Results (most relevant first)
Southern writer and University of North Carolina professor Charles Phillips Russell describes his participation as a teacher in worker education programs during the 1930s and 1940s. Focusing specifically on the Southern Summer School for Workers and the Black Mountain College Institute of the Textile Workers of America, Russell compares the role of faculty, the role of students, and the curriculum at each institution. In addition, he speculates on schools of thought endorsing political action and economic action within the labor movement, specifically as they related to worker education.
Howard Fuller began his activism in Durham, North Carolina, as a student volunteer for the North Carolina Fund. His experiences as an activist for low-income black residents shaped his lifelong work and involvement in anti-poverty campaigns.
Lawrence Rogin grew up in the Northeast in an immigrant family inclined toward radical politics. In the 1930s, Rogin became actively involved in the labor movement. In this interview, he describes his work in labor education, focusing specifically on the Brookwood Labor College, the Central Labor Union, and his work with the Hosiery Workers Union in the South.
Peter Holmes served as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from 1973 to 1975. In this interview, he discusses the challenges the OCR faced in developing and enforcing guidelines for the desegregation of higher education in southern states.
Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA) organizer and regional director Scott Hoyman discusses the Oneita Knitting Mill strike of 1973 in South Carolina. Throughout the interview, he focuses on strategies of the TWUA in organizing textile workers, bargaining and negotiating with textile companies, and tactics for successfully protecting workers' rights.
Mabel Pollitzer was born Charleston, South Carolina, in 1885. After graduating from Columbia University in 1906, she returned to Charleston to teach biology at Memminger, an all-girls school. Pollitzer describes her involvement in the women's suffrage movement, her perception of politicians and women's rights leaders, and her civic work within the community of Charleston.
This is the fifth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes his work the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) during the 1960s and 1970s, paying particular attention to his involvement in the cases of Michael Paull, a graduate student and teaching assistant in the English Department, and Moye Freymann, the founding director of the Carolina Population Center.
Martha McKay was actively involved in student politics at the University of North Carolina before her graduation with a degree in economics in 1941. Here, McKay describes her active involvement in Terry Sanford's gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic Party, and the women's rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s. She discusses her role as a founding member of the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus, the need for effective leadership and organization for women's rights, and the progress women have made in politics.
Edward S. Johnson describes the emergence of a coherent grassroots opposition to the Cane Creek Reservoir project and describes how the opposition worked.
Kay Tillow discusses her career as a labor activist, describing her early work in social justice movements of the 1960s and with Local 1199 in Pennsylvania during the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1980s, Tillow returned to her home state of Kentucky, where she worked closely with the Nurses Professional Organization (NPO) as a representative of the Association of Machinists, who sponsored the NPO in their initial effort to organize Louisville nurses. She continued her work with the NPO towards achieving bargaining power into the early twenty-first century.
Former attorney general and governor of Mississippi James P. Coleman discusses his role in southern politics from the 1930s through the 1960s. Coleman focuses specifically on the issue of racial segregation and its impact on Mississippi politics.
Elizabeth Brooks was one of the leaders of the UNC Food Workers Strike of 1969. As a new worker in the Lenoir Dining Hall, Brooks helped to organize the food workers with the help of Preston Dobbins and the Black Student Movement. This interview focuses on the first strike, which was sparked by the unexpected firing of one worker, low wages, and withheld back pay for overtime.
This is the last in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes his work with a variety of organizations that shared his vision of protecting civil liberties.
John Russell describes the events leading to the merger of the Fur and Leather Workers Union with the Amalgamated Meat Cutters in 1955. Russell focuses on the progressive political views of the Fur and Leather Workers, their strong regional presence in the South, the role of leaders within their trade union movement, and the aftermath of the merger.
Jean Fairfax first moved to the South in 1942, where she became involved with the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen for several years. Fairfax describes the goals and activities of the Fellowship, discusses the role of leadership in the Fellowship, and draws connections between her work with the Fellowship in the 1940s and her later involvement with the civil rights movement from the late 1950s on.
Sam Crawford describes the formation and activities of the Cane Creek Conservation Authority in their battle against the Orange Water and Sewer Authority's effort to build a reservoir on Cane Creek in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He focuses on the grassroots nature of the CCCA's actions and offers commentary about what he views as the exploitative nature of land development.
During the mid-1970s, Gemma Ziegler became a nurse in Louisville, Kentucky, and joined the campaign to organize nurses. In this interview, she discusses her experiences as a nurse; her work as an organizer for We're Involved in Nursing (WIN); her role in the founding of the Nurses Professional Organization (NPO); and the NPO's various activities from the late 1980s into the early twenty-first century.
Scott Hoyman worked as an organizer and bargainer for the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA). In the 1950s, he was transferred to the South, where he was primarily based in North Carolina, following the Baldanzi-Rieve split in the TWUA. He describes his work during the 1950s and 1960s, focusing primarily on obstacles the TWUA faced in organizing southern textile mills during these years.
Former Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina, Raymond Dawson, discusses tensions surrounding federal desegregation orders in North Carolina during the 1970s. Because of North Carolina's comparatively large number of historically black colleges, the state became a testing ground for the federal government to explore ways to integrate public education while preserving historically black colleges.
Edward L. Rankin served as private secretary to North Carolina Governors William Umstead (1952-1954) and Luther Hodges (1954-1961). In this interview he describes their political leadership, the Pearsall Plan, and the spectrum of political responses to the
Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Ian Thomas Palmquist describes his work in advocating for awareness and tolerance for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender sexualities. Palmquist "came out" to his friends and family while a high school student in Raleigh, North Carolina during the early 1990s when he became involved in his first protest. In addition, Palmquist explains his work with B-GLAD and QNC at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his work with Equality NC PAC following his graduation.
Charles Adams was a teacher and coach in Wake County, North Carolina, during the 1960s before becoming the assistant director (and later the director) of the North Carolina High School Athletics Association. In addition, Adams's father was a leader in the effort to desegregate Wake County schools. Consequently, Adams offers an insider's perspective on the process of school desegregation, focusing specifically on Cary, North Carolina, as a pioneer and model for other local schools.
Cecil W. Wooten, professor of Classics at the University of North Carolina, grew up in Kinston, North Carolina, in the 1940s and 1950s. He became aware at an early age that he was gay but was not exposed to an openly gay community until he became a graduate student at University of North Carolina during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He did not actively participate in that community until he returned to UNC as a professor in 1980. He describes his work in the gay rights movement at UNC and describes Chapel Hill as a relatively tolerant community.
Mabel Pollitzer describes her involvement in the women's suffrage movement in Charleston, South Carolina. In particular, Pollitzer describes the leadership role of Susan Pringle Frost within the movement, the split between the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman's Party in the 1910s, and her perception of various leaders within the movement in South Carolina.
Ray Spain, the principal of Bertie High School, describes his management style and the demands of his job.
This is the first interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt discusses his family history, his early legal career, his work in defending liberals against the House Un-American Activities Committee during the early McCarthy years, and his brief tenure as a law professor at the University of Arkansas.
A white teacher recalls a harmonious racial atmosphere at West Charlotte High School during his short stint there in the 1970s.
J. Randolph Taylor pauses to reflect on his participation in the civil rights movement, the reunification of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, and various other social justice campaigns.
President of the University of North Carolina System, William Friday, discusses the Speaker Ban controversy. The ban, enforced from 1963 to 1968, forbade any communist—or anyone who refused during a formal hearing to disavow allegiance to communism—to speak on campus. Throughout the interview, Friday focuses on issues of academic freedom, his efforts to have the law overturned, and the broader social unrest that characterized campus politics during that era.
John Ivey received his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1944. He and his wife, Melville Corbett Ivey, describe their interaction with such leading figures as Howard Odum, Rupert Vance, and Frank Porter Graham. After a brief sojourn working for the Tennessee Valley Authority, Ivey became the director of the Southern Regional Education Board, where he advocated for the desegregation of public schools in the South.
This is the third interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt discusses changes in the faculty of the UNC School of Law and the student body, paying particular attention to issues of race, gender, and student involvement in community affairs.
Civil rights leader Modjeska Simkins discusses race and civil rights before World War II.
A white student reflects on race and racism at West Charlotte High School.
Virginia Grantham discusses her thoughts on the Fellowship of Southern Churchman and her participation in it, primarily during the 1950s. In the interview, she focuses on such topics as leadership, socialism, and connections to the civil rights movement.
Before moving to North Carolina in 1999, Angela Brightfeather spent most of her life in Syracuse, New York, where she was actively involved in the transgender community. In this interview, Brightfeather describes her own transgender experience, variations in transgenderism, the history of transgender people, the relationship of transgender people to the GLBT community, and her activist work for transgender rights in North Carolina.
Billy E. Barnes is a photographer who is known for his documentary work on racial and economic justice issues in the 1950s and 1960s. In this interview, Barnes discusses his work with the North Carolina Fund and the organization's efforts at breaking the cycle of poverty in North Carolina. He also offers descriptions of his photography of impoverished people in North Carolina.
This is the eighth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt offers highlights from his career as a civil liberties lawyer, including cases he took on during the 1980s.
Anne Queen, director of the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina, discusses leftist student political groups at Chapel Hill during the 1950s and 1960s and the evolution of student activism into the 1970s. Additionally, she speaks more broadly about the role of radical politics in the South and offers her thoughts on the state of national politics at the time of the interview.
