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Lucille Tibbs interview, 2019-01-09

Identifier: rwhc_ohp_2018_007.wav

Content Description

From the Collection:

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


  • Other: 2019-01-09


Biographical / Historical

Ms. Lucille Tibbs, (b. 9/25/1935) was born and raised in Orange County, Virginia. She and her four siblings were separated from their mother at a young age, and Ms. Tibbs was raised by her godparents, her cousins Regina and George Terrell. Beginning school at age six, Ms. Tibbs attended the Thornhill School and Lightfoot Elementary School in Orange County. Since there were no secondary schools for Black students in the county, in the 8th grade, Ms. Tibbs began traveling to Culpeper, Virginia, to attend George Washington Carver Regional High School. Ms. Tibbs has fond memories of her early life in Orange County. The Terrells owned their land and worked for themselves, raising livestock and farming, growing most of their food on the farm. Each day before school, Ms. Tibbs helped milk the cows, feed the chickens, and tend to the other animals. In the evenings, she helped with housework and gardening. In the ninth grade, Ms. Tibbs left school so she could work and help support the family. She then got married at age sixteen, and she and her husband worked in Charlottesville, Virginia, for a time before her husband went into the service. When he came out of the service, they move to Washington, D.C., in the early 1960s in search of better employment opportunities. They had three children at the time, Lucian, Na’imah, and Carolyn, and had their youngest, Mitchell, after moving to Washington. In the city, Ms. Tibbs both worked in her own home and worked as a housekeeper for employers around the city. Ms. Tibbs is now retired, and she resides in Anacostia.


From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)

From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)

Language of Materials



In this oral history interview, Lucille Tibbs, a long time D.C. resident, discusses her life and experiences moving from Orange County, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., in the early 1960s. She discusses her upbringing in Orange County and her reasons for moving to the District. She also talks about the differences between rural and urban life as well as come of the changes she’s seen in her lifetime. This oral history interview was conducted by a D.C. high school student as part of a class assignment on the Great Migration in Real World History.

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