Lucille Sneed


Manage episode 303064616 series 1390309
By IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In the 1920s, Lucille Sneed’s parents left Tennessee for South Bend to work at Studebaker. They were part of the first wave of African Americans migrating north chasing what they saw as opportunities in factory jobs.

During World War II, Lucille’s brother was called into military service. Lucille took his place at the Studebaker factory.

She stayed after her brother returned. Lucille learned how to sew with large, industrial machines to make upholstery and other fabric materials for thousands of Studebaker cars. She also learned how to navigate segregation in South Bend’s shops, theaters, and restaurants.

In 2002, Civil Rights Heritage Center co-founder Amy Selner and historian David Healey sat down with Ms. Sneed. They talked about her work at Studebaker, her time at Central High School, and what South Bend was like in the middle of the 20th century.

This episode was produced by Donald Brittain from the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at IU South Bend, and by George Garner from the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

Click here for a transcript of this episode.

Want to learn more about South Bend’s history? View the photographs and documents that helped create it. Visit Michiana Memory at

Title music, “History Explains Itself,” from Josh Spacek. Visit his page on the Free Music Archive,

62 episodes