Joyce Hayes and Tanene Allison

Recorded July 5, 2009 Archived July 5, 2009 00:00 minutes
Audio not available

Interview ID: SFB000394


Joyce Hayes, 64, talks with her friend Tanene, 28, about growing up in Chicago and her involvement with social work, education and politics.

Subject Log / Time Code

Joyce, whose mother was a jazz singer, grew up with music in the home and loved to dance and entertain people.
Politics has always been important to Joyce and she early on was a supporter of Stokely Carmichael and S.N.C.C. rather than mainstream trends.
The arts have always had a place in Joyce’s life. She played the cello in school and earned a degree in Theater Arts.
Joyce talks about her experience as a hospital volunteer in Chicago and how she was met with racism by whites and needed a police escort to safely enter and exit the hospital.


  • Joyce Hayes
  • Tanene Allison

Recording Location

San Francisco StoryBooth


StoryCorps uses Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Natural Language API to provide machine-generated transcripts. Transcripts have not been checked for accuracy and may contain errors. Learn more about our FAQs through our Help Center or do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

00:05 If I'm not asking that stuff that you want to talk about feel free to bring up other stuff, too.

00:14 My name is Janine Allison, and I'm 28 and today is July 5th, nineteen.

00:29 My name is Joyce Hayes on 64 and today is the

00:38 What is the date it is 7 + 8.

00:51 90 I'm all confused. 707 5th 2009.

01:03 Annum

01:05 And we're San Francisco and I have the interview by my goddaughter to me.

01:16 So where were you born? And where did you grow up?

01:20 I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, April 14th 1945.

01:28 And I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. I'll St Louis when I was six seven years old and I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. What were you like as a kid?

01:49 I was starry-eyed Daydreamer had a dream that a lot realize I was by myself a lot.

02:00 And I am and so I made a fantasies on my for the fantasy spinner. So I was kind of a

02:10 When will call me a lonely kid, but I was also on also one of the wisdom of my grandmother because I was raised by my grandmother and in my early years.

02:25 So pretty pretty much a day and I stay that way and I am still that way I think.

02:34 But I love to entertain I love to dance I used to scared. I was very tiny when I was a kid and I used to put me on the table and I used to play my Shirley Temple Animal and

02:49 And so I'm about to please people by entertaining.

02:55 Who were the important people in your life when you were young?

03:01 Well, my mother was always Larger than Life and letting some some of it was just a fantasy because she was a singer and she was out or doing various things away from me and I left what was left with my grandmother when I was 6 weeks old, but basically she was leaving the one that was larger life to me for to me and then also my grandmother.

03:32 Everyone else was pretty much made up in my life a larger than life to me. You would like kind of laugh. But anyway the baby real people and how did you end up getting to San Francisco?

03:53 Well

03:56 I was married at that time and my husband had was interviewed.

04:04 I went to viewed by someone who came from to set Chicago we and they were looking for teachers after American teachers and that was 1971 Z71 and they were looking for African American teachers for fill up the decent decree by the ECP because some they did not have enough after American teachers in San Francisco to fulfill the quota and so

04:44 We were we were interviewed and then that was an April and May and June the June. We were selected to come to San Francisco and we started working with the deuced school district in.

05:06 And September

05:08 Anna with and I have three children three children 10 suitcases and one with pops and them very very conservative and very very pinkish. Yeah. Yeah, and although I had been several sit-ins and Martin Luther King and with other Stokely Carmichael mainly because I was one of the first numbers of sick and how we I was we were still very. Well, not dumb but just kind of conservative thinking and that's what our families were. Both. Very conservative families have been there two families.

05:59 Anna and I didn't know I did not know what the word pimp met when I came to San Francisco and they were saying this is a panther and I was what is that anyway?

06:17 Well, I knew what I thought it was.

06:22 That's a veteran and I reacted to everything like that when I decide not to look like, you know, various things like that. We were married.

06:34 People couldn't the people said that you were were you raised in Chicago and we were out what part of my raising was in the projects of Chicago and so but we my mother we were very sheltered and so am I because when he was reacting he was raised in Obama neighborhood. He was lame left $3 3 of blocks from Obama and the family home and and they were his his mother and father were very conservative. But anyway, we ended up San Francisco and we change the change our lives.

