Janet Thomas was born to Italian immigrant parents and lived in the Gordon Square neighborhood. She describes the neighborhood's bakeries, theatres, drug stores, and ethnic shops. Thomas mentions how the Depression impoverished her family, but notes that the Depression brought the different ethnicities of the community together. Her family never fully recovered financially from the Depression, therefore the family's leisure activities included going to church and visiting nearby parks like Edgewater and Lakewood Park. Although she remembers the different ethnic groups getting along, the races remained segregated, with African Americans being barred from going to certain churches. After she married in 1965, she noticed that the neighborhoods started to change. She soon moved to the suburbs.


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Thomas, Janet (interviewee)


Project Team



Document Type

Oral History


53 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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