Igal Roodenko came of age during the 1930s and became increasingly involved in leftist politics during those years. During World War II he embraced philosophies of nonviolence and pacifism and worked in a camp for conscientious objectors during the conflict. He became a member of CORE during its formative years and participated in the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, an interracial endeavor to test segregation policies on buses in the South.
Patricia Long became an active member of Pullen Baptist Church, known for its progressive social activism, during the late 1980s. She describes how her involvement with Pullen allowed her to come to terms with her own lesbian sexuality and details the process by which Pullen decided to sanction holy unions between gay and lesbian couples.
Leroy Magness describes his belief in avoiding conflict, and how that belief shaped his response to the civil rights movement.
Socialist and Christian activist Howard Kester describes his work in various organizations committed to social justice in the South during the 1930s and 1940s. In particular, Kester focuses on his work in promoting equality for African Americans and working people in the South, including his efforts to bridge gaps between those two groups.
Katushka Olave describes her activism on behalf of the Latino community in Durham, North Carolina.
Granville County, North Carolina, resident Floyd Alston and his mother, Ethel Thorpe Alston, remember their lives in the area in an interview that touches on, among other topics, racial identity and the struggles of post-emancipation African Americans to find economic and social security.
This is the second interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt discusses his decision to join the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1957 as well as the history and faculty of the law school.
Claude Pepper reflects on his political career and the rise of conservatism in Florida.
Sociologist Guy B. Johnson describes his path to sociology and recalls his participation in the Southern Regional Council in the 1940s.
One of the first African American students to attend Chapel Hill High School discusses his continuing ambivalence about integration and its effect on the black community.
Pharmacist Robert Sampson describes how urban renewal efforts dispersed a thriving black business community in Greensboro, North Carolina.
This is the first interview in a two-part series with southern lawyer Ted Fillette of the Legal Aid Society of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Fillette describes his childhood in Mobile, Alabama; his involvement in civil rights activism as a student at Duke during the 1960s; his work with the VISTA program in Boston; and his early work as a legal advocate of people displaced by urban renewal in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the 1970s.
Edwin Caldwell recalls a lifetime of political organization and advocacy.
Patience Dadzie immigrated to the United States of America from Ghana in 1991. In this interview, she describes her life in Ghana, her conversion to Mormonism, and her thoughts on practicing Mormonism in the American South in the 1990s.
Noted historian C. Vann Woodward reflects on race relations in the American South.
Longtime Prospect, North Carolina, resident James Moore recalls desegregation in that town.
Loistine Defreece, the first black female principal in Lumberton, North Carolina, discusses her job and reflects briefly on some of the challenges race poses to modern educators.
John Lewis served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966. In this interview, Lewis outlines his role within the civil rights movement through his participation in the sit-in movement of 1960 in Nashville, the Freedom Rides through Alabama and Mississippi in 1961, the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, the Selma voter registration drive in 1965, and the shift towards the politics of black power within SNCC by 1966. Throughout the interview, he situates the activities of SNCC within the civil rights movement more broadly, focusing on issues of leadership, religion, and politics.
Harriet Love shares memories of and fondness for West Charlotte, a truly unique school.
Pharmacist William Fonvielle mourns the passing of black economic autonomy and communal unity in Savannah, Georgia.
African American photojournalist Alexander M. Rivera describes the civil rights movement and its aftermath. In particular, he describes some of his photographs, as well as the impact of the
Brown decision (and the demise of legal segregation) on African American businesses and African American schools, including North Carolina Central College.
Ashley Davis was a member of the Black Student Movement (BSM) at the University of North Carolina during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In this interview, he describes how the BSM supported the striking food workers at UNC in 1969.
Blanche Scott describes her careers as a tobacco factory worker and beautician in Durham, North Carolina.
Civil rights activist Virginia Foster Durr describes her involvement in the nascent civil rights movement of the 1940s and 1950s.
Leroy Beavers despairs of the effects of integration on Savannah, Georgia.
Louise Pointer Morton describes life in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early twentieth century. In addition to describing social gatherings and living conditions, Morton speaks at length about her formerly enslaved grandmother's role in the founding of the Jonathon (Johnson) Creek Church, alluding to the centrality of religion as a preeminent social institution within southern African American communities.
Maggie Ray, teacher at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
Elva Templeton remembers her childhood in historic Cary, North Carolina.
Former governor of North Carolina Terry Sanford lauds the leadership of Anne Queen, director of the YMCA/YWCA at the University of North Carolina. In addition, Sanford discusses his advocacy of the civil rights movement and argues that UNC was a particularly powerful force for social change during the mid-twentieth century.
This is the fourth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes his role as the faculty advisor to the student NAACP in the recruitment of pioneering African American athletes at UNC. In addition, he discusses his involvement in student activism as a leader of the student YMCA-YWCA.
This is the sixth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt offers a vivid retelling of the events that led up to the UNC food workers' strike of 1969, the unfolding of the strike itself, and the reactions of UNC students and faculty.
Birmingham politician Arthur Shores offers his thoughts on the intersection of race and politics in his home city.
Lawyer William Patrick Murphy describes his 1950s battle against segregation and his struggle to keep his job after his beliefs became public in Oxford, Mississippi. Murphy, who taught constitutional law at the University of Mississippi, used journal articles and his classroom to speak out in favor of the
Steve Cherry describes desegregation from the perspective of a coach and a principal in Lincoln County, North Carolina.
Former president of the University of North Carolina, William C. Friday, describes his working relationship with Anne Queen, who was director of the Campus Y from the late 1950s into the 1970s. Friday discusses Queen's relationship with students and her leadership qualities.
Coleman Barbour reflects on the diminished power of black principals as well as the state of the black community and its waning investment in education.
Robert Coles is a child psychiatrist and writer at Harvard who was a pioneer in the emerging field of academic oral history during the 1960s and 1970s. In this interview, Coles discusses the purposes of oral history, his thoughts on academia and writing, and methodologies of oral history, especially in reference to the use of tape recorders.
Jeff Black reflects on the legacies of desegregation at West Charlotte High School, a school hailed as an exemplar of successful desegregation.
Andrew Young, the first African American congressman from Georgia since Reconstruction, describes his involvement in the early civil rights movement. After dedicating much time and energy to voter registration drives as a minister in Georgia, Young later entered politics and was first elected to Congress in 1972. Young cites the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as the decisive turning point in race relations and argues that it was this access to political power that allowed African Americans to bring to fruition other advances they had made in education, business, and social standing.
Serena Henderson Parker, born in 1923, remembers the rural North Carolina of her childhood.
Aaron Henry describes the role of race and racism in Mississippi politics.
A white student remembers fear and violence during desegregation in Chapel Hill.
Robert Winston, principal of Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, describes his duties in this interview, reflecting briefly on the impact of desegregation.
Longtime North Carolina high school principal Bennie Higgins describes the details of the position and reflects on race in the post-desegregation classroom.
Longtime principal Johnny A. Freeman reflects on the mixed legacy of desegregation.
Kenneth Norton remembers being a student at the segregated Ada Jenkins School in Davidson, North Carolina, in the 1930s.
This is the seventh interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes the Speaker Ban controversy at the University of North Carolina during the mid-1960s, paying special attention to student, faculty, and administrative reactions to the ban.
Josephine Wilkins was born in Athens, Georgia, in 1893. In the 1920s, she became increasingly interested in issues of social justice. In the 1930s, she became the president of the Georgia chapter of the League of Women Voters and helped to found the Citizens' Fact Finding Movement. In addition she describes her involvement and perception of such organizations as the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, the Commission of Interracial Cooperation, and the Southern Regional Council.
Tracy L. H. Burnett finds financial success after the closing of the White Furniture Company.
Sam Holton explains his role in the desegregation of Chapel Hill schools during his tenure on the school board from 1968 to 1974.
Julius Chambers served on the UNC Board of Governors from 1972 to 1977. He recalls the tensions between the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's federal objectives and the University of North Carolina Board officials' control over the desegregation process at post-secondary educational institutions.
A black sharecropper's daughter discusses her difficult upbringing on the farm and the many stories of slavery on which she was raised.
Martha McKay, women's rights activist and Democratic Party member, describes the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in the North Carolina General Assembly in 1973. Focusing on the role of the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus (NCWPC) in lobbying for ratification of the amendment, McKay describes how the opposition successfully organized to defeat the amendment and how that defeat affected the NCWPC.
Phyllis Tyler first moved to North Carolina during the 1940s in order to join the Blessed Community of Quakers in Celo. In the 1950s, she moved with her family to Raleigh, where she became increasingly involved in the civil rights movement. Throughout the interview, she emphasizes the changing nature of race relations from the 1950s into the 1980s.
Vickie Jacobs describes her career in North Carolina's furniture industry, including her time on the job and her response to the closing of the Hillsborough location of the White Furniture Company.
Cambodian-American Kong Phok describes his experiences at Guilford Mills in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Lawrence Ridgle describes his childhood in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1930s and his belief that urban renewal of the 1960s and 1970s ultimately worked to the detriment of African Americans. In this interview—the first of two—he emphasizes the changing nature of the African American community in Durham during his lifetime.
Joseph A. Herzenberg, a Chapel Hill politico, voices his support for the Cane Creek reservoir project.
Bobby Kirk, a dairy farmer living near Cane Creek and the first president of the Cane Creek Conservation Authority (CCCA), discusses his opposition to the Cane Creek reservoir.
Ruth Dial Woods describes growing up as a Lumbee Indian in Robeson County, North Carolina, in the 1930s and 1940s. During the 1960s, Woods participated in the civil rights and women's liberation movements. In 1985, she was appointed to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, where she worked to promote equality for minority students.
