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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nancy Kester Neale, August 6, 1983. Interview F-0036. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Women find leadership roles in some social justice organizations

Neale believes that women found a uniquely equal place in the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice. Female activists' experiences in the YWCA may have prepared them for leadership roles in these social justice movements.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Nancy Kester Neale, August 6, 1983. Interview F-0036. 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

DALLAS BLANCHARD:
What about the role of women? In that group?
NANCY KESTER NEALE:
Wonderful. I think that is where I got my early starts. I wish many times I could have had some talks with him since my own evolution I guess. Probably, and I would like to do some writings about this area sometime, I think the role of women in some of these organizaitons and I don't know about the Union, I have real conserns about the explotations of women sometimes in unions. I have seen it happen in community organization work. But in the Fellowship and the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice as far as I recall all of the discussions about that history it probably was outstanding compaired to the rest of social life where women were very equal. Nell Morton there was no problem about her succeeding The only question was how would she do it. What her style was. She had her own particular style. There were women who I can remember who werevery impressive. There was Matha who was from Ridgecrest. A women named Miss Lyman who was from Tennessee. I think a lot of that came from some very strong YWCA women. And of course that has got history all in itself. I think the YW has some good history related to that to study. A number of National YWCA people Odie Swideny was one. I don't know if Odie retired or not. She was on the national board for a while. Doris Wilson I guess. Both of those were black women. All of them could be very strong and active and pronounced and there was some mutual stuff. Oh sure there was some prejudice, but it was really hard to find the language, my dad's language, everybodies language referred to men and this group of men and there were the women sitting there. But that was standard in all of their experiences. But beyond that in terms of actual operation I think it was a remarkable experience worth studying, intensive study. It was quite unusual.