Turner, Anita Skinner. 1999. “An Oral Narrative Recorded by Courtney Reid.” West Side Oral Narrative Project: Transcribing Discourse and Diversity in Saratoga Springs, New York, Annotated Transcript No. 2, March 15, 2021
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
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]
Turner, Anita Skinner. 1999. “An Oral Narrative Recorded by Courtney Reid.” West Side Oral Narrative Project: Transcribing Discourse and Diversity in Saratoga Springs, New York, Annotated Transcript No. 2, March 15, 2021, edited by Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Elijah McKee, and Mary Ann Cardillo Fitzgerald. Saratoga Springs, NY: Scribner Library, Skidmore College.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.