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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Harold Fleming, January 24, 1990. Interview A-0363. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Whites generally bow to pressure to avoid criticizing Jim Crow

There were few whites willing to face ostracism by openly opposing Jim Crow. Those who did usually fled the South.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Harold Fleming, January 24, 1990. Interview A-0363. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JOHN EGERTON:
Can you think of anybody white who took that position by the time SRC was formed?
HAROLD FLEMING:
Took what position?
JOHN EGERTON:
The position that Jim Crow had to go and that we might as well face up to that and deal with it.
HAROLD FLEMING:
Sure, there were a few around. Lillian Smith.
JOHN EGERTON:
She's the only one that I can find. Will Alexander did in an article in The Atlantic in 1945.
HAROLD FLEMING:
Yes, but he wasn't much interested in playing that prophetic role. His interest was in strategy. There were some, like Clifford and Virginia, the Durrs, Dombrowski, Clark Foreman-and they were generally regarded as the people on the left. They didn't have much time for the Southern Regional Council because it was seen as too wishy-washy. Well, you know, Lillian Smith. . . . That's a fascinating business. I guess you read all that about Lillian Smith and Guy Johnson going at it.
JOHN EGERTON:
And Saunders Redding.
HAROLD FLEMING:
Saunders Redding.
JOHN EGERTON:
Saunders Redding was a very good writer.
HAROLD FLEMING:
Yes, he was.
JOHN EGERTON:
Did you know him?
HAROLD FLEMING:
No, only by reputation and performance.
JOHN EGERTON:
He was a good writer and he was one of the best.
HAROLD FLEMING:
Yes, he was. You could find them, but most of them when they got to that point left. They got out of the South, which was exactly what I was planning to do when I went back after college. But then I ran into McGill.