Interview, Harriett Nuciola

May 6, 1980

Harriett Nuciola was born in Greigsville, New York, and came to Rochester with her family when she was a child. She graduated from East High School and went on to attend the Rochester Business Institute (RBI) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Nuciola held a variety of jobs such as messenger, elevator operator, Sibley’s sales clerk, and telephone operator. After living in LeRoy for a time, she returned to Rochester and became a receptionist at RIT, eventually becoming Executive Secretary for the Vice-President of Public Affairs. She eventually purchased and operated a grocery store with her husband on Hudson Ave. In 1972, Nuciola was selected as Lady Rochesterian of the Year by the Convention and Publicity Bureau. She was active in her community in the NAACP, FIGHT, Urban League, and New Bethel CME Church.

In this interview, Nuciola discusses race relations at her various jobs, her perceived decline of Rochester’s neighborhoods, and the prejudice she encountered in her life as a black woman who married a white man. She explains how her opportunities for employment and housing were sometimes limited because of her race.

Content Tags


  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s