Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Leroi Archible


Leroi Archible

Interviewee: Leroi Archible
Interviewers: Dr. Mark Naison, Jim, and Kevin       
Date of Interview: January 26, 2004
Summarized by Rob Passaro

Leroi Archible, a Bronx Community Leader, political activist, coach and organizer of youth athletic teams, was born in Memphis.  His father was originally from St. Annes, Jamaica and his mother was born in Tennessee.  Archible went to Kentucky State, now the University of Kentucky, for two semesters from 1947 to 1950 and then spent the next ten years in the Marine Corps as a member of the first racially integrated group in the service.  He left the Marines in 1960 and moved to Corona, Queens, and worked as a security guard in a factory in the Garment District and for a movie set company.  He met his wife in 1962 and together the couple had seven children, three of which they shared.

As a teenager Archible would dance to Latin music at Hunts Point and in 1961 he began going to Club 845.  The Club stayed open until 12 a.m. and had dancing and a bar. The Palladium and Jobos on Prospect Ave and 69th Street were two hot jazz spots and Salina McClark was one of the popular musicians at the time.  Goodsims on 69th Street also played live music in the Bronx.  During this time, drugs and Heroin had become increasingly popular in the city and more buildings in sections like Morrisania were being burnt out. 

The changing neighborhood moved Archible and his family from Morrisania to the North Bronx and Archible became the superintendent of his building while working for the Parks Department.  He was also involved in the Jackson Democratic Club, which became the Morrisania Youth and Community Services.  Archible dedicated time to the other youth services as well, like the Tremont Improvement Program, which organized activities like basketball and football.  He became politically active in the 1970s with the Anti-Poverty Program and helped the Church of the Masters run a group they started called the Street Workers Inc, a group of guys who worked on the city’s streets and received a salary paid by corporate sponsors.

Keywords:  Morrisania, Kentucky State, Marine Corps, Garment District, Club 845, the Palladium, Jobos, Salina McClark, Goodsims, Heroine, Parks Department, Jackson Democratic Club, Morrisania Youth Services, Tremont Improvement Program, Church of the Masters, Street Workers Inc.


© 2009 Bronx African-American History Project at Fordham University

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