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North Tulsa Oral History Project. Includes interviews with Jobie Elizabeth Holderness, Alfred Barnett, Thelma Whitlow, Ernie Fields, Pocahontas Greadington, Thelma DeEtta Perryman Gray, and Fannie Hill.

Video Chapters

Curatorial Remarks

Jobie is discussing a quilt pattern of a quilt that she possesses. Mr. Alfred Barnett is discussing his experiences as a busboy with different economic groups of Tulsa people and his ministering to residents of nursing homes. He visited three nursing homes once a week. Thelma Whitlow talks about her efforts with Opal Dargon to raise funds to create important organizations for the Greenwood area. She noted that Mrs. Whitlow and Mrs. Dargon started a fund to begin the North Tulsa Heritage Foundation. She raised funds for cultural and political advocacy. Mrs. Whitlow was active with female youth groups. Ballet, camps, parks, and volunteer projects were created. The work was done without pay. She discussed the work of her husband as an administrator at Booker T. Washington high school. He raised funds for team uniforms. Awards were received for community work, such as the Tulsa Hall of Fame in 1990 at Southern Hills. He was the first black person that received a Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts. Ernie Fields discussed music and big bands in the Tulsa area and his experience as a noted musician. Mr. Fields attended Tuskegee College and majored as an electrician, but played in the band. He played the trombone. Roy Milton was in his band. T-Town Blues was a noted piece of music that he wrote. Duke Ellington was his inspiration and Count Basie. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and was very proud to be a recipient. Pocohontas Greadington spoke of her experiences as an educator in Gary, Indiana, Muskogee, and Tulsa Public Schools as Supervisor for Elementary Math K-6, "Pokie" taught at the elementary level. She graduated from Langston in education. She was a trailblazer in math serving as a math teacher supervisor. Her master's degree was in math education from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. She valued her connections with her OSU professors. She utilized male intern teachers to introduce math as a fun subject. Introduced new math concepts. The Houghton Mifflin Company visited Tulsa and asked Pokie to join the company's team for writing math curriculum. Her area was for third grade students. She created a handbook that led to the development of a workshop and math book. Mrs. Greadington believes that American students are compared unfairly to European students. She is an advocate for the use of computers. Eddie Faye Gates shows the Greadington's "Brag Wall" on which a variety of awards for her work in math education were placed. Her most prized award was given to her through the National Conference of Christian and Jews. The Council Oak Tree is the beginning of Tulsa. It is connected with the Perryman name, Creek Indian tribe. A Black Perryman family were Tulsa pioneers. Thelma DeEtta Perryman Gray was interviewed. Mrs. Gray discussed her early days growing up in Tulsa. She was born near 21st and Mingo Creek area. She was one of seven children and remembers many family members that got together for family gatherings and cookouts. She remembered going to Indian camps with her father. Her father taught Native Americans how to work with metal items. Mrs. Gray met some of her white and Indian relatives. She described how her father was swindled out of his land. He was able to hire a Jewish lawyer to retrieve his land. However he was found dead before he could testify about the issue. She was related to the Lyons who owns a business that feature Indian artifacts.

Montecella Driver, Community Expert for the Eddie Faye Gates project, 2020-2022

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Umatic tape label: 4b. Paper enclosed contains photocopy label that reads: Gates tape 1. NTOH 4. 1. Billy Jarrett, 2. Tennessee Washington Perryman, 3. Henry and Ima Johnson, 4. Jobie Elizabeth Holdnerness, 5. Alfred Barnett, 6. Thelma Whitlow, 7. Ernie Fields, Sr., 8. Pocahontas Greadington, 9. Thelma DeEtta Perryman Gray, 10. Fannie Hill - Hutcherson y.
Don Thompson Thompson (Author)
Don Thompson Thompson (Author)
Eddie Faye Gates Gates (Subject)
late 20th century
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Eddie Faye Gates, Tulsa, OK, teacher, author, community activist
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
Not On View

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