Interview with Thelma Smith Bowie, Commissioner-At-Large, March 30, 3021

Moore Memorial Public Library Oral History Repository
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00:00:00 - Introduction 00:01:27 - Birth and family

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Keywords: Siblings

Subjects: African American neighborhoods--Economic aspects; African Americans--Families

00:02:45 - Family moves to Texas City

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Keywords: Debra Smith; Jacqueline Smith; Joe Smith; Lake Road; Lake Road Elementary School; Laverne Smith; Siblings; Wilma Smith

Subjects: African Americans--Economic conditions; African Americans--Employment; African Americans--Families

00:06:38 - Family's economic circumstances and employment

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Keywords: Bostick's Café; City of Texas City; Contruction; Domestic; Holman Lilienstern; Lake Road Elementary; Latch-key; Lincoln High School; UTMB; West Texas City; Woodland Junior High School

Subjects: African Americans--Economic conditions; African Americans--Education--Texas; African Americans--Employment

00:15:51 - Childhood residences

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Keywords: 1867 Settlement; Algeria Street; Carver Park; Lake Road Elementary; Woodland Junior High School

Subjects: African American neighborhoods; African Americans--Housing

00:19:25 - Racial and economic composition of the neighborhood

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Keywords: Bogatto's; La Marque; La Marque High School; Lincoln High School; Woodland Junior High School; Wynette Johnson

Subjects: African American neighborhoods--Economic aspects; African Americans--Segregation; Race discrimination--Texas

00:24:13 - Family gatherings

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Keywords: Family reunions; Holidays

Subjects: African Americans--Families; African Americans--Religion

00:25:39 - Attending Rising Star Baptist Church

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Keywords: Bell Zion Baptist Church; Bell Zion Church; Carbide Park; Caver Park; First Baptist Church; Picnics; Progressive Church; Rev. D. N. Benford; Rev. Dunn; Stranger danger; Vacation Bible School

Subjects: African Americans--Religion

00:32:49 - School experience

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Keywords: Dorothy Washington Mitchell; Geraldine McGowan; Lake Road Elementary; Lincoln High School; Superintendent Black; Tennis; Woodland Junior High School

Subjects: African Americans--Education--Texas; African Americans--Segregation; Race discrimination--Texas

00:38:33 - Separate proms and learning to drive in Galveston

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Keywords: Barbara James; Galveston; Gus Allen Café; Mustang; Proms; Roy James; Roy's Car Salon

Subjects: African Americans--Education--Texas; Race discrimination--Texas

00:41:27 - Favorite school subjects and most influential teacher

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Keywords: English; Jim Llewellyn; La Marque High School; Presidential Physical Fitness Award; Sara Miller; Upward Bound

Subjects: African Americans--Education--Texas; African Americans--Sports

00:43:57 - College experiences and first jobs

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Keywords: AKA; Congress Junior High School; Intermural sports; JC Penny's; Nicki Porter; North Texas State; Physical Education; Prairie View A&M College; Sara Miller; Scholarship; Sororities; Student loan; Teaching

Subjects: African Americans--Education (Higher); African Americans--Employment; African Americans--Segregation; Race relations; School integration

00:48:32 - Marriage and divorce

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Keywords: Addiction

Subjects: African Americans--Military service; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

00:53:12 - Spare time activities

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Keywords: Carver Park; Sander's Center; Swimming pool; Tennis

Subjects: African Americans--Recreation

00:54:27 - Childhood best friend 01:05:06 - Teen hang-outs

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Keywords: School dances; Teenie Weenie

Subjects: African Americans--Recreation

01:06:17 - Going to the movie theaters in Texas City during segregation

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Keywords: Bayou Drive-in; Drive-in theaters; Movies; The Showboat; Theaters

Subjects: African Americans--Recreation

01:07:21 - The G & M night club

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Keywords: G & M; Musicians; Night Clubs

Subjects: African Americans--Recreation

01:08:41 - A great mentor and dealing with deaths

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Keywords: Ann Simmons; Carolyn ellis; David Medlock; North Texas State; School Board; Wynette Johnson

Subjects: African Americans--Political activity

01:13:32 - Neighborhood safety 01:20:08 - Family Transportation

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Keywords: Don's Used Car Lot

Subjects: African Americans--Economic conditions

01:21:55 - Special needs sister

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Keywords: Austin State School; Down syndrome; Laverne Smith; Mexia State School; Siblings; Vocational training; Wilma Smith

Subjects: African Americans--Families

01:28:50 - Learning to drive 01:29:53 - Getting the news and watching television

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Keywords: Ebony Magazine; Jet Magazine; News; Television; The La Marque Times

Subjects: Newspapers

01:31:58 - Healthcare

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Keywords: Bradshaw's Florist; Dr. Hook; Dr. Tree; Health district

Subjects: African Americans--Hospital care

01:33:47 - Shopping in Texas City

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Keywords: Algeria Street; Bob Higgin's Lincoln Dealership; Bogatto's; Bostick's Café; Cooper's Bar-B-Q Pit; Dr. Brantford; Eve's; JC Penny's; Mainland Funeral Home; Mapp's Pharmacy; O. C. Matthew's Plumbing; Sears and Roebuck's; Slaton's Grocery; V. A. Change; Weingarten's; Zale's Jewelry Store

01:39:14 - Family mealtime 01:40:21 - Being African American in a segregated society

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Keywords: Boycotts; La Marque High School; Malcolm X

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--Texas; African Americans--Segregation; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Non-Violent Protest; Race discrimination--Texas; School integration

01:49:24 - School integration

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Keywords: La Marque High School; Lincoln High School

Subjects: School integration

01:50:10 - Voting

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Keywords: Johnnie Henderson; Rev. D. N. Benford; Roosevelt Henderson; Wayne Johnson

Subjects: Civil rights

01:51:32 - Community leaders

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Keywords: College of the Mainland; David Porter; Dedrick Johnson; Johnnie Henderson; Roosevelt Henderson; Wayne Johnson

Subjects: African Americans--Political activity; Newspapers

01:53:15 - Running for public office

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Keywords: Ann Simmons; Carolyn Ellis; Dr. Porter; Educators; Nicki Porter; Political machines; Public office; Rev. D. N. Benford

Subjects: African Americans--Political activity

01:55:52 - National leaders in civil rights

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Keywords: Barbara Jordan; Legacy; Shirley Chisholm

Subjects: African Americans--Political activity; Civil rights

01:57:55 - The churches' role in civil rights and politics

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Keywords: Clergy; Vote

Subjects: African Americans--Religion; Civil rights

01:59:48 - The NAACP and civic organizations in Texas City

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Keywords: Lion's Club; NAACP; Nick Gary Foundation; Optimists Club; Rotary Club; Texas City ISD

Subjects: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

02:02:55 - Final thoughts 02:09:43 - Conclusion