By Beatrice Colastin Skokan
Title: Gregory Bush Florida Community Studies Oral Histories
Creator: Bush, Gregory Wallace
Extent: 201.0 Items
Scope and Contents of the Materials
Professor Gregory Bush (History Department) and the Institute for Public History (IPH) have recorded a series of interviews around the issue of public spaces in South Florida. Participants, who are representative of the diverse cultural milieu of the region, reflect and provide insights on migration, gentrification, the history of individual neighborhoods, housing, and community services.
These voices help to articulate the ongoing discourse on public space as it applies to South Florida’s History of development. The recordings and accompanying transcripts of the oral history collection document the unique experiences of the region’s inhabitants. In addition, the collection serves as a repository of primary source materials for students, faculty and the general public.
Box and Folder Listing
- Item 1: Ana C. Carrasco Interview, July 1999
- This interview with Ana C. Carrasco was conducted in July 1999. Ms. Carrasco works for the Youth CenterCetro Mater in Little Havana and provides insights into public spaces as they relate to children. Ms. Carrasco's family migrated from Cuba to Puerto Rico before settling in Miami. She talks about parks and beaches in Puerto Rico and their connection to notions of class, race, gender, and age. She then speaks of similar issues in relation to parks like Jose Martí and and other Little Havana locations.
- Item 2: Betty Shannon Gibson Interview, November 2009
- This interview with Betty Shannon Gibson was conducted in November 2009. Ms. Gibson spent her childhood in the Bronx, New York, but in 1950 moved to Tallahassee, Florida. She became a media specialist in different schools in the Miami area, and lived in South Miami with her basketball player and later vice-mayor of South Miami husband. She witnessed the changing race relations in the U.S. during the past sixty years, providing insight as to the process from strict segregation to desegregation and a more democratic America.
- Item 3: Commissioner Bruno Barreiro Interview, July 1999
- This interview with Bruno Barreiro was conducted in July 1999. Mr. Barreiro is City Commissioner of Miami-Dade. He talks about growing up in Little Havana, his childhood experiences, especially as they relate to public spaces such as parks. Commissioner Barreiro also speaks of current initiatives that are being explored to enhance such spaces.
- Item 4: Doretha Nichson Interview, November 2000
- This interview with DOretha Nichson was conducted in November 2000. Ms. Nichson is a member of the board of directors of the Neighborhood Housing Services in the North Central Dade Area of Miami. She was born and raised in Overtown where her father and grandfather owned businesses. She is a graduate of the Hampton Institute, in Virginia, where she majored in Accounting. Ms. Nichson talks about life in a self-sufficient segregated African-American community and neighborhoods viewed as extension's of one's family.
- Item 5: Edward Trainer Interview, December 2000
- This interview with Edward Trainer was conducted in December 2000. He is a World War II veteran and worked as a pilot for Eastern Airlines. Mr. Trainer's interest in public spaces goes back to the 1980s when he started an environmental protection group, the Greater Panama Area Conservation Society (G-PACS). He describes his childhood in the small town of Panama City, his flight training in the army, the changes that occurred in Panama City after the war and his efforts to preserve the historical sites and public parks of his native town.
- Item 6: Jane Caporelli Interview, July 1999
- This interview with Jane Caporelli was conducted in July 1999. Ms. Caporelli is manager of the Miami River Inn and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. The Inn, built in the early 20th century, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ms. Caporelli addresses public space issues as they relate to Miami and Rhode Island and also comments on East Little Havana, Centro Mater and Jose Martí Park.
- Item 7: Mayor Tomás Regalado Interview, February 2010
- This interview with Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado was conducted in February 2010. Tomás Regalado was born in Cuba in 1947 and immigrated to the United States, as a child with his brother. The young boys were part of "Operation Peter Pan" in whichCuban children were sent to Forida by their parents to avoid communist indoctrination. The mayor has an extensive career in journalism and news production in the Spanish and English speaking media. In 1996, he was elected as City Commissioner for Miami with subsequent re-elections in 1999 and 2003. Mr. Regalado was elected mayor in 2009.
- Item 8: Norma Jean Walker Interview, July 1999
- This interview with Norma Jean Walker was conducted in July 1999. Ms. Walker is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and moved to Overtown in 1964. The interview took place at Ms. Walker's office at the Belafonte Tacolcy Center (BTC) in Liberty City. Ms. Walker speaks of community life, the use of public spaces and parks, and the sense of family that existed in the neighborhood in the past. She contrasts the community life of previous years with the current state of affairs where racis, politics and economics have eroded community ties.
- Item 9: Officer Jose Traiana Interview, June 1999
- This interview with Officer Joe Triana was conducted June 1999. Officer Triana is a mounted police officer in Miami, on assignment at Lummus Park. He talks about his experiences growing up in New Jersey, and his subsequent life in Miami. Specifically, Officer Triana relates his perceptions about the neighborhood in which he grew up, as well as the neighborhoods where he currently works as a mounted police officer in Miami.
- Item 10: Pablo Canton Interview, July 1999
- This interview with Pablo Canton was conducted in July 1999. Mr. Canton is administrator of the East Little Havana Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) office. He was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1961. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Florida International University. His working experience for the City of Miami also includes directorships at the Department of Community Development, Citizen Response, and Building and Zoning. Mr. Canton talks about growing up in Little Havana, his education and his work for the government.
- Item 11: Raisa Fernandez Interview, June 1999
- This interview with Raisa Fernandez was conducted in June 1999. Ms. Fernandez is a school bus driver in Little Havana and daughter of Cuban exiles. This interview focuses on Ms. Fernandez's perceptions of public space, and the needs of Little Havana as a neighborhood. Santeria: Africa to Cuba and Beyond" and "Mariel and Cuban National Identity."
- Item 12: Sabrina Baker-Bouie Interview, June 1999
- The interview with Sabrina Baker-Bouie was conducted in June 1999. Ms Baker-Bouie is a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute, in Alabama, where she received a B.S. in Political Science. She also holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Florida International University. Ms. Baker-Bouie served as program director of the City of Miami's Department of Development as well as Program Director for Miami Dade Community College's Neighborhood Tranformation Project for the Overtown area.