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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Maggie W. Ray, November 9, 2000. Interview K-0825. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Christianity motivated civil rights activism

Ray explains why she joined the civil rights movement in the late 1960s. Leaving the South was a catalyst, but her Christian faith—which she describes as a "mainline social activist kind of faith"—built her foundation.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Maggie W. Ray, November 9, 2000. Interview K-0825. 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

PAMELA GRUNDY:
Was there any sort of, some kind of a turning point or moment in you? You sort of describe this youth that seems very insulated from society, and then by 1968 you're an activist and you're ready to change things. Can you recall sort of a time when that changed for you?
MAGGIE W. RAY:
I think when I went to Brown and got out of the South and made some friends across racial lines and out of my geographic area. Then I also had the opportunity to go to Japan and Beirut to live for a year in each place, and there I got a sense of how anywhere you go there are going to be problems. But diversity is fabulous, a real value for me and worth working for. I'd also been raised in the Christian family, Presbyterian family where religion was taken very seriously, and my mother was always quite astounded that we would live it, because we had been taught it. And I have this lovely Jessie May who had helped raise me whom I love so dearly, and this was for her and her family as well as for my Christian ideals. Mainline; it wasn't an evangelical Christianity, but mainline social activist kind of faith.