Format Audio Recordings
Contributors Levitas, Susan
McDowell, Rev. Louis
Dates 1994
Location New Jersey
Paterson
United States
Language English
Subjects African Americans
Child Labor
Ethnography
Interviews
McDowell'S Barber Shop (Paterson, N.J.)
New Jersey
Oral History
Shoe Shiners
Sound Recordings
Work Processes
Title
"Originally, Paterson, New Jersey was Paterson, New Jersey."
Contributor Names
McDowell, Rev. Louis (Narrator)
Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Created / Published
1994-08-30
Subject Headings
-  African Americans
-  Child labor--New Jersey
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Work processes
-  Shoe shiners
-  McDowell's Barber Shop (Paterson, N.J.)
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
Genre
Ethnography
Interviews
Notes
-  Interview with Reverend Louis McDowell, owner, McDowell's Barber Shop.
-  Summary of audio segment: "Originally Paterson, New Jersey was Paterson, New Jersey." From the 1930s to the 1950s it was really good. For shoe shining, we made a box and it would have a footing on the top, size nine. We'd go to a leather store and buy polish and a cleanser and the paste and we'd leave our home and go right down on the main street, "Shine mister? Shine mister? Shine mister?" We would pop the rag and make it shine like mad. A shine was 5 cents, then it went up to 10 cents. You'd be careful not to get polish on the sides of shoes. Shoe shine boys were all around. We'd never tell each other the truth about what we made. We used to go home with at least 8 ot 9 dollars on a Saturday. Went after school to do it, after finishing chores. Your parents could use the money; everybody helped out. (Boy comes in who he had given food to, to get more food for his family) Used to be signs in the saloons that said, "No Bootblacks;" an Italian friend of mine and I once raced to a saloon and we both stood there and my friend went up to a drunk and said, "Shine mister?" and the guy said, "You don't call me Shine!" and stepped on his foot. We laughed about that even after we were grown; all the bars would let you in if you were decent.
Medium
Digital Audio Tape
Call Number
AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A022
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
Repository
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/afcwip.sla02206


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Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

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