T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History Collection

 

ABSTRACT

 

INTERVIEWEE NAME:    Isadore Tansil                                   COLLECTION:  4700.0707

 

IDENTIFICATION:  Long time Baton Rouge resident

 

INTERVIEWER:  Rudolph Henry and Khary Carrell

 

PROJECT:  McKinley Oral History Project – African American Businesses

 

INTERVIEW DATES:  July 8, 1996         

 

FOCUS DATES:  1920s-1940s

 

ABSTRACT:

 

Tape 1034, Side A

Born in Walls, Louisiana, December 7, 1917; father a presser, mother a seamstress; Tansil retired letter carrier, has lived in Baton Rouge for 75 years; during early 1930s, the average black family only had six dollars a week income; list of store in Baton Rouge where blacks could and couldn’t afford to shop; use of barter system between blacks; neighborhood grocery stores; before 1930s, businesses in area were owned by whites; city limits for mail delivery; neighborhood businesses in 1930s; As a boy, Tansil sold newspapers, strawberries, watermelon, peanuts; made 1.5 cents for each paper sold; city limits in 1920s; schools for blacks in Baton Rouge in 1920s; local businesses tried to keep customers by giving lagniappe; decline of local businesses due to buying power of chain stores; Walgreen’s offered highest paying jobs for black workers; “You may study budget and finance in school now, but God taught the blacks budget and finance by giving them small salaries and hardships”; stock market crash of 1929; economic recovering during World War Two; cigarette economy amongst soldiers; joining military allowed young blacks to save money; now businesses survive by undercutting each other; other neighborhood businesses; Leo Butler building; local man who was killed in war.

 

Tape 1034, Side B

Neighborhood businesses; recommendations for future interviewees;

 

 

TAPES:  1      (T1034)                                               TOTAL PLAYING TIME:  51 minutes

 

# PAGES TRANSCRIPT:  20

 

OTHER MATERIALS: Index (2 pages)

 

RESTRICTIONS: None