Nancy Kester Neale remembers her father, Howard "Buck" Kester, who founded the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and held leadership positions in the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice.
James Folsom served as the governor of Alabama for two terms in the 1940s, during which time he worked to change racial politics and improve the plight of black Americans. As governor, he opposed the poll tax, appealed for reapportionment of state funding, and avoided campaign slogans and gimmicks based on racist rhetoric. He describes how he developed liberal ideas on race and why he believed that race was no longer a viable political issue in the South.
Howard Kester was a pacifist and social reformer in the South from the early 1920s through the 1960s. In this interview, he focuses on his adherence to pacifism, Christianity, the Social Gospel, and Socialism. He describes his work to end injustices associated with race and labor, and assesses the work of prominent social justice leaders in the South during the 1920s and 1930s.
Leroy Campbell describes his experiences as the principal of the all-black Unity School in Iredell County, North Carolina.
Ebson V. Dacons recounts his career as a black administrator of segregated and desegregated public high schools in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
Richard Hicks, who in 1991 was the principal of the all-black Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina, describes his job and offers some brief thoughts on the minimal impact of desegregation on his career in education.
Brenda Tapia, one of the first African Americans to attend North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina, describes an alternative view of desegregation.
Clyde Smith recalls the tensions that integration introduced to athletics at North Carolina's Lincolnton High School.
Economist David Breneman discusses his brief tenure with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) in 1977. In this interview, Breneman describes his role in the establishment of federal criteria for school desegregation, focusing particularly on HEW's interactions with education officials in North Carolina.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Blyden Jackson devoted his life to education. Beginning as a teacher for the WPA during the Great Depression, Jackson eventually taught at Fisk University and Southern University, before becoming the first African American professor at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, he discusses the trajectory of his academic career, paying particular attention to issues of race and education.
Frank Daniels Jr., publisher of the
News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, shares some tidbits about his experience at the paper and his involvement in hospital administration as the chairman of the board of directors of Rex Hospital in Raleigh.
Robert Giles recalls state politicians' efforts to hinder total school integration in North Carolina through the use of moderate token desegregation and effective state policy.
Latrelle McAllister remembers a nurturing, vibrant environment at West Charlotte High School and worries that this ethos may be at risk.
Ella Baker was an instrumental figure in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In this interview, she offers a candid analysis of the formation of those organizations and an insider's perspective on the role of and interactions between various civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr.
Reverend William W. Finlator speaks about his Christian devotion to racial and economic justice and his fear that the modern-day mingling of religion and politics is polluting both.
James M. Lawson was a key ally of Martin Luther King Jr. and also an important theoretician and practitioner of nonviolent protest. In this interview, he speaks about his relationship with some of the civil rights figures of the time, including Will Campbell, Kelly Miller Smith, Nelle Morton, Myles Horton, James Dombrowski, and James Holloway.
Guion Griffis Johnson, a southern sociologist who received her Ph.D. in sociology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1927, discusses the challenges she faced as she balanced career and family as a woman. Johnson describes women's changing roles in American society, and addresses her involvement in voluntary organizations, advances in birth control and abortion, and the evolving nature of marriage, divorce, and family.
Madge Hopkins, a graduate of West Charlotte High School and the vice principal of the school at the time of the interview, describes her experiences with segregation and school desegregation in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Junior Johnson became a stock car racer during the early 1950s and participated in the exponential growth of that industry. He describes growing up in Wilkes County, North Carolina, his role in the evolution of NASCAR, and his business endeavors in poultry farming.
Calvin and Elizabeth Kytle, both born and raised in the South, held liberal views on race issues and supported civil rights. Here, they describe their perceptions of race problems and their thoughts on the actions of various leaders and politicians, ranging from pro-segregationists to racial moderates to civil rights activists.
Civil rights activist Floyd McKissick was the first African American student to enroll in the law school at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, he discusses that integration effort, along with subsequent integration battles he faced as a student and as an advocate for civil rights.
Former president of the University of North Carolina System William Friday describes his relationship with and perception of his predecessors Frank Porter Graham and Gordon Gray. In addition, he describes various aspects of his own presidency, including his approach to desegregation and his relationships with a variety of individuals and organizations.
Sharon Rose Powell attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the mid-1960s, when the university began to admit women students in greater numbers. In this interview, she vividly recalls her experiences at UNC, focusing primarily on the
in loco parentis rules that gave the university permission to act as surrogate parents and her own role in challenging and removing many of those rules.
J. Carlton Fleming, who was on a Chamber of Commerce committee pushing for consolidation in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the 1960s, discusses the demise of the issue in this interview.
New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu describes the changing political landscape of the Crescent City following World War II through his tenure as mayor in the 1970s. Stressing the importance of voter registration and the appointment of African American public officials, Landrieu emphasizes the role of political leadership in effecting real change in New Orleans race relations during the long years of the civil rights movement.
Frederick Douglas Alexander served as a city council member who worked to consolidate Charlotte-Mecklenburg County from 1969 to 1971. He discusses the failures of the consolidation movement.
Elected in 1977 at the age of 73, Isabella Cannon was the first female mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. In this interview, Cannon describes her involvement in the United Church of Christ, her support of the civil rights movement, and her advocacy for community revitalization and development. In addition, she recalls her major accomplishments as mayor and the challenges she faced in implementing her long-range comprehensive plan for the city.
John Hope Franklin remembers life as a student in the segregated South.
William Dallas Herring, longtime chair of the North Carolina State Board of Education, discusses the ins and outs of education in his state.
Dr. Evelyn Schmidt discusses the connections between race, class, nationality, and health in Durham, North Carolina.
Robert Logan, principal of Hugh M. Cummings High School in Burlington, North Carolina, reflects on the details of his job and the challenge of race in the post-desegregation atmosphere.
Joseph Califano served as the Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) from 1977 to 1979. He recalls the reasons for the University of North Carolina's opposition to HEW's desegregation criteria.
A writer and editor for the
Charlotte Observer, L. M. Wright offers his insider's perspective on the changing political landscape of Charlotte, North Carolina, from the late 1950s into the early 1970s. Throughout the interview, Wright emphasizes the intersections of race, economics, and urban renewal in the consolidation of local politics.
Vennie Moore recalls her childhood in segregated Davidson, North Carolina.
Racism and segregation return to declining integrated schools.
A former student at Lincoln and Chapel Hill High School recalls the frustrations of integration.
Willie Snow Ethridge discusses her career as a writer in the South and her efforts to combine work with family and marriage. In addition, she describes growing up in Georgia, gender expectations in the South, and her work in the anti-lynching movement.
Julia Virginia Jones traces the development of her professional career, which culminated in a federal judgeship. She illuminates the impact her gender had on her growth in the legal field.
Robert Yost discusses coaching chess and teaching English at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In this May 1978 interview, Kojo Nantambu—one of the participants in the 1971 Wilmington, North Carolina, race conflicts—describes what he remembers of the 1971 strife, the inequities present in the trial of the Wilmington Ten, and the aftermath of the discord.
Roy Ham tells stories and sings his way through an interview that reveals more about Ham the character than it does about the industrializing South.
Former Governor Robert W. Scott discusses the consolidation of the University system during his administration, focusing on the leadership of William Friday and Cameron West and the political maneuvering that characterized the process. In addition, he reflects on his accomplishments as governor, expressing pride in his ability to significantly reduce racial unrest during a tumultuous era.
Carl A. Mills Jr., principal of Cary High School during its desegregation, recalls a relatively easy process of integration.
Diane English describes her activism in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Hudsons explain that although God used the Floyd flood to warn against materialism, He helped many escape the floodwaters and oversaw astonishing generosity afterward.
Harold Fleming recounts how he became involved with the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and the criticism he faced for opposing racism in the 1940s and 1950s. He describes the effect of the Red Scare on limiting the involvement of racial progressives in the organizations like the SRC. Additionally, Fleming compares the leadership styles of those he encountered within the organization.
Flossie Moore Durham fondly remembers mill work, the mill community, and her long life as a wife and mother in Bynum, North Carolina.
Lemuel Delany grew up in segregated Raleigh, North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s before moving to Harlem in New York City. In this interview, Delany discusses race relations in the South and in the North, offers his reaction to his aunts' book
Having Our Say, outlines his family's accomplishments, and explains his disapproval of some of the actions of the NAACP and his disappointment in the impact of desegregation on African American institutions.
Longstanding Alabama governor and former presidential candidate George Wallace discusses Alabama politics and racial issues in the United States.
Enthusiasm for West Charlotte High School clashes with uncertainty about the efficacy of integration.
Carnell Locklear recalls his fight for Lumbee Native American rights in eastern North Carolina in the 1970s and 1980s.
Former executive director of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) Leslie Dunbar discusses his involvement in the civil rights movement, focusing on changes that occurred in the early 1960s. Dunbar describes the SRC as an organization dedicated to changing people's attitudes about race. He emphasizes the SRC's attempts to work with the federal government—particularly the Kennedy administration—and other civil rights organizations, especially in the Voter Education Program.
Daniel Duke was born in Palmetto, Georgia, in 1915 and became a lawyer during the 1930s. As the solicitor general of Fulton County in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Duke presided over a case against the Ku Klux Klan and their use of flogging as a terror tactic against both African Americans and whites.
