Bridges Digital Archive: Audio and Video Recordings


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Oral History

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Artelea Burgess discusses her family’s Chocktaw roots in Oklahoma, and their move to Riverside and then North Fontana in California. She discusses her experience as a young woman on welfare, and her efforts to get education before she became a beautician and business owner on the westside of San Bernardino. She remembers the complex social life of her shop on the Mount Vernon corridor where preachers, pimps, and prostitutes all could be respected. She shares her experience as a practicing Jehovah’s Witness, and the profound impact she had on those in her community and community leaders had on her during her time in San Bernardino, California.


Interview conducted by Ratibu Jacocks.