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Ms. Blondell DeCoursey Interview

Ms. Blondell DeCoursey Interview Segment a
Ms. Blondell DeCoursey Interview Segment b
Ms. Blondell DeCoursey Interview Transcript Completed

Interview with Ms. Blondell DeCoursey featuring Jessica

[[00:00:00]] Ms. DeCoursey discusses working at the Brewster Center – various activities (cooking, sports, fashion shows, movies)

[[00:03:00]] Championships at Ms. DeCoursey’s high school, Miller High, held at Brewster Center – outlines which levels of Brewster center were devoted to which activities – DeCoursey worked at center from age 11-12 giving out tickets – life with father

[[00:06:00]] Jessica, Ms. DeCoursey’s relative, introduces herself – Ms. DeCoursey remembers gym courses at Brewster Center, journalism lessons

[[00:09:00]] Ms. DeCoursey recalls attending clubs on Woodward Avenue (Madison and Greystone Ballroom), eating at night at Chinese and Coney restaurants – all the businesses were Black-owned

[[00:12:00]] Ms. DeCoursey says she’ll ask friends about details she’s missing out on – recalls her and future husband Douglas going out to clubs when she got out of high school

[[00:15:00]] Stayed with Douglas’s mother after they got married – Doug went to Northwester High School – Ms. DeCoursey went to Wayne County Community College and University of Michigan, Sidney Miller High school and Bishop Elementary – worked as tally girl

[[00:18:00]] Lived in large family with dad and several siblings in Brewster Projects – recalls types of music she used to listen to (Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke)

[[00:21:00]] continues discussion of Black singers – touches on Black doctors on Hastings street – jobs at cleaning franchise owned by Whitney brothers

[[00:24:00]] Slight signal problem – Ms. DeCoursey mentions prostitution was popular, pimps seen on street, but never posed a problem for passersby – she mentions passing them by when heading to stores – remembers how “all the stars came in” to Paradise Valley

[[00:27:00]] Everyone who attended United Artists Club, the Fox, Madison Theater on Sundays would dress up – used to go to Gotham Hotel as well – mother passed away when Ms. DeCoursey was young, neighborhood was safe – “We used to sleep on our porch at nighttime, all night long, honey.”

[[00:30:00]] Even at night, neighborhood was safe – everyone knew each other – four cops used to patrol (one Black, three white) called the “Big Four”, but Ms. DeCoursey never found herself afraid of them – sometimes would sleep or play outside as rain fell – “we were never frightened”

[[00:33:00]] Ms. DeCoursey recalls how she used to walk to school past Eastern Market – in those days Eastern Market was wide open, with plenty of outdoor aspects – ran for blocks – people came from different cities

[[00:36:00]] Father used to send her over to Eastern Market for rabbit and fish – eventually outside aspect went away – begins to recall how she used to take another route during the construction of the freeway before phone gets disconnected and call ends


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