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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Anne Barnes, January 30, 1989. Interview C-0049. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Mentoring relationships are crucial to the development of capable female politicians

Barnes credits her confidence, a trait that enabled her to succeed in politics, to her positive relationship with her mother, and she believes that similar relationships either with mothers or other encouraging women is the most important ingredient needed in the development of a new generation of capable female politicians.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Anne Barnes, January 30, 1989. Interview C-0049. 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

I'd like to say just a word about my mother. I talked about my dad earlier because he was the one that was really interested more in politics and that was your specific question, but my mother found some way to make three girls, three daughters, had no brothers, feel that we could take on almost anything, that we were ten feet tall. And though there are times when "tall" people need to be chopped back down to size, confidence, having it instilled in us early, that I have no reason to apologize for any of this [my background]. Because I grew up in the country, doesn't make any difference. Because I didn't get to get a college degree doesn't make me inferior. Because I'm a woman doesn't make me inferior. It's important for women, people, to grow up with that kind of confidence. Not overly confident or cocky, but just an underlying feeling that I can do this. That I can do it. I will do it, and I'm willing to take risks. That [confidence] comes from the people closest to you, and my mother was key in that. Sometimes it's aunts, and sometimes it's a teacher. Sometimes it's a friend, but I think it's important as women to encourage very young, young girls in having the type of confidence that is necessary because we still live in a world dominated by males, and that's changing. We ought to encourage our women to be a part of that change, because I think that's the shape of the future. That's the last thing I have to say.