Ehmer Bracy, 1983

Born in Wilmot, Arkansas, Mr. Bracy came to Champaign in 1923 when a friend wrote to say "things were booming." "But I couldn't get a job except on a section gang," he says. In 1927 he finally went to work" cleaning and pressing" at Libby's Press Shop. He worked there until 1946 when he started his own business, Bracy's Cleaners. After successfully operating the business for ten years he sold it in 1956 and became a carpenter. He stated in 1983, "I've been self-employed since 1946. I didn't have to work for anybody. I worked for myself." When he came to Champaign he says, "I couldn't go no place to eat. But black and white have changed. It's a lot better town than when I came."

Source: Raymond Bial's In All My Years: Portraits of Older Blacks In Champaign-Urbana, Champaign County Historical Museum, 1983.