Martha Wright

Erin and Sam interviewed Martha on June 6, 2013 at the Custom House where they learned about her long life living on the Eastern Shore.
Martha Wright has seen a lot in the last nine decades she has been here. Having spent almost her whole life in Kent County, save for a few years in Chester and Philadelphia, PA, she has seen the way the county has changed from her girlhood days to now. She was born to a very small, black farming community called West Georgetown, attending a one room schoolhouse until seventh grade and working on the farm. She then went to Garnett High School (where she had to walk a mile and a half to catch a bus into town) before attending business school in Pennsylvania. Martha was then one of the many employees of Vita Foods when they had a factory on the Eastern Shore, and she eventually worked for Campbell Soup.
(L-R) Erin Cooper, Martha Wright, Samantha Gross
Her life has been relatively peaceful, and she remembers Chestertown of the past fondly. She met her husband while she was out socializing and dancing, attending a small saloon on Cannon Street and the famous Uptown Club, where she heard singers like James Brown, Fats Domino, and more. She raised her daughters on the road that was once called Railroad Avenue and is now Queen Street Extension. She also remembers the Freedom Riders because her husband was one of the men who were arrested and later let out with help from the NAACP. She says integration was not something that happened particularly violently or quickly. It was a slow process, and Chestertown took its time.

Martha has been retired for some time, having worked more jobs at the local senior center and for the health department. She has seen the up rise and the decline of the town, citing the influx of drugs and the need for more jobs as the biggest concerns for the future.

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