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Korea Stowder interview, 2015-12


Scope and Contents

In this oral history interview, Korea Strowder, a long time D.C. resident, discusses her life and experiences moving from Denver, Colorado, to Washington, D.C. She talks about her family history in Kentucky, her upbringing in Denver, as well as her experiences living in St. Joseph, Missouri, after her father died and she and her siblings were sent to live with different relatives. Ms. Strowder recalls a spectacle lynching that took place in St. Joseph, and discusses experiences with racism and discrimination in the different places she lived. She also discusses her life, education, and career in Washington; including growing up the descendants of enslaved people, The Great Depression, and World World II.


  • Creation: 2015-12


Biographical / Historical

Korea Clark Strowder was born on March 14, 1920, in Denver, Colorado, the youngest of her four siblings. Her mother died when she was only three, and her father moved the family to a farm just outside of the city. Struggling to take care of four children, Ms. Strowder’s father sent her to live with an aunt in Des Moines, Iowa, but she soon returned to Denver since her aunt had many children of her own. A few years later, her father passed away unexpectedly and Ms. Strowder and her siblings were sent to live with different relatives. She lived with an aunt in St. Joseph, Missouri, but she saved up her money to leave after graduating from high school due to the intense racism and discrimination in St. Joseph. Ms. Strowder moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where a sister lived to attend beauty school before coming to Washington, D.C., in 1943. After arriving in D.C., Ms. Strowder worked in different government offices until she and her husband, Joseph Strowder, had children, at which point she began working in the home. Ms. Strowder later came to work in education and served as a pupil personnel aide at Bundy Elementary School from 1963 to 1971. At age 51, Ms. Strowder began studying mass communications at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and became a librarian. In 1979 she retired as head librarian of the Sursum Corda Community Library. Ms. Strowder passed away March 27, 2018.


From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)

From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001