Josephine Jerald Interview

Dublin Core


Josephine Jerald Interview


Rosedale History Harvest, Rosedale Memories


Josephine Jerald details her life in Rosedale, Alabama and the changes she has seen within the community over time.


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March 24, 2019

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Shae Corey


Josephine Jerald


Lee Community Center, Rosedale Alabama


SHAE COREY: So, did you grow up in Rosedale your whole life or?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Yes, all my life other than uh eighteen years of marriage. But, I, I've been in Rosedale all my life.

SHAE COREY: What was it like growing up in Rosedale?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Do you want to know my name?

SHAE COREY: Oh yeah, you can do your name.

JOSEPHINE JERALD: I'm Josephine Jerald, I live at 1708 25th Terrace South, Rosedale Alabama, 35209 and I love Rosedale, I don't want to live anywhere else. I feel safe, everybody friendly, everybody know everybody, we are all like family. Any problems, people will everybody come to each other, like funerals and banquets and churches we all like one family, when we go to the hospital, everybody, a lot of people come and visit with us. And it's just a good feeling to feel like you belong.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: So, I, I, this is Jefferson County, Rosedale AL and Rosedale Highschool was a like, was like a family, grades 1-12, I know no other school that, was like that. One, grades one through twelve. (Children in background) Everybody, the little ones were in elementary, then you moved in the same building to middle school and high school. The middle school and high school children took care of the elementary children to make sure they got home safely every evening, that was their job to make sure everybody got home safely. We walked home.

SHAE COREY: And everybody looked out for everybody else? In the neighborhood?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Yes. And we had books--but they was old books. Some of the pages was torn, but the, the, we made it through whatever we was taught.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: But the greater thing about Rosedale is I'm going to name you some of the people, the graduates and their occupation.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: One of my friends is a judge now, several nurses, several teachers, several lawyers, barber shop people, cosmetology, poets...



SHAE COREY: So, they were well prepared for--

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Well prepared under the conditions that we had, we didn't have new books we had to use the books that was shipped from the better schools to us and some of the pages was torn out, but we still learned.

SHAE COREY: Mhm, yeah. Do you--

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Under those conditions.

SHAE COREY: So, this, I know the school and the churches were a really big part of the Rosedale community, right? And--

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Yes, yes. But my sister, not here but she, she--is he bothering?

SHAE COREY: No, no he can touch it it's okay.

JOSEPHINE JERALD: My sister, not here to tell you but she was 90 years old, she got the flu today she wanted to come but what happened was she remembered when the school was burned on Loveless Street.

SHAE COREY: Aw. Really? Was that when the school was made of wood or?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Loveless Street changed to B.M. Montgomery Street, but it was Loveless Street, but the school caught on fire and burned, and the people had to go to the churches to have school.

SHAE COREY: Oh really? They had them in church after that?


SHAE COREY: For how long? For just until they could rebuild the school?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: I don't remember but my sister, would remember if she was here.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: But they did have church in school because the school caught on fire on Loveless Street.

SHAE COREY: Mhm. Yeah. Well, do you know like why it burned or?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: I don't know how it burned or why, I don't know the reason I just remember her telling me that, I was so little.

SHAE COREY: Mhm, yeah. Do you remember when the school closed, because of desegregation?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Yes, uh we went to uh Shades Valley as they closed this school down. And they went to Shades Valley, I forgot what year it was though.

SHAE COREY: 69, maybe? But how did that change the community do you think?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: It, it changed it because a lot of my friends and uh their parents wanted the children to go for segregation, but they didn't want to go because they were afraid and they were bullied and some came home hurt, and they couldn't study because they was too scared to study because they was so, the way they was treated in the classroom.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: They learned, but they did this because of the cause.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: They made history by going, but they didn't want to go because they were afraid.

SHAE COREY: Hmm. So how do you think the community has changed since then, like over time, since you've been here for so long?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Over time, the community's not as close because a lot got married and moved away, there's not as many homeowners like me. I live in a home house, I got married and came back home and my kids went to Homewood High School and uh his mother, his mother went to Homewood. So, this is my great grand, my great grandbaby.




JOSEPHINE JERALD: So, we don't have the closeness as we used to.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: We, only closeness we have is the churches. But--

SHAE COREY: Okay, do you still go to...

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Yes, I got to Friendship Baptist Church but it's a lot of Mexicans, stop baby, and Latinos live in my community now, it's not the same like I can knock on your door and ask for a cup of sugar, they, they, speak English, they live that close to me but I don't feel like I can have a conversation with them. So, I don't try.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: But the lady on the right side, she's Caucasian, she's nice but I don't hardly see her.


JOSEPHINE JERALD: But the one on the left side, Latinos, they don't say much but again still, and the one in front of me is Mexicans, I got about five on one street that's Mexicans I mean with me, but they don't bother me. Nuh uh, don't do that. But I don't fear. They, they, I don't feel--I feel safe with them but they don't feel safe to live next to me.

SHAE COREY: Do you think that like the church now, the churches in Rosedale are still like big, they still have the community feel of Rosedale or--

JOSEPHINE JERALD: They're not as close as they should be.

SHAE COREY: Not as close. Because the people don't live there?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: Uh huh, they moved out. Mhm. What time do you have?

SHAE COREY: It is 4:32. Do you have to go?

JOSEPHINE JERALD: I have to go pickup my daughter from work.

SHAE COREY: Okay, well thank you so much for talking to me, uhm--



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“Josephine Jerald Interview,” The Rosedale Memory Project, accessed June 25, 2024,


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