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Adine Ray

Retired teacher Adine Ray devoted herself to raising her family and serving her community. Ray was born on July 4, 1908, in Chicago, Illinois, to Alma, a homemaker, and Andrew, a Pullman porter. Ray spent most of her life in Chicago.

After graduating from high school, Ray attended the University of Chicago until the Great Depression interrupted her studies. She later returned and received her B.S. degree in education in 1935. Soon after, she set out to teach in the Chicago Public Schools. For twenty-five years, Ray taught math, English and social studies to seventh-graders. Her husband, Colonel Marcus H. Ray, was one of the few African American military officers at the time. When he was sent to Germany, Ray and their two children accompanied him.

Upon returning to Chicago, Ray resumed her teaching career. Once her children were grown, she retired and moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, with her husband and lived there seven years, traveling throughout Europe. Ray and her husband moved to the Washington D.C. area in 1976 after the birth of their twin grandsons. They are Ray's only grandchildren. Though retired, Ray worked as a volunteer teacher in local schools. She and her husband had been married fifty-four years at the time of his death.

Ray continued her civic activities well into her nineties, working for a cancer fund in Chicago, and volunteering with the Red Cross. She belonged to several literary clubs and enjoyed going to the symphony and the theater. On January 20, 2008, Ray welcomed her first great-grandson,Taj Samuel Alva Usher, into the world. Ray passed away on February 7, 2008 at the age of ninety nine.

Accession Number

A2003.129

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/12/2003

Last Name

Ray

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Organizations
Schools

McCosh Elementary School

TEAM Englewood Community Academy High School

Hyde Park Academy High School

Chicago State University

University of Chicago

First Name

Adine

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

RAY02

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Lausanne, Switzerland

Favorite Quote

It Could Be Worse.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/4/1908

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cheese

Death Date

2/7/2008

Short Description

Junior high school teacher Adine Ray (1908 - 2008 ) taught for twenty-five years in the Chicago Public Schools. Ray then lived and traveled in Europe with her husband before returning to the United States to do volunteer work in Washington D.C.

Employment

Chicago Public Schools

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Adine Ray's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Adine Ray lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Adine Ray describes her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Adine Ray describes her mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Adine Ray describes her father's childhood and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Adine Ray describes her father's occupation and interests

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Adine Ray describes her mother's childhood and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Adine Ray describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Adine Ray describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Adine Ray describes attending Sunday school and first grade

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Adine Ray describes her experience in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Adine Ray describes her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Adine Ray describes the businesses in her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Adine Ray describes the racial diversity of her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Adine Ray describes her knowledge of the 1919 race riots in Chicago, Illinois and the Irish community in her neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Adine Ray describes her experience in grade school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Adine Ray describes her experience attending Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Adine Ray describes her transfer from Englewood High School to Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Adine Ray describes her experience at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Adine Ray describes her experience at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Adine Ray describes attending the Chicago Normal School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Adine Ray describes her experience at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Adine Ray describes the speakers and elocutionists who visited her church

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Adine Ray describes her experience at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Adine Ray describes her experience as a teacher at Stephen A. Douglas School and Gillespie Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Adine Ray describes meeting her husband, Marcus Ray

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Adine Ray describes raising her children while her husband fought in World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Adine Ray talks about not owning a television after World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Adine Ray describes her experience in a mother's club during World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Adine Ray remembers the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Adine Ray describes her husband's career after returning from World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Adine Ray describes moving to Lausanne, Switzerland in 1967

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Adine Ray describes her experiences in Europe

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Adine Ray describes the other black people she met while in Lausanne, Switzerland

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Adine Ray describes returning to the United States in 1974

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Adine Ray describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Adine Ray reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Adine Ray describes her book club

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Adine Ray reflects upon her longevity, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Adine Ray reflects upon her longevity, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Adine Ray shares her advice to younger generations

