Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Madeline Mincy


Madeline Mincy

126th Interview
Interviewee: Madeline Mincy
Interviewer: Dr. Mark Naison
Date of Interview August 28, 2005
Summarized by Christian Rivera

Mrs. Madeline Mincy, a nurse’s aid from Port Richmond, Staten Island was born on February 6th 1915. Her family moved to New Jersey from the south. After being raised by her uncle, she left for New York and married Louny Mincy. Madeline moved to the Bronx in the 1950’s, after the birth of her first child Gregory. Madeline & her family became the one of the first families to move into the Patterson Houses.  After Gregory, Madeline raised two more sons, Ron & Kenneth
During the mid 1950’s and early 1960’s, Madeline raised her sons in the Patterson houses by establishing a foundation of discipline and respect. The boys obeyed a strict curfew, finished their homework, and did not hang out. Ron was a workaholic and did very well in school. Gregory went from high school to the Air Force.  Kenneth went to the army. Kenney always had a penchant for animals.

The Patterson Houses was a tight knit community. People in the neighborhood called Madeline Mincy a mom. She would talk to people at the local grocery store. She was very protective of her children, who were very close to her. However, the Mincy family encountered dangerous situations in Patterson houses. When Madeline went to work, a drunken irresponsible childcare worker did not watch baby Kenneth. Kenneth went out of bed, put on his clothes, and left the apartment. He rode the train from the east side to the west side and went up to the Grand Concourse. Thankfully, the cops found Kenny and returned him.
Madeline always had a good relationship with her children. Honesty and respect for one another held the family together. When Ron wanted to smoke cigarettes, he went up to his mother and asked her permission to smoke. Madeline allowed Ron to smoke. She wanted Ron to be honest and responsible with his decisions. When Ronald was growing up he lived without a father. Despite his father’s absence, he was involved in the Forte Foundation. The foundation offered absent father’s job training so they can participate in their children’s lives.
The Mincy family always strengthened bonds in emergency situations. When Madeline slipped and broke her leg on the sidewalk, her sons took control of the everyday household duties. Ronald managed the family finances. She would write checks, and Ron would pay the bills. In addition, he would shop for groceries. Gregory cooked and ironed the clothes.  Ron contributed to the family finances with his job working with McGraw Hill. When Madeline came home from the hospital, the boys would cook for her, make her breakfast and then go to school. Madeline was on welfare during her injury, however she discontinued the welfare support when she was strong enough to go back to work.

To the researcher: This oral history is a very valuable source on African American Family history within the Patterson houses.

Keywords:  Patterson Houses, Lakewood, St. Philip Baptist Church, Louny Mincy, Gold Water Memorial hospital, Kitchenette, Harlem, Shiloh Baptist Church, gangs, Paterson community, discipline, family values, childcare workers, Forte Foundation, Lincoln Hospital


© 2009 Bronx African-American History Project at Fordham University

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