Laurie Pritchett, who served as a police chief in Albany, Georgia, for seven years, describes his role in the civil rights movement in that city. He encouraged a moderate response to large demonstrations in the 1960s, a tactic that prevented the negative publicity brought about by brutal police reaction to marches in other towns in the Deep South.
Ivey C. Jones, who spent sixteen years working at the White Furniture Factory in Mebane, North Carolina, describes the effects of the plant's takeover and closing.
Bishop John Thomas Moore Jr. describes the conflict between God and the devil in his life and the in life of the African American community in Durham, North Carolina.
Mary T. Mathew, an immigrant from India and an assistant professor at North Carolina Central University at the time of this interview, describes her successful assimilation into American culture and its effects on her family.
Segregation and integration caused difficulties in the life of this African American student.
Conrad Odell Pearson grew up in Durham, North Carolina. After obtaining his law degree at Howard School of Law in the early 1930s, Pearson returned to Durham, where he became actively involved in legal struggles against segregation in higher education. In this interview, he describes his participation in various civil rights activities, his perception of African American leaders James Shepard and C. C. Spaulding, and race relations in Durham.
Ran Kong, who immigrated to the United States from Cambodia at a young age, reflects on her life as a Cambodian-American and on her immigrant identity.
Billy E. Barnes became a photographer in the late 1950s and worked for the McGraw-Hill Publishing Company for several years before going to work for the North Carolina Fund (1964-1968). Barnes devotes most of this interview to a discussion of his work as a documentary photographer for the North Carolina Fund, paying particular attention to his effort to humanize impoverished people as part of the broader War on Poverty.
Mary Ann Moore was only a high school student when she began participating in civil rights activities in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s. After becoming a laboratory technician at the VA Hospital in Birmingham, Moore followed family tradition by becoming an active member of the union. She discusses her social justice activism in this interview while drawing connections between the civil rights and the labor rights movements of the second half of the twentieth century.
Former West Charlotte student muses about the school and the uncertain legacies of integration.
Academic and Carter cabinet member Juanita Kreps describes her career as an economist and as an early proponent of women's rights.
Alester G. Furman Jr. describes his family's involvement in the founding of Furman University in the early 1800s, his father's role in the establishment of the textile industry in Greenville, South Carolina, and the evolution of the textile industry over the course of the early twentieth century.
Murphy Yomen Sigmon reflects on a working life, most of which he spent in a cotton mill in Hickory, North Carolina.
Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch remembers her childhood in an African American neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida, and her experiences with segregation and development.
Martha Cooley describes her childhood in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early part of the twentieth century.
Strom Thurmond discusses his childhood and the people who inspired his long political career. As an attorney, judge, and governor, Thurmond advocated for states' rights and witnessed the desegregation of South Carolina. He recounts how he lived out his values in regard to the United States Constitution and race relations.
Clyde Cook describes life and work for African Americans in Badin, North Carolina. Discussing such topics as school segregation, racial hierarchies in the workplace, and the lack of job opportunities, Cook offers insight into social and economic inequalities in a southern working community.
African American Birmingham city council member Richard Arrington discusses the slowly increasing presence of African Americans on Birmingham's political landscape.
Alma Enloe remembers West Charlotte High School as an extension of the pre-integration African American community in Charlotte.
Willie Mae Crews, the daughter of a sharecropper, was a teacher at Hayes High School, an African American school in Birmingham, Alabama, during the 1960s and 1970s. Crews describes Hayes as an excellent segregated school that did not benefit from the desegregation that began during the 1970-1971 school year.
African American journalist William Gordon recalls growing up in the rural South in the 1920s and 1930s. He describes his relationship with civil rights advocates such as Ralph McGill and Herman Talmadge, and explains his perspective on changing race relations and the fall of Jim Crow segregation.
Isabella Cannon was the first woman mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. Elected in 1977, at the age of 73, the "old lady who wore tennis shoes" was a staunch advocate for community growth and revitalization. During her tenure, she worked to push through the Long Range Comprehensive Plan, to reconcile tensions between the city and the police and fire departments, strengthen the relationship between the city and the state, and to revitalize the downtown area.
African American photojournalist Alexander M. Rivera describes the civil rights movement from his perspective as a reporter for the
Pittsburgh Courier. He focuses on the nature of race relations and racial violence and describes the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education decision on the changing social landscape.
Modjeska Simkins describes growing up in a prosperous African American family, going to school, and her thoughts on "color consciousness" during her childhood in Columbia, South Carolina. In addition, she discusses her involvement in the South Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation and other race organizations beginning in the 1920s, her thoughts on women's unique capabilities as leaders of social justice movements, and the nature of racial tension in the South.
President of the University of North Carolina System William Friday discusses his interaction with American presidents from Herbert Hoover to George H. W. Bush. The bulk of the interview revolves around descriptions of Friday's work with Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter on issues of higher education.
Martin Gerry recalls his efforts, as the director of the Office of Civil Rights, to accelerate desegregation in North Carolina.
Jessie Streater describes Mormon belief and practice and shares her thoughts on the place of African Americans in the Mormon religion.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and activist Paul Green—most famous for his symphonic drama
The Lost Colony—reflects on social justice and art as he describes his work as a playwright and his efforts as an activist.
A black administrator describes the intricacies of administrative changes during desegregation and how he brought his passion for discipline to Charlotte-area schools, including West Charlotte High School.
Stella Nickerson describes a harmonious segregated past replaced by a less desirable integrated present.
Rita Jackson Samuels, coordinator of the Governor's Council on Human Relations in Atlanta, Georgia, describes her role in expanding the presence of African Americans in Georgia's state government.
A principal remembers integration in a largely Native American community.
Residents of Maxton, North Carolina, respond to integration.
Sheila Florence, among the first African Americans to desegregate Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, remembers growing up in the segregated South and working to end desegregation.
John Raymond Shute looks back on a century of growth in Union County, North Carolina. Drawing on his many years active in politics there, Shute shares his considerable knowledge about the agricultural and industrial development in the area.
Fran Jackson discusses her reaction to the integration of Chapel Hill High School.
Leslie Thorbs describes growing up in a tenant farming family in eastern North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. Thorbs describes his experiences with poverty, farming, factory work, race relations, and family life. He concludes the interview by discussing the devastating impact of Hurricane Floyd's flooding on his family and his community.
Adetola Hassan, a British citizen of Nigerian descent, was a freshman student at Duke University at the time of this interview in 2001. In the interview, she discusses her Mormon faith, focusing on tensions surrounding Mormonism in the South as well as issues related to gender and race within the church.
Lawrence Ridgle, a near-lifelong resident of Durham, North Carolina, discusses his family's work at the American Tobacco Company and his role of leadership in the newly integrated United States Army during the early 1950s. In addition, he discusses the changing nature of the African American community, focusing on perceived threats to its solidarity, and the impact of demographic changes, primarily the rapidly growing Latino community.
Julia Peaks de-Heer describes her childhood in both Stagville and Durham, North Carolina, focusing primarily on her experiences living on Hopkins Street during the 1950s. Throughout the interview, themes of community solidarity, decline, and improvement dominate, with an emphasis on de-Heer's activities with the Greater Zion Wall Church in later years.
Presbyterian minister Charles Jones recounts his civil rights activism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Mack Pearsall recalls his father's role in the Pearsall Plan, a school desegregation strategy in post-
Brown North Carolina that allowed parents to move their children to non-integrated schools. He expresses faith that economic progress will positively affect the state's race relations.
Founder of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center Miriam Slifkin discusses the issue of rape within the context of the local women's movement in Orange County, North Carolina. The founding of the OCRCC was illustrative of growing tensions between feminism and anti-feminism in Orange County. The issue of rape is also situated more broadly within the context of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s, especially in relationship to legal changes, the formation of women's studies curriculum, and the relationship between local and national aspects of the movement.
Stanford Raynold Brookshire, Charlotte's first four-term mayor, explains why Charlotte and Mecklenburg County failed to consolidate their city services in the early 1970s.
Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia recalls national political happenings during his tenure in the Senate from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s.
Thomas Burt, a journeyman worker, recalls a variety of jobs he took in and around Durham, North Carolina, with a focus on his employment in a tobacco factory.
J. Carlyle Sitterson discusses his tenure as University of North Carolina chancellor during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the difficult balance he struck between the Board of Trustees and the student body on issues of student rights.
Laura Waddell describes her successful career as a tailor as well as her civic activities in Savannah, Georgia.
Clarke Reed became the state chairman of the Republican Party in Mississippi during the mid-1960s, thus overseeing the growing prominence of the Republican Party in the South and the burgeoning importance of the South in national politics into the mid-1970s. In this interview, he describes his own political philosophy in relationship to southern conservatism and his perception of various Republican political leaders.
Patricia Neal settled in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1950s and became an active member of the community. Having served on the Durham County Board of Education from the late 1960s through the 1980s, Neal describes the process of integration and its impact on Durham schools and on the community.
Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia offers concluding remarks in this final interview of a three-part series, reflecting on contemporary political issues of the mid-1970s. Additionally, he reflects on his own political legacy in the state of Georgia.
Oscar Dearmont Baker spent his childhood and most of his adult life in Conover, North Carolina. In this interview, he describes his experiences working in the furniture and hosiery industries, paying particular attention to his time spent at Conover Furniture. He also describes broader changes within the city of Conover.
Rebecca Clayton became a teacher in the wake of the
Brown v. Board decision during the early 1960s, and in 1970 she went to work in the newly integrated Durham, North Carolina, school district. In this interview, Clayton describes her experiences as a teacher during the height of school desegregation. The interview concludes with her observations on the impact of the growing Latino population on Durham schools.
