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Alvin Harris interview, 2020-01-11

Identifier: rwhc_ohp_2019_005.wav

Scope and Contents

Mr. Alvin Harris discusses his life and experiences moving from Raleigh, North Carolina to Washington, DC. Mr. Harris discusses his early life in Raleigh, his family’s move to Southeast Washington, DC, and his upbringing and education in the city. He also discusses his life in Washington, his work as a carpenter and career in construction, and his transition to work for the federal government. Additionally, Mr. Harris talks about Marion Berry and “Chocolate City,” and the crack epidemic in DC.


  • Creation: 2020-01-11


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Alvin “Flooty” Harris was born on October 21, 1958, outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, and was the youngest of his parents’ five children. His mother, Betty Jean Lyn Harris (b. 10/22/1932), raised Mr. Harris and his sibling as a single mother with the help of grandparents. The family migrated to Washington, DC, in 1966, when Mr. Harris was only 8 years old, and moved into the Hill East neighborhood of Southeast. Upon moving to Washington, Mr. Harris completed primary school education at Thomas B. Bryan Elementary School, attended Charles W. Eliot Junior High School, and went on to graduate from Eastern High School in 1977. Mr. Harris then completed a four-year carpentry apprenticeship through the Joint Carpentry Apprentice Committee and subsequently spent nine years working in construction. After leaving construction, Mr. Harris got a job as a carpenter working the federal government. Mr. Harris worked for the government until his retirement.


From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)

From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)

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