Gladys Jules

Antioch College
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00:00:03 - Intro 00:00:39 - Early Life

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Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about growing up in Haiti in Cavaillon and Port-au-Prince. She talks about spending time with her cousins in the Haitian countryside. She feels more from Cavaillion than the capital of Haiti Port-au Prince but she says that capital used to be very nice.

00:04:41 - First Time in the United States

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Partial Transcript: "I was so comfortable, I fell asleep"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about leaving my 3 month old mother in October 1968 when she was 24 years old. She remembers it being cold when she flew into Miami and then DC because her sponsor was in DC. It the first time she was on a plane and she was really cold. A nice man on the plane saw that she was shivering and asked the flight attendant for a double shot of cognac and a blanket.

00:08:26 - The Decision to go from Haiti to the United States

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Partial Transcript: I make a promise, with God's grace and I always work towards it"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about an issues with a sponsorship and the promise she made to my great grandmother that she was going to grow up, go to the US and send for her.

00:11:46 - Sending for the Family

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Partial Transcript: "It wasn't easy but hey, it's not my country"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about working hard when she arrived in the United States and she had 3 different jobs before she was able to bring my Grandpa in. She talks about setting goals and then achieving them. 1 year after she came she brought my Grandpa over in October '69. The two of them worked 2 jobs each to then bring her mother and her Children in '71. She talks about her first apartment in Takoma Park and moving to ensure that her kids went to good schools.

00:16:09 - Sending for Family Members; People acting up

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Partial Transcript: "How did you go from an apartment to a 5 bedroom house? Work Hard."

Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about an instance where she was disrespected by a lady in an establishment she was managing. She said it ended up being okay because she late developed a relationship with the lady after understanding that her racism was from the fact that her husband was killed by a black person. She speaks with pride about how she got her family here which ended up including 9 people.

00:21:44 - First Job

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Partial Transcript: "In America, Domestics don't eat beef"

Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about working as a nanny. She talks about it being a good job for her love children and missing her own children in Haiti. Gladys talks about taking on cooking duty and the children's grandmother chastising her one day for making a sandwich from the beef that Gladys herself cooked. She quit her first job.

00:29:02 - Second Job

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Partial Transcript: "I had other goals that I knew that I couldn't accomplish in Haiti, so I swallowed my pride"; "A lot them are uneducated so they have to survive but that wasn't my case"; Women are supposed to wash their own panties"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about leaving 2 nannies and a gardener in Haiti and talks about a moment where she decided whether or not she wanted to stay in the USA. Gladys also mentions a network of Haitian people that facilitated employment opportunities that got her. She talks about the options available to her in terms of the city- DC or NY. Her second job as in the an African Embassy on Crittendon near 16th st and talks about the beautiful lady and very smart man she worked for. She got fired for not washing the wifes panties.

00:41:42 - Third Job- The First Restaturant

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Segment Synopsis: She talks about working at French Restaurant as dishwasher and working her way up from dishwasher to salad girl within 2 weeks of working there and then becoming a waitress at a hotel concurrently with being salad girl.

00:45:14 - Duvalier Regime

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Partial Transcript: "Don't you ever do that again";

Segment Synopsis: She talks about the political repression under the Duvalier regime and the batons and machetes wielded by the Ton Ton Macoutes. She describes and experience where a member of the Macoutes sexually assaulted/harassed her and her mother steps in threatens to smash the the man's member between two rocks.

00:48:27 - Back to Haiti from the US

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Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about working in Haiti for 4 years with the US military in the mess hall and my first visit to Haiti as a baby.

00:51:11 - Family Value: Education

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Partial Transcript: "I'm always in a learning process"

Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about how her parents encouraged her to pursue an education as a nurse and how she resisted until she became a Certified Nurses Assistant in 2015. She talks about how for her own children she didn't do much diaper changing but when her mother was bedbound she found the courage to overcome her weak stomach

00:56:05 - What does being Haitian mean to you?

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Partial Transcript: "I always tell people, I am Haitian-American"

Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks with pride about being Haitian-American. She talks about a different Haiti where she could walk miles with my grandfather when they were young and was able to drive alone (while armed) in the 90s.

00:58:28 - Diasporic Connection

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Partial Transcript: "Yeah, I have someone here on the 4th floor. You can tell"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about identifying and meeting a Haitian woman in her apartment building in Maryland (she recently moved from FL). She talks about bonding with this Haitian woman over their lost husbands.

01:03:42 - Haitianness and Blackness

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Partial Transcript: "Yeah, I'm Haitian American, I'm Black"

Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about briefly pigmentocracy in Haiti in the past.

01:05:02 - Haiti and Development

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Partial Transcript: "The destruction started with Duvalier and it never stopped"

Segment Synopsis: Gladys speaks in a bit of cynical way about how many people want the presidency to amass wealth and obtain power. She talked about her lack of desire to work with the Haitian government in the 90s.

01:07:39 - Food Service in the Military and at the Marriott Hotels

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Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about working at Andrews AFB during the Reagan Administration and inspecting the fruit trays on Air Force One. She also talks about getting degrees in Business Administration and Food Service Management in Prince George's County and how this experience helped her land the job in Haiti with the US military during the Aristide and Preval regime changes during the Clinton Administration

01:10:27 - Haitian Culture

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Partial Transcript: "The art is very important"

Segment Synopsis: Haitian art reminds her of my grandfather's role as a producer of Haitian Art. She informs me that my grandfather attended art school in Haiti in addition to attending culinary school in the US

01:12:05 - Different Careers; Most of the time

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Partial Transcript: "He told me both of us can't work at the same place"; "I can't be bossing him two places"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about trying to combat my grandfather's workaholic tendencies and shares a story of when my grandfather was a Chef and my grandmother was the dining room manager at the same place. With love and laughter, my grandmother explains the decision to leave the job. Since the insurance was in his name, my grandpa made more money as a chef and she was the boss of the house that it'd be easier for her to find another job than fight to stay and she quit.

01:22:36 - Religion and Spirituality

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Partial Transcript: "I had always gone to American church up to 2000, when that happened, I said I'm going to look for Haitian church"; "If I dont go to church...I don't feel right"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about growing up Catholic and her decision to become Methodist 17 years ago (from 2017)

01:28:09 - Haitiannes and Gender

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Partial Transcript: "I will always be a Haitian woman"; "Some people feel like they have to beat up on the children"; "I try to break the cycle"; "I don't trust people with my kids"

Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about an expectation of respecting elders and respect in general as really important. She also talks about negotiating with her own mother and how she made decisions to continue and stop certain experiences she went through. She talks about the difference between spanking and beating.

01:35:53 - "Milo was coming to the house all the time"

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Segment Synopsis: Gladys talks about dating my grandfather for 2 years and how my Grandfather, known as Milo, sent a letter expressing his love for my grandmother from his full name, Emile Jules. She also talks about my grandfather having to ask permission of my great grandfather to be with my grandmother

01:39:42 - Thanks

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Segment Synopsis: I am audible reeling from having my mind blown by my grandmother sharing these stories with me