Cornelia Spencer Love, granddaughter of Cornelia Phillips Spencer and sister of Burlington Industries founder J. Spencer Love, discusses her long relationship with the University of North Carolina, the town of Chapel Hill, and its black community.
Former student remembers West Charlotte High as a place where diversity created both opportunity and conflict.
A white student's experience with racial division at West Charlotte convinces her of the importance of integrated education.
Daniel Okun, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the time of the interview, lays out the case for creating the Cane Creek reservoir.
An African American activist fights for integration in Lumberton, North Carolina.
Paul Cline remembers mill work as a violent, unhealthy profession.
Carlee Drye was a founding member of the local union for aluminum workers in Badin, North Carolina, which later merged with the Steel Workers of America. Drye served as president of the local in the 1950s, during which time he worked actively to change policies of racial discrimination in the Alcoa aluminum plant. He retired from the plant and from the union in 1970s. He speculates about relations between the union, the community, and Alcoa following his retirement.
Herman Norton Truitt describes running a grocery store from the 1920s to the 1940s. The store was patronized primarily by mill workers in Burlington, North Carolina.
Margaret Kennedy Goodwin grew up in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. In this interview, she describes a thriving African American community in Durham, one that she views as having suffered at the hands of urban renewal during the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, she describes her educational aspirations and her career as a technician in the radiology laboratory at Durham's Lincoln Hospital.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
From 1981 to 1996, Anne Barnes sat in the North Carolina House of Representatives for Orange County. While there, she focused on issues of social justice, especially poverty, education, prison reform, civil rights and women's rights. In this 1989 interview, she explains her motivations to become involved in the political arena and discusses some of the political campaigns she has been associated with, including her own.
John Russell describes his work as an international representative and organizer for the Amalgamated Meat Workers Union following its merger with the Fur and Leather Workers Union in 1955. Russell discusses the limitations and opportunities that resulted from this merger, his work organizing poultry workers, and his thoughts on the changing nature of the labor movement.
Terry Graham, resident of Mooresville, North Carolina, and taxi service operator, describes his changing town and its relationship to Charlotte. He also discusses the desegregation of the local schools.
In 1962, Gwendolyn Matthews was one of five African American students to integrate Cary High School in North Carolina. In this interview, she describes her experiences in the integration process, emphasizing the hostility of white students and teachers. In addition, she speaks more broadly about segregation and integration in Cary and Raleigh.
Kathrine Robinson Everett recalls a career as a trailblazing female lawyer and women's rights activist.
An African American man reflects on race and protest in segregated Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Sisters Mattie Shoemaker and Mildred Shoemaker Edmonds discuss their experiences at a textile mill in Burlington, North Carolina.
Emma Whitesell recalls a lifetime of work in North Carolina textile mills.
Daniel Pollitt describes the process of desegregation in the South. He discusses his involvement with civil rights activism and his relationship with progressive organizations and prominent North Carolinians, including UNC law school dean Henry Brandis and UNC basketball coach Dean Smith.
Georgia politician Herman Talmadge reflects on race in southern politics and the intrusive process of desegregation.
Activist and politician Eva Clayton describes her years of service in and out of politics in Warren County, North Carolina.
Former Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott discusses his time in office, reflecting on subjects like the power of the governorship, his accomplishments and disappointments, and the effect of the job on his family.
J. W. Mask describes his stewardship of a segregated black high school and his struggle to provide his students with adequate resources.
Venton Bell, principal of Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, describes his duties and reflects on race and education.
Black principal Charles Johnson describes the challenges of his profession and his extra effort to maintain discipline in a post-desegregation environment.
Charlene Regester assesses the costs to blacks of school integration in Chapel Hill.
Two-time mayor and newspaper publisher Floyd Adams Jr. describes urban renewal past and present in Savannah, Georgia, and its impact on the black community.
Southern sociologist and civil rights activist Arthur Raper discusses his interactions with Jessie Daniel Ames and the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching during his tenure as the research director of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation from 1926 to 1939. Raper describes Ames as an effective but contentious leader.
Martina Dunford became the program director of the Edgemont Community Center in Durham, North Carolina, in the 1990s. In this interview, she discusses the work of the center in promoting community solidarity; relations between the predominantly African American population and the rapidly growing Latino population in Edgemont; and race relations in Durham as compared to her experiences in Norfolk, Virginia.
Former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and civic leader Asa T. Spaulding reflects on how his growing influence as a business leader allowed him to make unique contributions to dismantling segregation in Durham.
Diane English recalls her job experiences and quest for homeownership in Charlotte, North Carolina, beginning in the late 1960s. She also discusses her role as an activist for neighborhood safety and her fight to save her neighborhood from gentrification.
This is the second interview in a two-part series with southern lawyer Ted Fillette of the Legal Aid Society of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. In this interview, Fillette focuses on his work as a legal advocate of tenant and welfare rights from the 1970s into the early twenty-first century. Throughout, he discusses the legal and political measures taken to ameliorate housing conditions for low-income tenants and to ensure that low-income people have access to social welfare services.
Southern labor organizer Eula McGill explains her views on leadership in the labor movement and the role of workers' education. After rising through the ranks of the labor movement during the Great Depression, McGill continued to work actively to organize workers from the 1940s to the 1970s. She describes in detail various labor campaigns and strikes in the South, as well as her work with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union and other labor organizations.
Naomi Sizemore Trammel recalls her life as a textile mill worker in Greer, South Carolina.
State representative Edith Warren describes the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd in Pitt County, North Carolina.
Born into a long line of Texas politicians, Maury Maverick Jr. served in the Texas House of Representatives for six years during the 1950s, and as a lawyer from the 1960s into the 1970s. Maverick speaks at length about his radical political leanings and the evolution of liberalism in Texas.
Pentecostal pastor Bert Pickett provides a compelling description of the despair that accompanied Hurricane Floyd's devastation.
A lawyer argues for Native American civil rights in Robeson County, North Carolina.
Howell Heflin, who sat on the Alabama State Supreme Court in the 1970s before a two-decade tenure in the United States Senate, discusses the post-segregation Alabama judiciary.
Ernest Seeman offers a critical assessment of life in Durham, North Carolina, during the late nineteenth century. Seeman spent his early career as a printer, first as his father's apprentice and later as sole proprietor of the Seeman Printery, and he discusses interactions between his family and the Duke family. In addition, Seeman explains his increasing radicalization as head of the Duke Press from 1925 to 1934, and briefly discusses his decision to become a writer in later years.
Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff recall their work with the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and with the Penn School. The interview centers largely on the internal problems and external mission of the Fellowship.
Mildred Price Coy discusses the development of her egalitarian ideals, her involvement in various justice movements during the twentieth century, and the societal changes she witnessed.
Born and raised in Oxford, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century, Lillian Taylor Lyons discusses her family history, her education, and her career as a teacher. Lyons also speaks at length about race relations in Oxford, arguing that Oxford was especially "forward-looking" in comparison to other southern communities.
Robert W. (Bob) Scott, former governor of North Carolina and the state's community college system president, describes his tenure as governor and discusses North Carolina politics.
Terry Sanford was a North Carolina governor and Democratic United States senator. This interview describes his political career since 1960, including his unsuccessful presidential runs and his term as president of Duke University.
Charles Jones led the First Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill as pastor in the late 1940s. He describes his education and ministry in this interview, the controversies during his time at the church, and his eventual expulsion.
Frances Pauley was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, during the early twentieth century. An advocate for the poor and of racial integration, Pauley served as president of the Georgia League of Women Voters in the 1940s and 1950s, where she focused specifically on integration of public schools. In 1960, she became director of the Georgia Council on Human Relations and worked within the civil rights movement to promote African American leadership and interracial organizations.
Renowned southern sociologist Guion Griffis Johnson discusses her education, her work with the Institute for Research in Social Sciences, her participation in the Carnegie-Myrdal Study of the Negro in America, and the challenges of being a woman academic during the 1920s and 1930s. Throughout the interview, she emphasizes the challenges and experiences of academics with progressive views of race and gender during that era.
Sociologist Olive Stone describes her work as the dean of Huntingdon College from 1929 to 1934, her doctoral work at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1934 to 1936, and her work in radical politics and for social justice during the 1930s. In addition, Stone speaks at length about her life as a single woman, both professionally and socially.
Margaret Skinner Parker recalls life in the mill town of Cooleemee, North Carolina, in the first half of the twentieth century, sharing recollections of fun and financial struggle.
Margaret Edwards grew up in a large African American sharecropping family in Ayden, North Carolina, during the 1950s and 1960s. She eventually settled in the Raleigh area. Following her experiences with the Baptist and Pentecostal Holiness churches, she converted to Mormonism in 1998. In this interview, she discusses her role within the Mormon Church as an African American woman; the intersections between race, gender, and religion; and the attitude of other denominations toward Mormonism.
Born in 1934 to tenant farmers in North Carolina, Ethelene McCabe Allen focuses on describing family dynamics that shaped her childhood, paying particular attention to her parents' relationship with each other and with their children.
Journalist Walter Horace Carter received the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for his journalistic campaign against the Ku Klux Klan in his newspaper, the
Tabor City Tribune. The interview focuses almost exclusively on the actions of the Klan from 1950 to 1952, including threats made against Carter, connections between local law enforcement and the Klan, and Carter's journalistic campaign against their vigilante tactics.
