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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In Search of Our Roots -- Buy the companion book now from ShopPBS
Sharing Stories: One Family's Story
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STORYTELLER LOCATION YEAR TOOK PLACE TELLER'S PLACE OF ORIGIN HOW YOU HEARD
My great uncle Leo Bobo Waukegan, Illinois 1992 Tollette, Arkansas Oral history from my older relatives

My great uncle Leo Bobo (my maternal grandmother's brother) told us that his father, John Morgan Bobo was a carpenter and architect and taught his sons this trade. Together they built over half of the homes in the 'new edition' section of the black side of town in Nashville, Arkansas. Their homes were unique because these homes were two-stories. Most homes then (1900-1945) were one-story homes. My great grandfather (John Morgan Bobo) also help built the 'colored' school in Howard County, Arkansas and sketch out the design and help to build the county courthouse in Texarkansas.

What was amazing about my mother's family was that her great grandfather (Peter Willis Bobo and his wife Charlotte) had over 100 acres of land in Howard County, Ark. His children stayed in Howard County as did his grandchildren and for a little while, his great grandchildren, who eventually resettled in Waukegan, Illinois (during the great migration) to get jobs in the steel mills.

Every two years (even number of years) there is Tollette Family Homecoming, which our family attended for the first time back in 1998. There was a man there named Uncle Big Baby and he immediately looked at my mother and called her "Johnny's girl". My grandmother was named after her father (Johnny Christine) as were my other great aunts (Henry Lee & Walter Ruth) Uncle Big Baby and my grandmother Johnny Christine were loosely related and he was good friends with my grandfather Otis White, who played baseball for a local negro league, eventually married Johnny Christine. So immediately, Uncle Big Baby recognized my mother resembling his cousin Johnny Christine.

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Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
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