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Bobbi Simmons & Odessa Figueroa

@ Weeksville Heritage Center

Odessa Figueroa, Bobbi Simmons


Grew up in 87 Troy Avenue, which was demolished when Weeksville Gardens was built; they report the home was over 125 years old when they moved there in 1958; brother, David Simmons, participated in the Weeksville Archeological dig; Odessa attended PS 83 and Bobbi attended PS 243. Bobbi Simmons and Odessa Figueroa both grew up in the Weeksville neighborhood: their family first moved to 87 Troy Avenue in 1958. Odessa, born in 1953, was four at the time and Bobbi, born in 1956, was two years old. Their mother, also named Odessa, had five children: Odessa, Bobbi, Cynthia, David and James. David Simmons participated in the 1968 Archeological dig when their home was slated for destruction in the late 1960s. They moved to 1664 Atlantic Avenue when their house at Troy Avenue was set for demolition. Their mother, Odessa, was born in North Carolina in 1919. She and an older brother were left behind in North Carolina while their mother and older siblings moved to New York City: apparently, her mother was worried that her two youngest children were two young for school, and so would not have anybody to care for them during the day. Odessa and her brother lived with their grandmother in North Carolina until 1929, when their grandmother died of a heart attack. Bobbi and Odessa (younger) say that the family story claims a white land speculator was attempting to steal their great-great-grandmother’s house: the shock caused her to have the heart attack. After her grandmother...
Oral History Wav
Odessa Figueroa, Bobbi Simmons, Meron Tebeje
Created Date:
1958 2007
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Weeksville Heritage Center