07:24 So, how is your life in San Francisco been different than you thought it would be when you came with the 10 suitcases?

07:32 Well, I love San Francisco and I think of Chicago the place that I am from I love I was a little bit disappointed to San Francisco, but they didn't have a wonderful museums that they had in Chicago and and I thought the American people were we did not have the history history because they were we were inundated with history in our car and my family even though we were conservative but we were inundated with the proper history is my mother would say and and so I was a little bit disappointed with that but I love the people I love the spirit of the people. I love the energy of the people. I love being a part of a community immunity. That was my first introduction real introduction to community. Although I've been in several programs and then later I found out that spelled the

08:32 Life of War movement like the woman's name in the women's movement and the Civil Rights Movement.

08:39 So you're the director of a children's center and you've raised a whole crew.

08:50 Informally informally across 75 kids

08:54 And the

08:57 And it's it's been you know, how if people tell me how did that happen building the community place to stay with families needed to place the 222 respiratory time from kids and also and I felt that I wanted to be a part of their lives one time. I was naive to think that I was the person who would Bridge of that the positive steps and so other people other people were interested in that to into a situation where I work three jobs to take care of kids, then we're not mine. And so basically it was it was big

09:57 Community add I became involved with and also because it had to be done I'm never was person that never did not meet the challenge. I know that communities in to you and you've created it in so many ways in your house sitting in your Works. What have you learned as far as the challenges and the lessons around creating community and what role plays in people's lives and and how to do that.

10:32 Well, you know, I haven't called I haven't figured it all out yet. But I know that it's people cannot survive without the proper Community people cannot survive without having a place that they can depend on to be there for them when they needed people cannot survive to be have have the pizza people to to feel that they can feel so that support them and every time the things that they need good or bad and people could not survive without the discipline without the boundary setting, you know, and and not only the, you know, it was not only the kids but it was also the the parents.

11:26 And nnnn relieving the parents of the responsibility of taking care of their kids. I sometimes it was very I was very not even think I really felt that they could give would get them to tie chance to get their act together what they need to do.

11:47 To take care of themselves and order them to take care of their children. That was always my ultimate goal to reunite the families.

12:00 Amendola in bed after they became 18 19 20 years old and as you

12:11 But after a while I think they know what's going on with you and Lewis next time. What's your next step? And I'm not an apron string person?

12:23 But so basically I think that but we have to do that. We have to give them the leave one of the Braun says to send the arrow to the direction if you wanted to go and then be that go guardrail to be able to launch them on and let it go. What role has spirituality 400i I am. Well for sorceress want to say I'm not a religious person but I am very very spiritual and I think the spiritual means that dumb.

13:02 We all know what it's needed to be have the be the proper.

13:11 Proper elements with which says Community we all know what we need we need to do to take care of people pee take care of ourselves, which is number one. Could you can't take care of money to anybody else until you can take care of yourself. We know what's necessary and and I and that it isn't that is the beginning that it is live the spiritual being that helps us make those decisions. I think that

13:43 Is God is ever-present? The spirit is ever-present whatever forms a name that you may want to call it call it. But the but we we all we have to do is listen and all we have to do is make sure that we are in tune with our without that spirit and I'm at the pharmacy when I say God blessings and spirit. That's what I usually tell young people or people. I'm writing of that.

14:15 The spirit is with you, you know and well and then I don't want to get hung up on what God of how he looks so love to you and end and enter the spirit follow Jesus and make sure that we do the things that are going to be good for ourselves. And for the people that we want to be a part of part of our lives. Do you believe in an afterlife?

14:44 You know.

14:47 I think

14:50 Sometimes I go back and forth thinking about that.

14:54 But I believe in

14:59 Bad time

15:03 I believe in after Leslie Lisa said like this after spirit because whatever you do lives on lives on even in the words and deeds of mothers of fathers children other people and I you know, I my grandmother was a woman.

15:23 That head mini funny scenes. You know how many funny

15:32 84 example, for example, you make your bed hard you lay in it. It started in the speaking to her to me in so many ways and

16:00 And in her being very sentimental about so I think that is part of the afterlife the afterlife is what we would we carry. What a character as we as an SSD physical body is no longer there and I

16:20 And I think that

16:23 You know and I haven't I don't I haven't any other any other evidence but basically but bet I have evidence up is that people live long after they leave, you know Eminem and it is in the hearts and in the spirit of

16:41 Love of the people that they love and have they've influenced or they with him.

