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Bernice Pitts interview, 2020-01-07

Identifier: rwhc_ohp_2019_006.wav

Content Description

From the Collection:

Oral history interviews recorded by students in the Real World History class at Center for Inspired Teaching.


  • Other: 2020-01-07


Biographical / Historical

Bernice Pitts was born on April 13th, 1939, in Laurinburg, North Carolina, and was one of Mary Magdalena McCoy and Dan Mclean’s ten children. After her mother died in childbirth, Ms. Pitts and her younger siblings were sent to live with relatives. In 1956, at the age of 17, Ms. Pitts moved to D.C. to stay with one of her older sisters. After initially working different jobs as a cook and housekeeper, Ms. Pitts secured a job doing custodial work for the federal government. After moving to Washington she also married her husband, Nathaniel Pitts, and had seven children. Eventually, Ms. Pitts was forced to stop working for the government after a workplace injury. Since that time she has worked in the home, spent time with her husband until his passing, and helped raise her grandchildren. Ms. Pitts has a passion for cooking and baking and now spends her days cooking cakes and spending time with family.


From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)

From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)

Language of Materials



In this oral history interview, Bernice Pitts, a long time D.C. resident, discusses her life and experiences moving from Laurinburg, North Carolina to Washington, DC. Ms. Pitts discusses her upbringing in North Carolina and the farm work she did with her family before talking about her move to D.C. and the transition to city life. Ms. Pitts talks about finding work in the city, working for the government, and retiring after a workplace injury. She also reflects on raising her children and grandchildren and gives some advice to future generations.

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