Audio Recording "I was busy all my life."

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About this Item

"I was busy all my life."
Contributor Names
Jones, Howard (Narrator)
Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  African Americans
-  Child labor--New Jersey
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Rural-urban migration
-  Shoe shiners
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
-  Interview with Howard Jones, worm farmer.
-  Summary of audio segment: I was busy all my life; shoeshining -- "I had a shoe shine box on one shoulder, newspapers under one arm and shopping bags in the other." I started around ten; I built the shoe shine box; I lived in Virginia until I was seven, so my schooling was behind. There were a lot of shoe shine people here; older boys would chase the younger boys; I bought one brush, one rag, it was all I could afford. I didn't let people see me using brown polish on black shoes -- I'd use neutral. I did this Friday night, Saturdays and Sundays, when I would go to people's houses and shine the whole family's shoes before church.
Digital Audio Tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A018
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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Credit line

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

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jones, Howard, and Susan Levitas. "I was busy all my life.". -08-28, 1994. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jones, H. & Levitas, S. (1994) "I was busy all my life.". -08-28. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jones, Howard, and Susan Levitas. "I was busy all my life.". -08-28, 1994. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.