Ellen Black Winston was born and raised in North Carolina. She received her doctorate in sociology in 1930. Actively involved in issues of social welfare in North Carolina, Winston was appointed as the North Carolina Commissioner of Public Welfare in 1944 and went on to become the first United States Commissioner of Welfare in 1963. In this interview, she describes problems and opportunities for professional women, her goals to improve standards of social welfare in North Carolina, and her work with various branches of government.
Carolyn Farrar Rogers discusses how growing up in rural North Carolina sheltered her from racism and taught her the values of hard work and racial self-worth. These values served her well as a teacher during the early desegregation period.
Arthur Griffin reminisces about Second Ward High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
Emily S. MacLachlan grew up in the early twentieth century in Jackson, Mississippi, in a family that advocated relatively progressive ideas about race. MacLachlan describes her mother's efforts to balance family life with social activism (specifically with the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching), her own academic endeavors, and her advocacy of civil rights and radical politics during the 1930s.
Longtime Chapel Hill, North Carolina, city councilman Joseph A. Herzenberg describes his experiences as a gay man in a southern town.
Clark Foreman worked in the Atlanta Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the Roosevelt Administration, and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare from the 1920s through the 1940s. This interview traces his efforts to provide equal social services and political rights for African Americans through these organizations and explains how he developed these goals. He also discusses his travels in Europe, his work with Black Mountain College and organized labor, and his criticism of the Red Scare.
Florida governor Reubin Askew describes his approach to politics and comments on the political character of Florida and the American South.
A couple recalls living and working in the difficult conditions of North Carolina's cotton mill towns.
Elizabeth Pearsall reflects on the role of her husband, Thomas Pearsall, in the North Carolina school desegregation plan. She also discusses her own efforts at fostering racial cooperation.
Anne Queen spent ten years working for the Champion Paper and Fibre Company in North Carolina before continuing her education at Berea College and Yale Divinity School during the 1940s. In this interview, she describes her life as a worker, her advocacy of social justice causes, her experiences in higher education, and her work at University of Georgia, with the Friends Service Committee, and the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina.
Arthur Little describes glove making from his perspective as the owner of a glove mill in Newton, North Carolina.
Mary Robertson offers an insider's view of the organized labor movement in western North Carolina.
George Miller describes his career as a black administrator in desegregated schools.
John Jessup discusses his employment as the principal of a North Carolina public school and as an administrator in the Winston-Salem public schools. He describes the challenges he faced as an African American as well as the changes brought about by desegregation.
Daniel Pollitt describes his admiration for University of North Carolina Campus Y director, Anne Queen. He discusses his and Queen's engagement in social justice movements and the city of Chapel Hill's reaction to student political engagement.
Dentist George Simkins describes his efforts to desegregate hospitals and other facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Jane Squires describes building a career as a tobacco auctioneer, a male-dominated profession.
Civil rights activist Floyd McKissick evaluates the legacies of the civil rights movement and looks toward its next phase in the 1970s.
William E. White Jr. describes his encounters with religion, race, and sexuality.
Elizabeth Brown, a white teacher who taught at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Alabama, describes desegregation and its legacies in her city.
Southern writer, academic, and social activist Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin describes growing up in a family where the "Lost Cause" was heralded and her subsequent work towards promoting causes of social justice. In so doing, Lumpkin describes her work with the YWCA, her education, her career in academe, and her books
The Making of a Southerner and South in Progress.
Asa T. Spaulding, the first African American actuary in North Carolina and former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, recalls his early life and weighs his contributions to the insurance business and society at large.
Birmingham lawyer and politician U. W. Clemon describes his place in Birmingham politics and the city's continuing problems with race.
Journalist and activist Daisy Bates recalls working for civil rights in desegregation-era Arkansas.
Naomi Elizabeth Morris grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. After graduating from college in the early 1940s, she worked as a legal secretary before attending the School of Law at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. One of the only women to graduate with her class in 1955, Morris practiced law for twelve years before becoming one of the original judges to serve on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Bonnie Cone describes her career as an educator in South Carolina and North Carolina during the first half of the twentieth century. After teaching at Duke University during World War II, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and became one of the primary personages behind the successful establishment of a university in that city.
Investigative reporter John Seigenthaler discusses his early career as a journalist at
The Tennessean of Nashville during the 1950s, his work with Robert F. Kennedy during the 1960s, and his role as the editor of The Tennessean into the mid-1960s. Seigenthaler focuses on the unique nature of southern journalism and the homogenization of southern culture during the 1960s and 1970s.
Barbara Lorie describes her experiences and teaching philosophy as a teacher at newly integrated, racially charged schools in North Carolina.
North Carolina business leader and former Commerce Secretary S. Davis (Dave) Phillips discusses his personal successes as a businessman in High Point and his successes as Commerce Secretary under Governor Jim Martin.
Lifelong textile worker Eula McGill shares her thoughts on the benefits of Alabama textile unions.
Physician Andrew Best recalls his encounters with racial segregation inside and outside Pitt County Memorial Hospital in in North Carolina during the civil rights era.
John Broadus Mitchell grew up in a family that held to liberal politics and believed in community involvement. Educated as an economic historian, Mitchell conducted extensive research on the establishment of the cotton textile industry in the South following the Civil War. In the 1920s and 1930s, he advocated for labor rights, spoke out against racial violence, and socialist politics.
Southern sociologist Guion Griffis Johnson describes her work with the Georgia Conference on Social Welfare during the 1940s and her involvement with the women's movement and civil rights activism during the 1960s and 1970s in North Carolina. She discusses strategies for effecting change, the achievements of the Georgia Conference in promoting awareness of social welfare and race-related issues, and the progress of women and African Americans in their struggle for equality.
Pauli Murray was a prominent legal activist within the civil rights and women's liberation movements. In this interview, she discusses her childhood and her education, the events leading up to her decision to pursue a career in law, the evolution of her career, her decision to enter the seminary, and her thoughts on civil rights and women's liberation.
Nancy Holt, raised in North Carolina's Cane Creek community and a member of the Cane Creek Conservation Authority, discusses the reaction of the community when UNC and the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority attempted to build a reservoir in Cane Creek.
In this interview, Richard Lee Hoffman Jr., a real estate broker in Mars Hill, North Carolina, describes his response to the growth ushered in by the construction of the I-26 corridor.
Journalist Hodding Carter describes the changes wrought in Mississippi by the civil rights movement.
Marguerite Tolbert worked throughout her life as an educator in South Carolina public schools and universities for adult education. She describes her education and high school graduation through stories from her book,
South Carolina's Distinguished Women from Laurens County. She recounts how she earned a scholarship to Winthrop College and met her teaching colleagues Wil Lou Gray and Dr. D. B. Johnson; describes local activism for women's suffrage between 1914 and 1920; and recalls encounters with leaders, including President Hoover and Jane Addams. She concludes by discussing the controversy at Winthrop College over a discrepancy in female teachers' salaries.
Lyman Johnson traces his lifelong pursuit of racial equality through his father's rejection of racial hierarchies, his experiences as an educated black Navy solder, his observations of racial violence, and his efforts to get equal pay and union representation for Louisville teachers.
Bishop Paul Hardin helped bring about racial integration of the United Methodist denomination in the 1960s. He recalls several points in his long ministry career when white and black pastors opposed his efforts to move ministers to other districts, accept church members of other races, and dissolve the Black Methodist district. Supportive church members helped him withstand criticism of his personal stance, even when he faced pressure from conservative ministers on one side and Martin Luther King on the other.
Nelle Morton served as the general secretary of the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen from 1944 to 1950. In this interview, she describes her perception of the leaders of the Fellowship and the organization's aims and strategies in advocating for various social justice causes, including racial integration and labor rights. In addition, she describes her leadership of a male-dominated organization and how her work with the Fellowship raised her awareness of the need for women's liberation as well.
James Atwater discusses life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1950s. He describes the black community, the impact of segregation on schools and neighborhoods, and experiences of African American staff at the university.
Rebecca Clark describes the economic impact of Jim Crow: denying African Americans desirable jobs, forcing them into low-paying jobs, and humiliating African American consumers.
Kenneth Iverson, president of Nucor Steel, describes his approach to business, Nucor's success, and the changing profile of the steel industry in the United States.
The Reverend Robert Lee Mangum channels his Christian faith into social action in Robeson County, North Carolina.
William Dallas Herring discusses his rise to membership and tenure on the North Carolina State Board of Education and the struggle to create a community college system.
John Harris, longtime cab driver and businessman in Greensboro, North Carolina, describes his community in the context of race and redevelopment.
Julian Bond recounts a life of civil rights activism in the American South. He discusses his work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and his connection with other activists, including Ella Baker, Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, and Stokely Carmichael.
Miriam Bonner Camp describes growing up in Washington, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century, focusing specifically on her mother's strong influence, opportunities for women in the community, and race relations. She moved to California in 1909, and received degrees in English education from Berkeley. She describes coeducational life in college, her experiences teaching at North Carolina College for Women in the 1920s, and her involvement in the women worker education programs in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Walter Durham discusses coming of age during the 1950s and 1960s in Orange County, North Carolina. Durham focuses especially on the process of school integration as it occurred in the merging of the all black Lincoln High School and the newly integrated Chapel Hill High School. According to Durham, this was a tense process in which many of the school traditions he fondly remembers from his days at Lincoln were lost in the transition to integrated schools.
