African American Studies
Born on February 19, 1914 in Nassau, Bahamas. George Winsor immigrated to the United States at a very young age to live with his godmother in Harlem. Winsor, who has a very dark skin complexion, cites the racially stratified nature of the Bahamas at the time as being one of the main motivations for his parents sending him to the States. Fearing that he would not be able to succeed economically and socially in a society that put such a heavy premium on complexion, Winsor’s parents sent him to a country in which they thought his skin color would not factor in as predominately as it would in his native Bahamas.
Spending the first twenty plus years of his life in Harlem, Winsor attended St. Cyprian’s high school. He was also active in the Harlem Democratic Club, where he met his wife, Lattice Edwards Winsor, whose family hailed from Antigua in the Caribbean.
After marrying his wife somewhere between the years 1940-1942, Winsor enlisted in the Armed Forces, where he served as a medic in the 92nd Medical Division, an all-Black unit attached to the 339th Infantry Division, another all-Black fighting unit. Having served in Germany and France during World War II, Winsor talks about how at the time only Black medics could treat Black soldiers hurt in battle.
Upon returning to the states, Winsor and his wife moved their family to the Bronx. Winsor forewent the educational opportunities that awaited him as veteran returning from service, despite his saying that such opportunities were the main motivation behind his volunteering for the service in the first place.
Instead, Winsor took a job at the main post office on 34th Street in Manhattan, where he then worked for the next 60 years of his life before retiring within the past decade.
Talking about the transformation of his Bronx neighborhood over the years, Winsor points to a fundamental lack of respect among young people today in the neighborhood. Most notably, he speaks about foul language used in the presence of elders as one of the primary examples, as he claims his generation would never use profanity with such ease around older generations as young people today seem so happy to do.
Winsor, George. 27 February 2009. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham.
Click below to download supplemental content.Winsor, George Part 1.mp3 (63286 kB)
Winsor, George Part 2.mp3 (62670 kB)