Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Oral History Interviews (1/14/14)

Today we were in groups of three and we interviewed different people for oral history reports. Iris, Hanna, and I interviewed Morris Grant, an 89-year-old man native to Falmouth. It was really inspiring getting to hear his story. At one point during the interview, we asked him why he lived in Falmouth after living in England and Canada and he simply said, "This is where I was born." I thought that was especially  interesting to learn that he was so attached to his birthplace. It's different from the United States because in the U.S. I don't think people usually have such a strong connection with the place they were born. It got really emotional when he started tearing up about trying to go to embalming school in England and not getting hired because he was black. He also talked about how it used to be, in Jamaica, if your skin color was like his, "you were nothing". When he was a young adult, Mr. Grant remembers that there were two political parties, and people who were friends before became enemies after the political parties started. He said that things have gotten a lot better now, but there's still so much that needs to be done. He was also wearing an Obama baseball cap which was interesting because I wasn't aware that Jamaicans were so supportive of Obama. 

The rest of the day we spent at the Falmouth Heritage Renewal building (FHR) working on transcribing our interview. There was this little girl who was probably about six years old who was there because her mom was working in the building, and she was really fascinated by us. She insisted on taking a picture with me, Iris, and Hanna and then got really upset when we didn't call her sweetheart. It wasn't the first time that this has happened to us while we've been in Jamaica. Mr. Grant wanted to take our picture too. I think it's funny that everyone is so fascinated by us.

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