Courtney Reid


Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Elijah McKee, Class of 2021

Mary Ann Cardillo Fitzgerald, WSONP Co-founder and City Historian of Saratoga Springs, UWW Class of 2000

Document Type

Annotated Transcript

Creation Date

May 16, 1999

Annotated Transcription Publication Date

March 15, 2021


Congress Street, Black-owned businesses, restaurants, Black Elks Club, IBPOEW, Southern migration, Black history


Anita Skinner Turner (1937- ) was born and raised in Saratoga Springs. She shares memories of Black residents and business owners in the Congress Street area, which she calls “Little Harlem.” Anita recalls as a child observing a lively neighborhood from the screened porch of her grandmother’s business, Mrs. Georgia Jackson’s Boarding House. Anita’s grandmother rented rooms to wait staff, racetrack workers, chambermaids, housekeepers, and other local workers. She recalls the twenty-four-hour entertainment district that included Jack’s Harlem Club, Hattie’s Chicken Shack, and other places displaced by Urban Renewal in the 1960s. She remembers entertainers too, including Duke Ellington, Peg Leg Bates, and Phil Black, and she reminisces about the Black Elks Ball that attracted many visitors every August. She also reflects on her family history, including regular train travel from New York City, moving to Saratoga Springs, and her surprise at learning that her mother had been adopted. [Interview duration: 59:30 min]

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