16:49 Jumping around a little bit. What role does politics played in your life?

17:00 I was always very political. I remember when I was 12 12, 13, 13 13 years old before he and I remember mr. Ray horror mystery who it was our American history teacher in Chicago and he took up a few of us to a a new organization being formed as a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and and then we were and then they were they were it was very political was not only radical and more than the the other committee.

17:43 Martin Luther King's organization. They were electric radical. They were you could feel the words of Carmichael and and then sitting in those little rooms that they had a meeting in Chicago, but but basically I began my father was a a Precinct captain and Chicago and he was big time political big-time Democrat and he was a daily man Richard Daley and I I I decided I didn't like daily and because he was too whatever daily political whatever. But anyway, I'm he was dealing with daily and I was at passing leaflets about the man.

18:43 Running for mayor

18:46 Netsdaily mybama actually kidnap me from the corner. And so and I'll and I got to give me more and more radical but I felt that it was important for me to have a boys young people need a boy and that's what we don't have in a lot of young people these days. They don't have a voice to talk about what they read their beliefs. They go with the flow of the material things of they know a little bit only through this situation when they felt they had a boyfriend and a god back to

19:25 I said there was so much hope during the election this plan selection. That's that young people were now saying that they had a voice and they could make a difference and they are they they they saw that they good friend, but I was never my birthday party party affiliation was pretty much Democrat, but I always said I would vote for the person who who voted for me. So which means that if it's if it's taken care of the interests of of young people if it's if it's encouraging young people would have I was a bad person would get my my boat. So so I'm and I can I still say that but I want to step into my father's day. That's crazy. You you could rejoice when you go in you vote straight Democrat.

20:22 Yeah, no, no. No, I don't want to what wood is this and when I was a little bit ago, that was like I wasn't I wasn't old is Simon bowling bottom and it was even more than I can remember what

20:46 He would tell us all the time that you just when you decide voting is for the Civil Rights Movement was political least War movement was definitely completa con, you know and most of them and the and the women's rights movement was the one that I was mainly involved in.

21:14 What are your hopes for your future the stuff that you still want to do with your life and your and your thoughts about the future at large and how that interacts?

21:22 Well, you know something's I think that I'm just starting to be as an older citizen. We I need to know if I need to I want to be a per person who will be believed. I want to be a person that is as has validated as a person who still want to make sure that we develop a real sense of community the problem and with a lot of our people kids these days they have missed the opportunity for Community. They have missed the opportunity of caring about each other. They have missed the opportunity of of of of of of being a kind and an older citizens they have missed opportunity of and I don't know where we lost that, you know, I know

22:22 And I and I am and I really want to be with the person to instill more.

22:31 And the kids about Community. I think that they've lost as much as we disappointed them. They lost trust and they lost our beliefs and what we can do with the mercenary p7 the person that piece of worm. They don't believe in what we're saying because we lie I'm through for both of our

22:56 Both sides of their mouth so that they don't trust there's no trust there, but we have to instill that I want to be one of those persons to hopefully instill that trust and our young people.

23:14 What advice do you have for those of us trying to figure it out how to live a good life purposeful and it's down your sense of humor cuz you always I think you'll still be able to make crack me up and crack up everybody around you which is an admirable skill. What advice would you give those of us trying to figure it out? So serious and an in one day at a time one day at a time. God did not promised us more than one day at a time and if we we follow

23:52 Our path of what is the probability of

23:57 Could you keep your eyes on the prize using letters that blue cold quote keeping your eyes on the prize and not take yourself. So serious that you can't stagnate you. You can't do the next go to the next move step. But but make sure that you are a part of a strong community that supports you that loves you and and then follows the guidelines that you believe in. So I think that that's the only advice that I would give young people or anybody.

24:44 Is there any Ivan ask that you want to tell me about it? It's bad honor ad.

24:54 Well

24:58 What are the things that I want what I asked you to?

25:04 Talk a little bit about education.

25:08 Anna

25:11 A kind of the difficulties of educating young people

25:19 Then

25:22 And an MMA in the future, you know.

