Dr. Richlyn Goddard "Northside History" Oral History Project

Date:   1995 - 1996

Collection Number: H097

Extent: .25 cubic feet (16 interviews)

Repository: Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library, 1 North Tennessee Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, (609) 345-2269.

Preferred Citation: <narrator name>, Dr. Richlyn Goddard “Northside History” Oral History Project, Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library.


An Atlantic City native, Richlyn Faye Goddard, is on the Adjunct Faculty at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s School of Social & Behavioral Sciences since 2007, and at Rowan University’s College of Humanities & Social Science, Interdisciplinary Division since 2010.

She earned a doctorate at Howard University in 2002 in United States History with a concentration in Public History and specialization in Oral History.   Her dissertation was 3 Months to Hurry - 9 Months to Worry: Resort Life for African Americans in Atlantic City, NJ (1850 to 1940). She earned a Masters degree in Africana Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia in1993, and a BA in Sociology/ Anthropology at Stockton College in 1990.

As a Lecturer III in the History Dept. at Howard University, Dr. Goddard was recognized as a pioneer in bridging the technology gap in teaching undergraduate history. She has also taught African American History at The College of NJ (TCNJ), Rowan University, and Distance-Learning in the History Dept. of Coppin University in Baltimore, Maryland.



Scope and Content:

The narrators for this project were chosen by Dr. Goddard. At the time, Dr. Goddard was living in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, and she was struck by how many former Atlantic City residents and visitors lived in the area. She initially determined to interview 10 of these for a project, which was completed for the Howard University class, Oral History II, taught by Dr. Elizabeth Clark-Lewis in fall 1995. Later interviews were conducted in other locations to expand the research for her thesis.

Dr. Goddard provided copies of the materials to the Atlantic City Free Public Library in March 2014 for research use. She maintains the original transcripts and audio recordings.

System of Arrangement:

The interviews are arranged in the order in which Dr. Goddard presented them to the library for copying. Full transcripts are not available for most of the interviews. They were housed by Dr. Goddard in a binder, but have been placed in folders for ease of storage at the library. Some of the folders contain more than one interview. The names of the 16 interviewees are below.


Subject Access Points:

Atlantic City (N.J.) – History – 20th century
African Americans – New Jersey - Atlantic City
Oral History – New Jersey – Atlantic City
Northside – New Jersey – Atlantic City – History
Westside – New Jersey – Atlantic City – History
3 Months to Hurry and 9 months to worry by Richlyn Goddard

Brown, Mary E.
Collins, TeRoy
Greene, Ralph
Hammond, Robert R.
Hammond, Vivian R.
McCoy, Ulysses
Monk, Mertina
Monk, Wilson C.
Pinkney, Jackie Bass
Ramsey, Priscilla, Ph.D.
Thomas, Sheila Gregory
Thompson, Helen Edwards Scott
Trotter, Judith
Usry, James L.
Ward, Gilbert, Sr.
Williams, Katherine Fairfax
Wood, Marshall


Related Materials:

The Atlantic City Heritage Collections houses other oral history collections related to Atlantic City and its residents. These collections are:

Local History Biography Files include information, such as newspaper clippings and photographs, about some of the interviewees and the people to whom they refer in the interviews. Local History Subject Files include information about the subjects to which they refer in the interviews. Two books on the history of the Northside, The Northside, and Growing Up in the Other Atlantic City, are important references. Also check the Library Catalog for other biographies of Atlantic City residents and people with connections to Atlantic City.


Processing Note: The collection is processed. Finding aid written by Heather Pérez, archivist, May 2014.


Copyright Notice: The Atlantic City Free Public Library shares the copy and reproduction rights for the oral history interviews with Dr. Godard. Please consult with ACFPL Atlantic City Heritage Collections staff before copying or duplicating any materials from this collection.


Narrators are listed as ordered by Dr. Goddard. A brief biographical description and description of interview content is also included, along with the availability of the full transcript.

  1. Priscilla Ramsey, Ph.D. A frequent visitor to Atlantic City from Philadelphia in her childhood. [overview of interview only]
  2. Ulysses McCoy. Visitor to Atlantic City for 5 summers in the late 1950s-early 1950s. [overview of interview only]
  3. Mary E. Brown. Grew up in Atlantic City in the 1930s and 1940s. Worked at the Breaker’s Hotel. Information about Northside neighborhood, buildings, Second Baptist Church, minority-owned businesses, discrimination. [overview, recording index of interview only]
  4. Katherine Fairfax Williams. Raised in Atlantic City from 1933-1944. Discusses her neighborhood, schools. [overview, partial transcript pp.7-10]
  5. Mertina Monk. Raised in Atlantic City. Discusses schools, education, Westside,. [overview of interview only]
  6. Wilson C. Monk. Grew up in the Atlantic City area in the 1920s and 1930s. World War II veteran. Settled in Atlantic City after marrying for some years. Discusses employment, discrimination, Pleasantville and Atlantic City businesses and neighborhoods, black athletes, amusements, celebrities visiting. [overview, recording index, partial transcript pp. 4-5]
  7. Sheila Gregory Thomas. Born and raised in Atlantic City. Her father was Supervisor of Colored Schools, and later, principal of New Jersey Avenue School. Westside, education and teachers, groups and organizations. [overview, recording index, partial transcript p. 6]
  8. Vivian R. Hammond. Born and raised in Atlantic City. World War II-era memories. [overview of interview only]
  9. Judith Barnes Trotter. Born and raised in Atlantic City as a “baby boomer”. Interview covers 1950s and 1960s. Kentucky Avenue businesses and entertainment, Stanley Holmes Village, Monroe Park, and Catholic schools. [overview of interview only]
  10. Robert R. Hammond. Born and raised in Atlantic City. World War II veteran. Discrimination and segregation. [overview of interview only]
  11. James “Jim” Usry. World War II military service. Basketball with Harlem Renaissance and Lincoln University. [4-page transcript; does not cover Atlantic City topics]
  12. Gilbert Ward, Sr. Business owner in Atlantic City from 1943-1996, owned a bar on Michigan Ave. World War II experience in Atlantic City. Discusses bar, other bars and businesses on Northside, 1944 Hurricane. [3-page transcript]
  13. Helen Edwards Scott Thompson. Born and raised in Atlantic City. Educator. Discusses Uptown neighborhood, school segregation court case, childhood activities. Recounts that her father was first African American born on Absecon Island. [32-page transcript]
  14. Ralph Greene. Raised in Atlantic City. Remembers meeting WEB DuBois in Massachusetts. Recounts names of restaurants, entertainment, rooming houses in Atlantic City, neighborhood segregation. Mentions Madam Sarah Spencer Washington and business groups. [17-page partial transcript]
  15. TeRoy Collins. Born and raised in Atlantic City. Atlantic City Beach Patrol lifeguard. Recounts history of ACBP in the 1940s and 1950s, Missouri Avenue Beach (Chicken Bone Beach), beach segregation, and integrating restaurants. Mentions Prohibition, Club Harlem Easter Sunday shooting, [31-page transcript; Interview conducted jointly by Dr. Goddard and Henrietta Shelton]
  16. Marshall Wood. Raised in Atlantic City. Atlantic City Beach Patrol lifeguard. Discusses education and teachers, celebrities on the beach, Chicken Bone Beach, clubs and entertainment, Westside neighborhood. [33-page transcript; interview conducted jointly by Dr. Goddard and Henrietta Shelton]
Jackie Bass Pinkney. Dancer from New york City who performed at Club Harlem and settled in Atlantic City. Ran a boarding house on North Carolina Avenue. [34-page transcript]