Black Camden Oral History Project
To date, we have not identified any interviews with Rutgers-Camden alumni, faculty, or staff within our collections. To remedy this, we are conducting interviews through the Black Camden Oral History Project, led by professor Kendra Boyd and digital archivist Jesse Bayker with help from the Rutgers Oral History Archives. Once the inteviews are transcribed, they will be added to the Black Voices at Rutgers index.
We are currently recruiting participants for oral history interviews, and we invite African American alumni of Rutgers-Camden to contact us so we can record your story. You can learn more on the Black Camden Oral History Project website: blackcamden.org.
Other South Jersey Interviews
For research about South Jersey, the oral histories listed below may be of interest. Bryson C. Armstead was interviewed in Lawnside, Camden County, and Cornelius Gaither was interviewed in West Deptford, Gloucester County. Their interviews highlight African American life in South Jersey in the mid-twentieth century.
Bryson C. Armstead, Sr. was born on December 21, 1923, in Haddonfield, New Jersey. He graduated from Memorial High School and worked for Campbell’s Soup before World War II. During the war, Bryson joined the US Navy and served as a steward’s mate. After the war, he pursued college and graduate education on the GI Bill. He received BA in social science from St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, NC, and a master's from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), and pursued additional graduate work at Temple University in Philadelphia. He taught elementary schools for 35 years and retired from the Philadelphia School District in 1986. He lived for many years in Lawnside, NJ, and served as a Lawnside Borough Councilman for 9 years. He served on the Board of Education in Lawnside as well as in Camden. He was a lifetime member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. His community spirit was exemplified through his tireless efforts for more than thirty years to restore and maintain Mount Peace Cemetery, a historic black burial ground, in Lawnside. Mr. Armstead's interview primarily focuses on his early life in Camden County, World War II military experience, and his education following the war. It appears that a second oral history session was planned, but did not take place. Mr. Armstead passed away in 2014.
Dr. Cornelius E. Gaither was born in Philadephia in 1928. He attended an all black elementary schooll in West Chester, Pennsylvania before attending an integrated high school. Gaither attended Lincoln University in 1945 and went on to Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee to earn his doctorate degree in Dental Surgery. He joined the Air Force in 1955 and spent three years an oral surgeon in Germany. Gaither retired in 1987 having served over thirty years in the Reserves.