Title: Oral History Interview with Floyd Adams, August 16, 2002. Interview R-0168.
Interviewer: Taylor, Kieran
Interviewee: Adams, Floyd
Abstract: Floyd Adams Jr., the son of a newspaper publisher, grew up known as "Little Press Boy" in Savannah, Georgia. Adams followed his father into the publishing business, taking control of the Savannah Herald, the paper his father had published since 1949. He also found success in politics, becoming Savannah's first African American mayor in 1996 and winning reelection in 1999. In 2007, he failed in his attempt to win a third term. Adams does not discuss his political or journalistic career in this interview; instead, he describes the destruction of Currytown, a black neighborhood in Savannah that fell prey to urban renewal. The project swept out black businesses, allowing white investors to take their places; it razed black churches; and it forced out middle-class black Savannans, replacing their homes with public housing projects. He also describes contemporary urban renewal projects that, with input from community members, promised to be less destructive to Savannah's African Americans. This interview offers researchers insights to the history of African Americans in Savannah and some reflections on the complex task of keeping a city healthy.