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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Marion Wright, March 8, 1978. Interview B-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Remembering Les Dunbar and Paul Anthony

Wright describes two SRC leaders: Les Dunbar and Paul Anthony. Leadership of the SRC was passed straight down from one man to another, Wright remembers.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Marion Wright, March 8, 1978. Interview B-0034. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
Les Dunbar came up through pretty much the same route that Harold Fleming had come up through, didn't he? He was Research Director, I think.
MARION WRIGHT:
He was, and I think in that capacity he probably got out the New South, which was the successor to Southern Frontiers. He came there, I think, from Mount Holyoke. He was a college professor, He came to us in this research and public relations capacity. But when Harold Fleming left, he and Dunbar had become close friends. They were both able men. And it was almost inevitable that we turned to Les. He had attended all Board meetings; he was a very thoughtful, philosophical kind of person, moved slowly but correctly almost all the time. A thoroughly admirable character, and a very able man. Like Harold, he was called up higher. The Field Foundation, with which he had negotiated grants, had been impressed by him, and so they then called him in as Director of the Field Foundation.
JACQUELYN HALL:
It sounds as if there wasn't much question about who would become the next Executive Director down through these people. It was pretty much handed on from man to man.
MARION WRIGHT:
It was. It was almost a hierarchy, and the power passed from one to the other. Les's departure brought to the front another director, Paul Anthony. He had been there, I think, as the liaison between the state organizations and the Southern Regional Council; he was the contact man, we'll say. I know that we had on the staff a certain person whose duty was to ride herd on state groups and be of such assistance as he could. Paul was an agreeable personality, lacking the background of any of his predecessors. I don't know what his background was, but the others had more than a dash of the scholarly about them. Paul was eminently a person whose feet were on the ground, and practical. So he never had the aura that his predecessors had. But I think he labored as earnestly as he could to keep the Council going.