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Adine Ray describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Adine Ray narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
Adine Ray describes her father's family history
Adine Ray describes her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois
Transcript
Alright. Now, can you tell me about your family history? How far back can you trace your family?$$Oh, dear, dear, dear; not too far. I've heard tales from my parents [Alma Toups DeLuc and Andrew Charles DeLuc], of course. I know my father had a relative who was a very clever artisan, and he bought his freedom. And that was somewhere in the period of the Civil War. He bought his freedom and that of the members of his family, who were on the plantation. And he bought the freedom of an Indian [Native American] girl, who had been enslaved. That was the first time I knew that Indians had been enslaved. I didn't know that. And they married and set off for New York. They ended in Poughkeepsie [New York], and their daughter, it is said, was the first non-white child to attend Vassar College [Poughkeepsie, New York]. And I thought that rather interesting.$$What was her name? Do you know? Do you remember?$$I have no idea.$$Okay.$$It might have been--I don't know the exact relationship between my father and grandfather and so on. My father was very, very interested in the Indian cause, because, you know, the Indians, during the Veil of Tears [sic. Trail of Tears], the expulsion from the east area, they made their way through the southern part of the United States dying of disease and starvation. In some cases, they were aided by the slaves, and they, in turn, aided the slaves to escape. So there was a close relation between them, and I think that's where my father had not only an interest, but Indian blood. So much for my father. But he was always very incensed. He liked history and he was always incensed about the treatment of the Indians. So I guess it was closer to him than I realized. I don't know.$Can you tell me what your neighborhood was like when you--well, what it looked like when you were a little girl? 'Cause the neighborhood--$$Well, it was lower middle class.$$Yeah. Well, we're talking about though, a year that few people nowadays can imagine, and that's, so you were like five years old in 1913. Right?$$Yeah.$$So, I mean, life in--I mean, the--what did the streets look like in 1913? What did they--you know, what was it like?$$Well, I assure you there was no snow removal. Sometimes the snow was just impossible. You couldn't go from one side of the street to the other. And then I also remember, and my mother [Alma Toups DeLuc] feared them so, when there was a fire, the horses on the fire trucks, you know, would go--and--(simultaneous)$$So most of the vehicles were still drawn by horses?$$Oh, yes. And the horses seemed so wild, and they were being driven very rapidly, of course. And it was all very dramatic, but very disturbing to my mother.$$How did they, how did they clean up behind horses in those days (laughter)?$$I'm sorry?$$I was wondering how they cleaned up behind horses in those days.$$Oh, they were--yes. Men, they would employ men to come along and shovel off the waste. Oh, yes. Yeah, because I mean there were horses everywhere. All the delivery trucks were pulled by horses.$$Okay. Now, what was it like to shop for food? I mean, what kind of a (unclear) (simultaneous)?$$Well, I can remember how excited the neighborhood was when an A&P [The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company] opened in the next block. Of course, there was always the little store on the corner, you know, and the bakery shop. Oh, my. My sister and brother always insisted that I go and get the bakery--the buns. I liked going, except that I was afraid that I meet a dog, and I was afraid of dogs. So, I mean, I was a little girl, six, seven years old.$$In those days, dogs kind of roamed around where they wanted to then.$$Yes. But there weren't that many dogs, but just one dog was one too many. And--but outside of that, yes, they would--I don't know how they got away with it, because my mother didn't seem to make them go--maybe she knew that I liked to go. I don't know. Anyway, I would go and get the rolls for breakfast. And the bakery was manned by a German couple. They were nice and fleshy, and they had a nice, fleshy daughter; but they were very (unclear), well, they were very pleasant. The daughter was rather pretty. And they were pleasant people. And there was the shoe shop, and there was a dry goods store on the corner. We didn't like the owner of the store. I think perhaps he was not well, but he was always so negative. But, my sister and I, we wouldn't go in there alone. We'd go in because--well, I guess, we were sort of afraid of him. That I don't know. But as I say, I think he was ill, and we were always buying, you know, oh, embroidery thread or stuff like that, she was, and I would go there with her. And what else was there? Oh, then this A&P came, and we thought it was just the grandest thing. And so we stopped, but we started shopping at the A&P. And the little store across the street where everyone had shopped formerly went out of business. Yes. Well, you know that happens.