African American Studies
Davidson speaks extensively of is childhood. He grew up in the Bronx and moved around quite a bit. His mother was a homemaker while his father worker at the local post office. In addition to be a postal worker, Davidsons father was also a community activist as well as the founder of the local Bronx NAACP and the newspaper “The Listener”.
Davidson recalls a racially harmonious neighborhood in which he lived. However, the surrounding neighborhoods were fraught with racial tension and animus. He describes a tense relationship between blacks and police officers in these neighborhoods. According to Davidson, two or more black walking along the street could be stopped by police officers and harassed. He muses that his experiences with police officers throughout his adolescence is no different than the modern day experience.
Davidson was a huge advocate for education equality. When he was growing up, the schools were multiracial and the teachers were excellent. However, as more blacks moved into the neighborhood, the quality of education gradually began to decrease. Despite this, most of Davidson’s friends went to college and he would eventually attend four colleges including NYU and Howard Unieersity.
Following World War II, blacks faced racial, housing, educational, and employment discrimination throughout the Bronx. Davidson was very active in combating these institutional prejudices. Davidson recalls the Republican Party, communist party, democratic party all working together to bring an end to the injustice.
Davidson, Jessie. Interview with the Bronx African American History. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
Click below to download supplemental content.Davidson, Jessie.mp3 (102899 kB)