you--?
H: I was not able to be a cheerleader. But my other P.E. teacher- Ms. (Dale) - she was very nice as far as my regular P.E. classes. I was on the basketball team and volleyball team and she was very nice and most of the time, you know, those-- the white kids they would speak with you or talk with you but pretty much the little small number of blacks we would hang together, pretty much. But we-- that year-- the following year, I think we had our first black teacher there during that year- I think Ms. White- she was a typing teacher. As a matter of fact, she’s still in the school system today. I saw her the other day. But, other than that, we eventually graduated, and graduated with (Liv Simms?), she was in the class ahead of me.
T: So, were you in any groups of Civil Right or involved in any way?
H: Not really, no. I pretty much stayed to myself and, you know, in the schools I pretty much attended my class and made good grades, I pretty much was a ‘B’ student in high school.
T: Can you tell me were you around for any riots? At the ’68 riots?
H: Oh yeah. I was around, but I wasn’t in them. We stayed in the house, watch it on TV like everybody else did. The McDuffie- You wanna talk about the McDuffie riot?
H: Yes. Yes. We saw-- I was living on Twenty-Eighth Avenue and on Fifty-Fourth Street was- and Twenty-Seventh Avenue- was a Norton Tire Company- that was a big one that went up in fire, I remember that and remember the-- across from there was another store named Steven, that was also burned down during the riots.
T: What thoughts do you have about the changes that were made in the 1950s and ‘60s?
H: What thoughts? In what sense pretty much?
T: As far as everything coming together, mixed schools, mixed neighborhoods?
H: Um, pretty much it got you to look at the real world, what’s reallys going on out there. And to see gave me the ambition, you know, no matter what no anyone says, you know, you be what you wanna be and do what you have to do. I mean, you gonna find obstacles, but if that’s what you wanna do, keep pushing. It’s not gonna be easy, but you have to fight for what you want. And that still stands today. I mean, it could be a-- with white, or it can be with your own color, if that’s what you wanna do or what you wanna do, you have to fight for it, pursue it.
T: Thanks, this has been a pleasure interviewing you and you taught me a little more about the days of segregation and the Civil Rights. Thank you.
H: Thank you.
END OF INTERVIEW