FC: Betty Robinson | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."
2: Dear Diary, My mama always use to tell that “great things happen to those who get up off their behind and work”. And right now Charles’s Deli is doing amazing. I can hardly stand the amount of happiness that is cascading down on me. Charles and I have been married since I was seventeen, and sometimes I swear when I look at him I feel like a seventeen year old just meeting the most handsome boy all the other girls wanted. Now I don’t dismiss the fact that he annoys the living Jesus out of me but I love him with all my heart. But the true owner of my heart and soul belong to my Joerel, Carter, and Ruth. Yesterday Cater came home from school with the brightest smile on his face, talking about some girl kissed him.Then Joerel and Ruth run in ready to tell me the news. I told that boy “ don’t you let girls just kiss you”. It baffles me that my children have grown up and are well behaved kids. But i wasnt easy raising them. I guess it true, it really does take a village to raise a child. Charles’s and I village is our church. As soon as I had Joerel everyone was there to help. I swear Charles and I couldn’t have done it on our own. Tonight is Sunday night Boxing. Its a family event and I love it. We all gather around the radio with ice cream and listen as each pouch is thrown. The kids look happy and my husband is at ease. Our life hasn’t always been this great. At the start of our marriage. We struggled. Charles and I both had to get jobs on top of the building of his Deli. But hardwork, and our belief in the Lord lead us through. I love my life, I love my kids, and I adore my husband. I hope things never change.
3: Tomorrow Charles is taking the day off and we are going to surprise the kids with a day to the movies. They don’t have school and they wouldn’t expect it. The movies are great because they cost 10 cents and we get to watch two cartoons and a movie, the news, and enjoy the orcestra. It will be great. I know carter will love it because he absolutely loves cartoons. Sometimes at dinner I have to scold him for making Superman impersonations. That boy is a comedian. Life is good. Wait no life is great! Love
4: January 1934 Dear diary, The economy now a days has taken a very hard turn for the worst. Charles has not been home a lot recently because he has bad to watch over the deli he started 8 years ago. I know looking after the deli keeps us a flout and keeps us going but no matter how hard he is looking over that store and trying to make it work. its hardly bringing in any money. Last week the bank called and said they were taking the house, not only that we also might and probably will lose the business. So Charles and i have been talking a lot about where we would go when the house is gone and we have no other choice but to live in a hoover vill if we all want to stay together. We also have the option on moving with my father and mother but would do not want to couldn't them down with the 5 of us. Even though we might will move i couldn’t stand to see me children especially my oldest sun drop out of school to work. I want them to finish school and go to college so they can betthemselves. The world is tough for a black person in general and if your not well educated then how will you go anywhere and stand apart from other black people in america. I still believe this nation is great but we are going through a tough time. I believe we will get back up as a nation with the lords help.
5: In our lives now we are going through hardships but The great God will see us though. I know charles had money in the stock market before the crash. I honestly do not know what he invested to this day. Over the past couple years we have been saving money for our children's college expenses. We were really doing well and my husband wanted to invest it to make more money for them. So only hearing that the market has risen this past decade i was all for it. now the crash happen and my husband came home crying because all the money he invested was gone. I was shocked, scared and mortified that we would not be able to pay for our childrens collage. For all our childrens lives we said they go to school and we will pay but now i do not think we can now. We have sold a little bit of our stuff to try and save but its not nearly enough. I just hope times turn around soon so we can help our kids with school and provide them with a steady and stable house. This depression might be tough but it will not tear out family apart we have faith and we know we will be good.
6: November 1937 Dear diary, The economy has not been getting better. Our president is Herbert Hoover, and he is very adamant in he’s belief that the people should dig themselves out of this mess. Or he thinks that people should get help from the state government which is almost impossible. Living in New York city with all the people that need help, the state government can not do anything for us. There is to many people hurting across the nation. I heard on the radio that over in the midwest that there was dirt flying everywhere. Its nickname is the dust bowl as people call it. The united states is one of the most powerful countries in the world i find it hard to believe that the government can't help the people of the country. I also do not know why they wouldn't help the people living in the country. The country was built up by the people so why can't they help the people when the people need it. I know hoover tries to make jobs for people but its not nearly enough for the people of the united states. Ever since my husband lost the deli he has tried to find work. He went to the docks and also tried to work to build roads in the government programs but he only worked for about 1 month with this program and i know that better than nothing but couldn't you do more for the people Mr. hoover. People elected you because you seemed like you were a good leader for this nation and now the first problem as president you're not willing to help. On the radio they talked about how you were trying to tax over sea trade and make more money. on paper that looks like a good idea but it doesn't help now that no one wants to trade with the united states. All the people need is some money to spend for food and rent. We just want to be able to provide for our families even when our husbands don't have work or can't find work. Its not like we do not want to work its just theres no jobs especially for blacks. People will not higher us because they feel like if the white man don't have jobs so why should they give us jobs. I am just frustrated with the government and their lack of help and support of the people. I am frustrated and tired of hardly making it by. I hope next president will help and provide for the people he is over.