Albert Gore Sr. reviews the history leading up to his senatorial career, concentrating on his rural upbringing and his early political experiences. He also reflects on his impressions of other important politicians he knew, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, Estes Kefauver, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Lloyd and Betty Parker Davidson grew up in Danville, Virginia, during the 1910s and 1920s. After establishing themselves as weavers in Danville, they moved to Burlington, North Carolina, in 1932 to work at the Plaid Mill. In this interview, they describe their experiences as weavers, focusing especially on working conditions in the 1930s and 1940s.
Sociologist Hylan Lewis describes his experiences with race in the American South in the post-World War II period.
A northerner who followed his passion for justice south, David Burgess spent his life living his religious convictions through a devotion to economic and racial justice. Burgess recalls his involvement with some vanguard rights organizations, such as the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, a group Burgess believes laid the foundation for a civil rights movement motivated by Christian beliefs.
Thurman Couch describes social, cultural, and economic splintering in African American networks in Chapel Hill following integration.
Senator Jesse Helms describes some of his political positions, and reflects on the state of the Republican Party.
University of North Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance reflects on his teams' remarkable successes and his career as a male coach of a women's team.
Civil rights activist Suzanne Post speaks about what motivated her commitment to social justice. Though she is best known for her work to overcome race-based segregated education in Louisville and to launch Louisville's Metropolitan Housing Coalition, Post insists that her most important work centered on women's rights.
H. M. Michaux, a Durham, North Carolina, state representative, describes the role of black electoral politics in North Carolina's state government. He reflects on staying power of the Republican Party in southern politics.
Ruth Vick describes her tenure at the Southern Regional Council (SRC), an interracial organization committed to racial justice in the South. The SRC supported the direct action strategies of the civil rights movement that emerged in force in the 1950s and 1960s, but chose study over sit-ins as a means of change. This interview addresses this decision as well as decades of internal disputes.
Frank Gilbert recalls his laboring life in and around Conover, North Carolina.
Dora Scott Miller reflects on the changes in tobacco factory work from the perspective of an African American woman.
Roger Gant explains the professional and personal activities of his father-in-law, Everett Jordan, Democratic United States Senator from North Carolina. Gant discusses how he became involved with Jordan's textile mill and how Jordan structured his business. Jordan's skill at relating to people helped him in business and in politics. Gant focuses on a few of Jordan's political successes, including the way he helped Lyndon Johnson before his presidential bid.
Guion Griffis Johnson was among the first generation of female professional historians and a pioneer of social history. In this interview, she discusses the work she did for Dr. Howard Odum of the University of North Carolina sociology department from 1923 until 1934. She also describes the research she did on St. Helena's Island and on antebellum North Carolina while working toward her Ph.D. She explains how she lost her job at the University of North Carolina in 1930 but continued to work until she and her husband transferred to Baylor College in 1934.
Clay East was a founding member of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. In this interview, he describes life in Tyronza, Arkansas, during the 1920s and 1930s; his conversion to socialism; his observation of the problems of tenant farmers and sharecroppers; and his role in the formation of the union during the early 1930s.
Thomas Henderson was born in Brookneal, Virginia, a small, tobacco farming community. He later became a tobacco buyer in Greenville, North Carolina. Focusing on the tobacco industry in the 1930s and 1940s, Henderson explains the establishment of gradation policies for the tobacco industry as a New Deal reform measure, the process of buying and selling tobacco at auction, and changes in tobacco farming.
Architect and politician Harvey Gantt describes his ascent from a childhood in segregated Charleston, South Carolina, to becoming the first black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. As a southerner, he sees the accomplishments of the civil rights movement as dramatic; as a member of the black middle class, he leans toward negotiation rather than revolt.
Harvey E. Beech describes his journey to becoming a lawyer fighting for legal justice. In 1951, he was one of five students who made up the first group of African Americans to attend the University of North Carolina School of Law. Beech assesses the racial changes since the mid-twentieth century and discusses racism in contemporary America.
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.
Asa T. Spaulding, the first African American actuary in North Carolina and former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, remembers and reflects on community activism in Durham, North Carolina.
I. Beverly Lake Sr. reflects on his long career as a teacher, attorney, and judge. He counsels white political unity as a means to stem racial integration.
Pediatrician James Slade and his wife, Catherine, discuss their experience of race and medicine in Edenton, North Carolina.
Grace Towns Hamilton was raised in Atlanta, where both of her parents were involved in community service and issues of social justice. Following family tradition, Hamilton was an active participant in the YWCA during the 1920s, and during the 1940s and 1950s she was the director for Atlanta's Urban League. She describes her work with these organizations, focusing on issues of segregation, education, voter registration, and housing.
During the course of her career, Josephine Glenn worked in several mills around Burlington, North Carolina, allowing her to compare the textile factories in Burlington and their various working environments. She covers many topics, including wartime production, the end of segregation, and the changing roles of women in the factories.
Jim Pierce first learned about the labor movement while growing up in Oklahoma during the 1930s. By the late 1940s, he had become a leader in his local union at Western Electric in Fort Worth, Texas. During the 1950s and 1960s, he organized unions for the CIO, the IUE, and the IUD. He describes his belief in labor activism but also his growing disillusionment with the movement by the end of the 1960s.
Louise Young was an educated woman from Tennessee who spent most of her adult life working to promote better race relations in the South. Young describes her years teaching at African American institutions of higher education—Paine College and the Hampton Institute—during the 1910s and 1920s; her job as the director of the Department of Home Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, where she trained students at Scarritt College in race relations; her support of women's organizations, particularly the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching; and labor activism, as exemplified by the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.
Johnnie Jones remembers his fifty-year career at the Pomona Terra Cotta Factory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
South Carolinian Edith Mitchell Dabbs discusses her family history as well that of her husband's family, which owned the Rip Raps Plantation. In addition, she describes the work she and her husband, James McBride Dabbs, did in advocating for racial justice during the 1940s and 1950s, their evolving views about race and race relations, and her involvement with the United Church Women.
Integration was incomplete and did little to rid schools of racism, maintains Gloria Register Jeter in this interview. The close ties between school and community that existed in segregated black Chapel Hill evaporated when black schools were absorbed into a system that Jeter believed had little interest in black students' success.
Gladys Irene Moser Hollar and her husband, Glenn Hollar, share recollections about work and rural life in the early twentieth century.
David DeVries, who spent fifteen years at the Center for Creative Leadership, reflects on the organization's history and its contributions to leadership training.
Bill Hull describes the social environment for gay men in Chapel Hill from the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Private waste management company owner Lonnie Poole discusses the past and present of his incredibly successful endeavor.
Marion Wright was one of a group of white southerners who sought to tackle the entrenched racism of the twentieth-century South. As a member of the Southern Regional Council (SRC), he sought to do so without direct action. This interview is a portrait of a civil rights leader in the era before the movement was defined by public protest.
Jimmy Carter, the governor of Georgia, discusses the growing influence of the Democratic Party in southern states and links it to distinctly southern trends, such as increased voter participation and the impact of the civil rights movement.
Alice Evitt describes her rural childhood and life as a millworker and mother in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century.
A Birmingham lawyer shares his reflections on segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, and racism in the United States.
Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson remembers her work with the YWCA industrial department over the course of forty years. She describes the impact liberalism and communism had on organizing textile mill labor unions.
Richard Bowman reflects on growing up in segregated Asheville, North Carolina, and facing racism during his employment with the army and the Los Angeles Department of Motor Vehicles. He also discusses his work to improve the current Asheville school district and rebuild his old high school. He lived in Los Angeles for four decades and experienced two major riots.
Henry Frye grew up in a segregated farming community in North Carolina during the 1930s and 1940s before becoming a lawyer. He went on to become the first African American elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and to serve on the state supreme court. In this interview, he describes race relations, his career as a lawyer, and his experiences in politics.
Geraldine Ray has lived in Barnardsville, North Carolina, nearly her entire life. In this interview, she describes growing up on her family's farm, attending all-black schools, and caring for sick relatives and friends. She describes racial segregation as a problem that seemed less difficult to avoid than segregation and prejudice between local black residents. Geraldine learned several essential skills of farm life from her grandmother and then used them to support the family through illness. The interview concludes with a description of her husband—a childhood friend—and how they chose to raise their children.
Roy Lee Auton reflects on a string of jobs and a string of wives in this engaging interview.
Barbara Hanks remembers her career at the White Furniture Company and the effects of the company's closing on her community in Mebane, North Carolina.
George Esser remembers his contributions to the North Carolina Fund and pulls back the curtain on a network of organizations that worked for social justice in the 1960s.
Icy Norman recalls her long working life, most of which was spent at a textile mill in Burlington, North Carolina.
Geddes Dodson worked as a textile mill employee for sixty years. During that time, he progressed through the factory's employment hierarchy, seeing many different aspects of life within the mills. He often focuses on issues involving masculinity and unionism.
John G. Medlin Jr., CEO of Wachovia, discusses the growth of the Charlotte-based bank.
Veteran activist Stetson Kennedy describes his desire to strike down segregation in the American South and some of the ways he translated this impulse into action.
Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen recalls her community activist work and her service as a congressional liaison for Congressman Mel Watt. She assesses the tensions between lower-income and wealthier residents in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Orval Faubus defends his legacy.
This interview with Dr. Guy B. Johnson, sociology professor and author, focuses on his work as the first executive director of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and as a member of the North Carolina Committee for Interracial Cooperation. Johnson discusses the role that women and church groups played in the Interracial Commission, describes the debate over issues such as segregation among SRC members, and outlines the conflict between SRC leaders and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare.
