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Name of Creator:Lolita Parker Jr.
Title:Lower Roxbury Black History Project records
Date:1951-2009 (bulk 2005-2009)
Reference Code:M165
Location Code: 56/4, 89/3, FF6/D9
Extent: 758.28 gigabytes, 1.05 cubic feet (4 boxes) and 1 flat file
Scope and Content Note: This collection contains video and audio oral histories of clergy and residents of Lower Roxbury created by Lolita Parker Jr. and, her son, London Parker-McWhorter under the auspices of Northeastern University from 2007-2009. Participants were selected in three ways: 1. Rev. Michael Haynes recommended members of his congregation; 2. Lolita Parker Jr. posted fliers in Roxbury asking for participants; and 3. During the interviews, interviewees suggested other participants. Interviewees discussed their families, childhoods, and specific areas in Roxbury, such as Roxbury Crossing, Sawyer Street, and Haskins Street from the early to mid-twentieth century. During the oral history interviews, Parker digitized or photographed participants' family photographs and artifacts such as newspaper clippings, yearbook photos, and a Tuskegee Airman jacket. Of particular interest are the interviews of Paul Parks, an educator and engineer who was heavily involved with the busing of Boston school children during integration in the 1970s and reforming education in Boston; Rev. Michael Haynes, a longtime resident of Roxbury and respected member of the community and clergy; and Del Brook Binns, a photographer who covered events in Lower Roxbury. Records include audio (.aiff / .mp3 / .wma); video (.avi / .mov / iMovieProject / MiniDVs); partial, edited, and unedited transcripts of interviews; scans; and photographs. Hard copies of transcripts and interview and corollary release forms are located in Series 2: Project Records. Items marked with an asterisk (*) do not have release forms, so they cannot be used without the interviewee's consent.
Historical Note:On 9 November 2006, Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun met with members of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Massachusetts at the People's Baptist Church (830 Tremont Street, Boston) to discuss possible collaborations between Northeastern and Lower Roxbury clergy. During the meeting, Reverend Michael E. Haynes suggested the University create a history of the African American community in Lower Roxbury. As a result, President Aoun appointed Joseph D. Warren, at that time Special Assistant to the Director of Government Relations and Community Affairs, to oversee the Lower Roxbury Black History Project. Warren appointed an advisory board consisting of Rev. Michael E. Haynes, formerly of Roxbury's Twelfth Baptist Church, Massachusetts State Representative Byron Rushing, Northeastern University Archivist Joan D. Krizack, and Northeastern University history professors William M. Fowler Jr., Gerald H. Herman, Robert L. Hall, and Northeastern Vice President for Public Affairs Robert P. Gittens. In November 2007, Warren hired Lolita Parker Jr., a photographer and documentary film researcher, to collect oral histories and artifacts documenting the community's rich history. From 2007-2009 with the assistance of her son, London Parker-McWhorter, Parker spoke with over 40 residents of Roxbury.
Language and Scripts:Entirely in English.
System of Arrangement: Organized into 2 series: Series 1. Interviews and 2. Project Records.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Abdul Qaabid, Desamou Musa
  • Anderson, Edna Marshall
  • Barnes, Harry
  • Bennett, William M.
  • Binns, Del Brook
  • Blake, Anna Lambert
  • Brown, Richard G.
  • Bruce, Constance
  • Coar-Gueye, Paula D. Firmin
  • Corbin, Lillian
  • Cromwell, Adelaide
  • Dawson, Barbara Lomax
  • Dawson, Charles
  • Dixon, Loretta
  • Evans, Derrick C.
  • Fox, Gloria
  • Fredricks, Katherine Watson
  • Goode, Matthew E.
  • Green, Randy
  • Guscott, Cecil
  • Guscott, Kenneth
  • Hall, Winifred Irish
  • Harris, Alfreda
  • Haynes, Michael E.
  • Hunter, David F.
  • Hunter, Stephen
  • Jackson, Gretchen Lucinda Flippin
  • Jones, Clarence
  • Lowell, Margaret Reed Jones
  • Mayo, Arthur W.
  • McDivett, Jack
  • Moore, Chauncy
  • Nathan, Osceola Brown
  • Nedd, Richard
  • Nunally, Reginald
  • Parks, Paul
  • Parker, Lolita Jr.
  • Parker-McWhorter, London
  • Richardson, Martin Daniel, Jr.
  • Rushing, Byron
  • Sanford, Harvey F.
  • Saunders, Willis D., Jr.
  • Scott, James M.
  • Shaw, Sarah-Ann
  • Silcott, James
  • Sisco, Tomasina Marshall
  • Small, Martha Roberts
  • Stanley, Joyce
  • Thomas, Charles and Pauline
  • Valentine, Lillie B.
  • Warren, Joseph David, 1938-
  • White, Gilbert


  • African American neighborhoods -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • African American youth -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • African Americans -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Economic conditions
  • African Americans -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Social conditions
  • Boston (Mass.) -- Race relations
  • Civil rights -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Community development, Urban -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Oral history

Conditions Governing Access:The collection is unrestricted.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:Some copyright restrictions may apply.
Related Archival Materials:

Ronald W. Bailey Oral History Collection (M153)
Joseph D. Warren Papers (unprocessed; Z09-013)
Paul Parks Papers (unprocessed; Z10-026).

Processor: Finding aid prepared by Sarah Murray, Hanna Clutterbuck, and Michelle Romero, March 2010. Updated by Anna J. Cook, December 2010.