25:27 What are your thoughts on how it's changed as far as education?

25:35 Education, I think his is become.

25:41 And I want to say this right it is it is it has becomes more and more meaning list education. It is not a puppy that is not really a thing. That kids need to learn.

26:06 Education has become more of a money and a thing and it battles with.

26:19 With with with with in itself as to who's educating who's who's in the right way the wrong way the weather ever meaning to the kids the young man that young woman can aspire to be educated be be educated educated quote unquote, but what do they don't get sometimes the same respect as a person who is not but certainly don't give look at the teachers and I'm going to think you all my life and a person who it and I'm not any problems with the Bard. I love Bart that I can have one. That's my way of going back and forth, but people make over $100,000 a year and a teacher entry level teacher is less than 6 of $55,000 much less than $55.

27:19 It's sold book be the the the the quality put on education and people who presented occasion is not the same. It's not the same thing that when everybody was low-paid then it was not as important. But now it is The Pimps give me that work camp on the corner or the drugs they can get far more money. And then then it is they would in education in Danielsville say, well, you know, it's not a last long lasting things but it's it's it's as it's a survival thing and it'll last as long as long as they needed, you know, I don't know what we can do but a business in fighting about education so much inside knee that is look a little lost its meaning and and the and the

28:20 I think charter schools and other schools that have alternative education. Sometimes do a much better job than the public schools. And I never thought I would say that public schools. I believe in public schools my kids some all of my birth kids and the kids that I work with all these years of the biggest Public School supporter, but I'm not sure I'm not sure and I ran so

28:51 And I see the kids young people who have gone through their education gone through their the higher degrees or whatever. They had so much struggles and some of it is at the at the goodness of professors are teachers who who want to really make you give them quality education or or it hasn't been because of people because other than some of the professors are the administrators in higher education who really a problem with the young people in the adults and who are seeking higher degrees and and and there and they've been cut cut off at the pass, you know, and and I only say that because I know of several young people who spoke too much of that a lot of problems with

29:47 With a higher education. I don't know. I just I'm not sure if we need to get back on the track.

29:58 What role has the Arts played in your life?

30:03 You know, I if I I I started when I started my mother was a wonderful singer Jazz Singer wonderful Jazz Singer.

30:21 I thought we always we song in the house was going every but then my my I went to when I when I went to middle school.

30:34 I was I was a pretend want to be I wanted to be great and I wanted the everybody think I was great. But what made me great is that I I figured I would have to put some of my money to put my money where my mouth was. So I started working up playing in the office trust mister mister pilot we've about he was Marcus Orchestra conductor and I play cello for a number of years in the Middle School orchestra and then High School orchestra and then a little in the hive college, but basically I would not admit. I personally would not have made it to school without made it to school without that kind of guidance and that structure and that love of music.

31:28 Why don't you know and then the program I graduated and my bachelor's degree was in Theater Arts because I started doing theater. I was in musical theater and all the things that related to theater.

31:51 And so I am so I was the one that spoke to me and it wasn't my life and it was my my reason for going doing as well as I did in school. And I and I am when I started working with the program that work with we had theater. We had script scriptwriting theater for free riding whatever and I saw the kids being it say if they knew that they were able to write and be able to tell their stories and still there. And so I thought it was a magical thing and I don't like when I hear about kids.

32:44 Having a be cut off from the music and and some of the Theater Arts of us even Sports. Some of these kids would not have survived, you know, the programs that are in place now and they are the educational level program that don't speak to these young people without the sports, but I thought theater without coral and unfortunately, I hope that people will get behind those, you know, a man and I hope that after school programs will stay there. Stay with them.

33:34 So there's 7 minutes left. I don't have a couple different list of topics, but I'm more interested in any stories that you want to tell that I don't know yet, but I should know for sure. Is you on a retail document in history?

33:55 Are your thoughts on the recent election as one of my favorite stories of yours is do when you talk about I think it was Kelly. I think it is your first kid and you're watching MLK on TV in Chicago, right? And you were what I don't remember which feature of his it was that you were holding her watching that speech and I always think about that and I think about now and just kind of the trajectory of your involvement in that and you're still probably in the kid watching the speech MTV vet was Janie and Jamie was born a couple things. She was born four days after the March on, Washington.