Thelma Stevens was the director of the Bethlehem Center in Augusta, Georgia, and the Superintendent of Christian Social Relations of the Women's Missionary Council for the Methodist Episcopal Church. In this interview, she describes her childhood in rural Mississippi, her education, and her work with the Methodist Church, all in relationship to her lifelong devotion to improving race relations in the South.
George and Tessie Dyer discuss their jobs in Charlotte cotton mills and their lives outside of work. They describe their childhood and the work their parents and grandparents did. They recall the parties and social events that their friends participated in after work. The interview ends with their observations about local union activity.
Bert Nettles discusses the state of politics and the Republican Party in Alabama in the 1970s. He discusses, among other things, desegregation, the need for honesty and ethics reform in the political system, and the effect of Watergate on the Republican Party.
David Burgess discusses how his religious faith fused into his life work of social activism. In particular, he explains his involvement in labor organizing in the South.
Samuel and Leonia Farrar remember a lifetime of hard work in rural and urban North Carolina.
Activist, leftist, poet, and ordained minister Don West remembers a lifetime of union and civil rights activism.
Robert Sidney Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, discusses the hosiery industry in North Carolina and the United States.
Josephine Dobbs Clement talks about her various civic roles, including her activity as a member of the League of Women Voters, the Durham City-County Charter Commission, the Board of Education, and the Board of County Commissioners. She also discusses her efforts on behalf of social justice and her views on race, gender, and environmental issues.
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's first Republican governor since 1896, reflects on the office and the challenges it presents.
Harriet Herring, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, recalls her efforts to study labor at North Carolina mill towns in the first half of the twentieth century.
Terry Sanford—former state senator, governor, president of Duke University, and member of the United States Senate—describes Democratic politics in North Carolina.
Taylor Barnhill, an environmental activist concerned about the effects of development on communities, describes his rural childhood and its impact on his adult life.
William and Josephine Clement were both born and raised in the South. They describe their family backgrounds and education. Josephine focuses on race relations in Atlanta and her father's radical politics, while William describes his participation with the Masons and his work with North Carolina Mutual.
Jim Goodnight describes the founding and growth of his corporation, SAS.
Viola Turner, who served as treasurer of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, describes her childhood in Macon, Georgia, and her experiences in Durham, North Carolina. In remembering her life experiences in the early twentieth century, she focuses particularly on education, race relations, the importance of skin color, and segregation in business and leisure activities in the South.
Southern novelist Harriette Arnow discusses what it was like to grow up in Kentucky during the 1910s and 1920s. The teacher-turned-writer focuses especially on her family relationships, her experiences in school and in teaching, her goals as a writer, and her views on marriage and family.
Salter and Doris Cochran reflect on the many challenges that faced them in their efforts to desegregate medical care and public education in Weldon, North Carolina.
Septima Clark describes the work of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the late 1950s to mid 1960s, especially the community education programs that she directed for the SCLC and the Highlander Folk School. She rejoices in the new voters and civil rights legislation that resulted from their work but noticed drawbacks arising from prejudice against female leaders, disdain for the poor, and clashes in leadership styles.
In this second part of an extensive two-part interview series, Viola Turner discusses race relations in Durham and her experiences working for North Carolina Mutual. Turner offers vivid and detailed anecdotes that reveal the intricate social and professional network of Durham, primarily in the 1920s and 1930s.
Durham, North Carolina, resident Josephine Turner reflects on her struggle to leave behind a life of poverty.
Margaret Carter, the "grand dame of liberal Texas politics," reflects on how she and her husband became interested in politics, what she learned through her political experiences, the ways the state's political structure changed from the New Deal era through the late 1950s, and the character of various state politicians.
In this interview, Jonathan Daniels discusses his father's role as a newspaper editor and Secretary of the Navy, as well as his father's racial and religious views. Daniels also describes how race and the University of North Carolina shaped his own life.
African American civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins describes her upbringing in a prosperous family during the early twentieth century. She charts her work with the Tuberculosis Association, the NAACP, and the Richland County Citizens' Committee. Throughout the interview, Simkins offers telling anecdotes about racial tensions in South Carolina, the inner workings of civil rights organizations, and relationships between leaders of the movement.
Pat Cusick recalls his participation in the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Imprisoned for his role in these demonstrations, he describes the formative impact his incarceration had in stirring up his radicalism, emboldening his support of nonviolent strategies, and connecting with other like-minded activists. Cusick also discusses coming to terms with his homosexuality.
Terry Sanford recalls his political career as a Democratic governor of North Carolina. He discusses the impact of race on southern politics and the realignment of political parties in the late twentieth century. Sanford attempts to reject the image of southern exceptionalism.
In this interview, Vivion Lenon Brewer explains how her awareness of racial disparities caused her to support school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas. She discusses her leadership in pushing politicians to reopen the closed public schools during the 1958-1959 Little Rock school crisis.
Albert Gore Sr.—a politician from Tennessee noted for being one of two southern senators to refuse to sign the Southern Manifesto, a 1956 document decrying the desegregation of public spaces in America—summarizes his senatorial career. He discusses his opposition to the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as his activities on a variety of Senate committees.
Mabel Williams, wife of civil rights activist and advocate of armed self-defense Robert Williams, remembers her husband's efforts to overturn segregation in Monroe, North Carolina, in the 1960s.
Stan Hyatt, the North Carolina Department of Transportation's resident engineer on the I-26 project, misses the past but sees the corridor as a cure for Madison County's economic ills.
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."
Civil rights activist and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) mentor Ella Josephine Baker outlines her family history, traces her growing radical tendencies, and explains the catalysts that pushed her into public activism. In this interview she discusses her work not only with SNCC, but also with the Workers' Education Project, the Cooperative League, and the NAACP.
Joanne Peerman describes the efforts of black students to thoroughly integrate Chapel Hill High School and discusses her relationship with her father, a beloved coach at Lincoln High School and a powerful figure in the black high school community.
Zeno Ponder is one of the most respected and influential leaders of Madison County, North Carolina. This interview begins with his descriptions of his family's activities in the area and local political traditions. Ponder briefly describes his experiences at local schools, including Mars Hill College. Ponder became involved in local politics through a training program and his brother's campaign for sheriff.
English professor Margaret O'Connor discusses the formation of the women's studies department at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as some of the administrative and political issues she dealt with after its inception.
Ralph Waldo Strickland grew up on an Alabama farm before joining the navy and later making a career with the Seaboard Railroad. He offers a range of recollections concerning his childhood in the rural South, his encounters with the Roosevelts following their relocation in 1921 to Hot Springs, Georgia, and life as a railroad worker and union member.
Raymond and Eunice English, along with their son and nephew, worry that Hurricane Floyd may have irreparably crippled the aging Duplin County, North Carolina, farming community.
Quinton E. Baker reflects on how his identity as a black gay man influenced his social activism, especially his role in the 1960s civil rights protests.
Septima Clark served as a board member and education director for the Highlander Folk School and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1950s and 1960s. She links her activism to the memory of her parents' struggles with poverty and racism. She also describes how community relations functioned within the NAACP and SCLC. Her plans for increasing community involvement, protecting the labor rights of black teachers, and educating black voters were often ignored because she was female. She discusses why these types of gender roles persisted in the SCLC and the role of leaders in the black community.
Mill workers Carl and Mary Thompson describe their experiences as skilled employees and active members of their local communities.
Ethel Marshall Faucette describes the working environment and social life of the Glencoe mill town in Burlington, North Carolina. Faucette worked at Glencoe Mill from 1915 to 1954 and she explains the changes to workers' lives over her decades of employment.
Annie Mack Barbee describes her life as a worker in the segregated Liggett & Myers tobacco factories, and discusses how gender, class and race affected her life and the choices she made.
In this fast-paced 1975 interview, Virginia Foster Durr remembers her growing awareness of social problems in the South, and continues sharing her life stories through 1948. Along with her husband Clifford Durr, Virginia recounts their move to Washington, D.C., particularly her disaffection with social society and her transition to political action.
George LeMaistre remembers Alabama politics from the 1920s to the 1970s, a story troubled by violent racism and the struggle over integration.
Mary Turner Lane was the first director of the women's studies program at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, she discusses the beginnings and the evolution of the women's studies program at UNC.
Virginius Dabney traces his involvement with the school desegregation crisis in post-1954 Virginia. Dabney's political and social beliefs about integration appeared in the newspaper he edited, the
Richmond Times-Dispatch. This interview spans the breadth of his career from the 1920s to the 1970s.
Beginning with her family background and early childhood, Adamson traces the dynamics that led her to adopt her radical stance later in life. She also responds to the accusations that she had been a Communist spy and explains how the Red Scare affected her life.
Virginia Foster Durr discusses her early life and how she became aware of the social justice problems plaguing twentieth-century America. In this first part of a three-interview series, Durr describes her life on the plantation when she was a child; race issues in Birmingham, where she grew up; and how her views began to change when she left Birmingham to attend Wellesley College.
This is the final interview in a series of three with Virginia Foster Durr. Since the previous session, Clifford Durr had died, making the interview feel very different from the two in which he had taken part. The interview begins with Durr's growing awareness of racial matters and her activism during their life among the New Dealers in Washington, D.C. Among the topics she touches on are the anti-communism of the 1950s, sexual discrimination on Capitol Hill, and the southern reaction to Roosevelt's New Deal policies.
Virginius Dabney recounts his early experiences as a reporter for the
Richmond News Leader as well as his later stint as the editor of that newspaper. He also discusses his attitudes about the role of reporters in the political and social arenas, and his work with the Southern Regional Council.