8: December 1937 Dear Diary, Now that the market done crashed we are struggling more than ever. Before all of this we were a normal colored family that were doing pretty well for ourselves. Now look at us, we can’t even afford to keep our oldest son Joerel in high school. Just a couple weeks ago we had to sit him down and tell him we had to pull him out of school to get a job, or in these times, at least look for one. You shoulda seen the look on that boys face, school was one of the most important things Joerel. He has dreams to go to college and to be a successful black man who did great things in his life. I never felt more ashamed in my life. To think that I as a mother couldn’t do anything for my family so I had to ask my son to help his father earn some money for the family. I couldn’t even bare to look at to look at Charles, I never seen a more broken down man in my life. Charles always told the kids to make sure to do good in school, go to college and make a better living for themselves, anything to be better than what we accomplished. He felt like he not only failed his business but he failed at being a good father for these kids. Now there were sometimes during all of this madness when our family had faith. The church had a lot to do with that. In fact just today we all attended church just like every sunday, sometimes I dont feel like going simply because I don’t have those nice church dresses I used to have, but Charles always tells me that people come to church to praise the love of God, not to look at what others are wearing.
9: So I put on the only decent dress I have and remind myself that people don’t go to church to look at what others are wearing. Im lead singer of the choir at the church, I love singing, especially when I get to sing my troubles and worries away to God. My babies also part of the choir, everytime I look back and see them singing with smiles on their faces, I smile even harder, knowing that for once their truly happy and not just faking it to be good for their parents. My youngest Ruth ! Oh lord she’s gonna follow in her Mamma’s footsteps with singing in the choir. Every waking moment that girl singing! She tell me all the time “I wanna sing just like you when I get older Mamma!” I tell her thats fine just as long as she does well in school first. Now my other boy carter, he does pretty decently at school but he doesn’t love it as much as Joerel. His passion lies in baseball. That boy could be outside throwing that ball all my himself all day long. Lately most of my time has been spent looking for a job. Times are hard but my family and I will go on. I believe that.
10: January 1939 Dear Diary, Sometimes it makes me wonder what being black in America truly means. I know that the government says that they mean well and what not but where is my relief. Im a black woman with a husband and two kids and I need to help provide for my family. My husband does not even feel like a man anymore. He can not help pay for much and we can not live like this. Hooverville is not a place where I want to raise my children. I can see the desperation in their eyes and I, honestly, have no idea what to tell them. I know they miss the warmth of their room and the comfort of knowing they have food to eat. I can not give them that and it grieves my heart. The government is talking about these “New Deals” but where is my New Deal. I have nothing. None of these government options applies to me. Not only am I black but I am a woman. I have two strikes against me and I do not know what to do anymore. Everyday I try to find something for my husband but we can not find work. Neither of us know how to truly cope since the death of Carter. He was such a light in our lives and since his death that light has dwindled.
11: Sometimes when I get so sad I feel his spirit. I can feel is quite, happy disposition. He was such a loving boy and sometimes I wonder how I can love my other kids still. It is hard to love after the lose of a child but I know my Joerel and Ruth need their mother. I just wish Cater was here to. Life isn’t easy but I got a new job. It doesn’t pay much, actually it pays hardly at all. But the good part about working here is I get room and board for my family. I found this sweet little old lady that saw me cry was I walked home from the back. They told me that they couldn’t loan me anymore money. I had nothing anymore. Then I saw this lady named Mary Crabtree, she was kind. She stopped me and asked me what was wrong. I told her my troubles and she began to console me. She then offered me a cleaning job.. She told me that it would be hard work and long hours but if I worked hard she wouldn’t mind having me live with her. I told her that I couldn’t have the job because I was not about the leave my family. We’ve already lost carter, they couldn’t lose me as well. But she was kind. She said that she had tons of space. Apparently her husband died about 8 months ago and she was desperate for some company. So she gave me the pool house. She said it was small “it only has two bedrooms”. IT ONLY HAS TWO BEDROOMS! I would have been glad with one. She gave me rope to help steady myself and my family. I was not about to turn that down. So i took the job. We all moved out of Hooverville and into an Hampton mansion. What are the odds. Gob is good. I never lost faith in him so he never lost faith in me. I am thankful.