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Oral History Interview with Bernest Mitchell, July 27, 2016

Description: Mr. Mitchell was born and raised in Stamps, Arkansas. Mitchell traveled to the Cleveland area after the saw mill in Arkansas was shut down. Mr. Mitchell received his barber's license and started his own barbershop in the 1960s. Mr. Mitchell worked in other industries while sustaining his barber shop. Mr. Mitchell and other members of the Cleveland Black community organized in efforts to integrate Cleveland. They attended several government meetings and negotiated with officials. Mr. Mitchell once showed up at a meeting of the local white citizen council and received death threats after revealing his opinion about the council's proposal of halting integration by providing more funding for the Cleveland Black school. Following the meeting, Mitchell received a death threat by a local pastor. Mitchell ultimately served for decades on the Cleveland school board after being elected in the 1960s.
Date: July 27, 2016
Creator: Howard, Jasmin & Mitchell, Bernest
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library