98 years old in 1983, Ella Washington came to Champaign "when I was a young girl", she remembered at the time. Born in Mississippi she came here to live with her sister. She raised three boys and helped to support her family by doing "housework, laundry, and field work." Over her many years in the community she saw significant changes. "Black people can eat anywhere. They can live anywhere they want to if they have the money."
Source: Raymond Bial's In All My Years: Portraits of Older Blacks In Champaign-Urbana, Champaign County Historical Museum, 1983.