Poor background shapes activist identity
Best's background "as a poor country boy who had suffered" gave him zeal for civil rights, he explains.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Andrew Best, April 19, 1997. Interview R-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
- KAREN KRUISE THOMAS:
You as a physician, I presume, had a role in the community that helped
you become a leader, and where were some of the other leaders coming
from? Education, or the churches?
- ANDREW BEST:
The situation we were laboring under, the doctor in the community was
looked up to for leadership. Sometimes, they rose to the occasion and
participated, and were very effective, but I know some cases where a
doctor was more interested in making that dollar, and following his
social wishes, where they didn't fill the role as effectively
as they could have. My background as a poor country boy who had suffered
many a moon under some of those undesirable consequences put within me
an extra interest, zest and persistence to do some things that should
have been done. Sometimes I characterize myself as not only the doctor,
but the minister, the priest, the counselor, the psychiatrist. There
came some times when I had to fit into all of those roles, not that I
counted myself an expert. But I had a philosophy that whatever I could
do that would be helpful, I ought to do. And by the grace of God, I