African American Studies
Interviewee: Clydia Grayson
Interviewers: Mark Naison, Patricia Wright, Daniel Wright, Mary Ward
Summarized By: Eddie Mikus
Clydia Grayson is a former employee from the beauty business who moved to the Bronx from Louisville, Kentucky. In her interview, she discussed some of her experiences running a business as well as her life as an African-American woman.
Grayson graduated from beauty school in 1932 after training under Madam CJ Walker. After moving to New York upon her marriage in 1944, she worked for a beautician on Madison Avenue and then operated two stores in New York City. She said that she worked with both white and black clients in Kentucky, and that the white clients often wanted her to curl their hair. However, she said that all of her customers in New York City were black.
In addition to her beauty business, Grayson also discussed some of her experiences living in New York. In particular, she spoke at length about the religious differences within her family. Grayson told the BAAHP that she was a Baptist, her husband a Methodist, and that three of her children became Catholics after attending Catholic school. Although Grayson initially attended both Baptist services and Catholic Mass, she eventually took up Catholicism.
Grayson, Clydia. Interview with the Bronx African American Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
Click below to download supplemental content.Grayson, Clydia.mp3 (44956 kB)