34:32 And it was it was?

34:38 When I was looking at Martin Luther King and his and I almost dropped the baby because I was so impressed and that speech and I thought and I built this piece and even now when look listen to Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech. I still get that same feeling now. The men MLK thing is what you little bit younger. I Was Your Woman younger I didn't have any kids, but he was campaigning.

35:10 In Chicago and his family live video.

35:16 Nothing MLK the President Kennedy and then he of the 60 election or whatever and then he has his family owned or a ran one of the disabled people disabled children's homes instead of an n and end in Chicago and he came and he asked who I was going to never wash my hand again. And so but he told us at that time is now popular now but need for giving back. I was so impressed with that when I was quite young I couldn't Vote or anything like that, but I was he was so impressive and he everybody there. He looked at them.

36:15 And you tell you knew that he was talkin to them, you know, and I and I worked at that and I was a candy striper for the Easter seal day camp for crippled children.

36:29 After that, I was 13 years older than for you and I want every bad day. But you know what after the day that I started working there and it wasn't in a tumble Park a white community in in in Chicago and I went there so happy and and and I was a junior candy striper number when I came out there was three hundred people who had brickstones or whatever and I and foot and I and I had to be extorted everyday to the bus stop.

37:08 Because they were afraid that I was in and I was just need and I that time I was for 10 for 10 about 89 but people work so up and I see how it is a candy striper volunteer, you know, and they were it was in the park before they Camp was in the park.

37:37 But the thing is I saw what I saw and I thought that I've got back from our love again is that I saw the fear in their eyes. I saw them feeling that this person was going to be the start of everything horrible for them. I mean it will be with a big old men women live so but my mother was so don't be going back there those crazy blibli pizza and I refused I just know I'm going to go back and my mother was wondering what was strong enough to let me go back there. I had to have police escort in and police escort out every every 4 of what we weave with 6 minutes because it was the summer program.

38:26 And it was awesome, but the feared and I felt at that time at B13. I said these people more afraid of me than I am of Aunt.

38:38 And an absolutely amazing.

38:45 Then but that that wasn't the spiritual lesson that I learned because I thought that to my kids and my kids have had several experiences.

38:56 Like that in my and they're not so they're not afraid of people. I'm not afraid because the fear is in the ones who calls the fear, right?

39:10 You got when you let you tell it because I'm stuttering. I I kind of them on the streets and in San Francisco without any family and trying to figure out my life and I was volunteering with kids at the center that Joyce friends and one of her goddaughter. So she's raised forever and I became really close friends and she was like, you need to meet my godmother and I was probably like Seventeen at the time I think and so you went to Joyce I went to church it's visitor to the Children's Center and afterwards she took us all out to lunch and I don't have money and where I came from nobody nobody bought you anything cuz all scared that I can afford lunch and takes 10 kids out for lunch every Sunday. So we went to lunch and then we hit it off.

40:10 And I was a feisty opinionated 17 year old is nobody around so you probably could identify with us trademarks and my goddaughter and was like, okay, that's it. So I wasn't going to think about Joyce in my relationship. I was think about that in James Baldwin's and the fire next time we're at the everybody like there's two people on the street yelling at him in the pasture jamming out of the question is like whose voice are you whose voice? Are you like who's going to claim you? Where do you come from? And so even though I live on the east coast now and I travel all over and I'm Joyce a girl so it's kind of the base of like how I view the world and community and family and responsibilities in relationships. So that's how should I have at my car real quick because she graduated San Francisco State

41:06 And this is all on her own. She didn't have to depend on families as what she graduated from San Francisco State. She went into Larkin Street of various other organizations tri-tip and she got her Master's Masters at Harvard and you know, the story is incredible. Look what the cat Obama campaign in in one of the persons who work at the Obama campaign, but she did well she has sometimes yes set ups and I could give her something but basically he is a young woman who's made it and the end of the story of that. They they did several years ago about them a woman from homeless to Harvard because she was able to make

42:06 Short bed

42:07 She's The DaVinci method of reducing family. She went into to the she did not abuse yourself.

42:18 Well, thank you Joyce for your time today and for all your stories. I hadn't heard the last one didn't get this all down and you know, so thank you for coming out.