Atlantic City Northside Unsung Heroes letter by Audrey Hart — Miss Audrey — was read at recent Atlantic City Council Meeting. Here it is in its entirety.
Location: Atlantic City
This letter was presented by Atlantic City resident and founder/president of the Atlantic City Business & Citizens Association Audrey Hart at the Atlantic City Council Meeting on Feb. 23.
Miss Hart called to say "Geoff, you need to tell this story at acweekly.com."
Nobody's telling all the truth about what goes on here in town.
Here is the letter in its entirety.
Atlantic City Northside Unsung Heroes
I'd like to thank the Atlantic City, City Council and residents of Atlantic City for allowing me the opportunity and time to come before you.
I am here today for the record to state my case to the people of Atlantic City and the council in an effort to have you help me to find resolution to a matter that is important to me, the residents of Atlantic City in general and the Northside in particular.
My name is Audrey Hart often referred to, by the residents of Atlantic City as Miss Audrey, a title that was given to me by the residents of Atlantic City['s] Northside many years ago.
I left Hartford, England at age 21, as a master tailor and came to Margate, New Jersey, to work as a nanny for the Malamut Family.
I moved to the Atlantic City Northside and two years later married into the Anderson Family, who came from Virginia in the 1920's to live and work on the famous Atlantic City Kentucky Avenue.
Mr. Anderson was the only shoemaker on the Northside at the time. His wife, Thelma Anderson was a mid-wife that delivered all the babies on the Northside and was the first black registered nurse to work in the Atlantic City Medical Center in the 1950's.
My husband Skip Anderson was a local black activist and historian who was born on Kentucky Avenue and we lived and worked from 1962-1992.
During that time we interacted with every resident and entertainer that ever graced Kentucky Avenue and I was so fascinated with the stories and history of the black Northside, that in 1964 I began collecting pictures, photos, stories, and memorabilia on the people of the Northside.
When I first moved on Kentucky Avenue in the 1960's I became close friends with Naomi and Pop Williams, as well as Ben [Alten] who were the owners of the Club Harlem.
Long before the famous Club Harlem was torn down in 1993, Ben [Alten] allowed me to take many of the original photographs that had been showcased for years on the club walls, to add to my collection.
By that time I had such an extensive collection, that I began to encourage and support others who an interest in preserving our history and telling our stories of the Northside.
I supported Willie Gainor's Club Harlem Museum, encouraged Sid Trusty to move his pictures and photo collection out of his garage, supported Ralph Hunter's efforts to showcase his small collection, placed a number of my pictures (copies) on loan to the Atlantic City Library, to be locked into the Heston Room and to be used only with written permission by me.
I further supported and loaned copies of my photos to the author Vicki Gold-Levi, who wrote a book on Atlantic City. I allowed a number of my pictures and photos to be used in the broadway play "Having Our Say" the story of the 100-year-old Delaney Twin Sisters [sic].
I took on the responsibility of trying to save this magnificent history, because I believed that one day, when the Northside no longer existed, that there would be proof and a recorded history of its existence.
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