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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Juanita Kreps, January 17, 1986. Interview C-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black and white men and women mingle at Berea College

Kreps remembers a unique college in Appalachia, Berea, attended by both poor white and black students. Kreps enrolled in the late 1930s or early 1940s and has "absolutely no bad memories" from her experience there.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Juanita Kreps, January 17, 1986. Interview C-0011. 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

LYNN HAESSLY:
What do you remember about Berea in the '30s? What was the atmosphere like there?
JUANITA KREPS:
Of course by then it was late '30s, into the '40s, so the national scene was somewhat different from my early childhood. And again, only good things. I have absolutely no bad memories of Berea-not in the classroom, not with my peers. As you know, I'm a trustee of the college and have been for a long time, with a time out while I was in Washington. I try to help support them financially, help them raise money. Berea was a place where equality and equal opportunity was taken for granted, even in those days, long before it became so popular.
LYNN HAESSLY:
You mean between men and women?
JUANITA KREPS:
Between men and women and between races. It was a college formed after the Civil War for the purpose of educating black and white and it retained that legacy and that philosophy. It held notions of equal opportunity between races, between sexes, and also opportunities for youth from Appalachia who were by and large poor and who were isolated geographically from the mainstream.