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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ruth Vick, 1973. Interview B-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

White SRC employee is uncomfortable around black SRC employee

Vick joined the Southern Regional Council as a secretary in the 1940s. She remembers one of the SRC's white employees, while a crusader for racial justice, was not comfortable working so closely with an African American.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ruth Vick, 1973. Interview B-0057. 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

RUTH VICK:
Right. It was very little. It was very interesting at that time. Mrs. Tilley had an office down the hall in the church building. They had what you call state divisions at that time, and she worked in a State of Georgia. And she used to come down. The first day she saw me they introduced me to her, and she turned up her nose.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What?
RUTH VICK:
That was the funniest thing. Yes, it really was.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Why …
RUTH VICK:
And she said little things around to the other girls in the office. There was a Miss Margaret Price there. Jane; I can't remember Jane's name before she married. She married a Dr. Simpson later, and then she married Hal Fleming. And then there was a young girl from Macon, Georgia, who had to give up the job. Her husband was in the service at the time. But her mother found out what the Southern Regional Council was and that there were some blacks in it, and her mother almost drove her crazy, so she had to give up the job and leave. I
JACQUELYN HALL:
And why did Mrs. Tilley turn up her nose?
RUTH VICK:
I don't know. I guess she had just never been around anybody. She didn't know who I was. She didn't know me or anything like that.
JACQUELYN HALL:
What kind of things did she say to the other people?
RUTH VICK:
She'd say, "Who is she? Is she going to be down here?"
JACQUELYN HALL:
You were the only black secretary?
RUTH VICK:
Yes.
BOB HALL:
But that's what it was about.
RUTH VICK:
That's what it was. It was interesting. Nobody would have ever believed that now, all the stuff that she had done beforehand, unmasking the Klan, doing this, that, and the other. But this was just something new to her, you see. There I was going to be so close. And so I didn't very much of Mrs. Tilley then at all.