Results (most relevant first)
An African American activist fights for integration in Lumberton, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Presbyterian minister Charles Jones recounts his civil rights activism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1960s.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Barbara Lorie describes her experiences and teaching philosophy as a teacher at newly integrated, racially charged schools in North Carolina.
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 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.
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.
A lawyer argues for Native American civil rights in Robeson County, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dentist George Simkins describes his efforts to desegregate hospitals and other facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Residents of Maxton, North Carolina, respond to integration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Civil rights activist Virginia Foster Durr describes her involvement in the nascent civil rights movement of the 1940s and 1950s.
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.
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.
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.
Civil rights activist Floyd McKissick evaluates the legacies of the civil rights movement and looks toward its next phase in the 1970s.
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.
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.
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.
A Birmingham lawyer shares his reflections on segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, and racism in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
Civil rights leader Modjeska Simkins discusses race and civil rights before World War II.
Claude Pepper reflects on his political career and the rise of conservatism in Florida.
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.
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.
Orval Faubus defends his legacy.
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.
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.
Former West Charlotte student muses about the school and the uncertain legacies of integration.
Sociologist Guy B. Johnson describes his path to sociology and recalls his participation in the Southern Regional Council in the 1940s.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Reverend Robert Lee Mangum channels his Christian faith into social action in Robeson County, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Martin Gerry recalls his efforts, as the director of the Office of Civil Rights, to accelerate desegregation in North Carolina.
Kenneth Norton remembers being a student at the segregated Ada Jenkins School in Davidson, North Carolina, in the 1930s.
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 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.
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.
Birmingham lawyer and politician U. W. Clemon describes his place in Birmingham politics and the city's continuing problems with race.
Journalist Hodding Carter describes the changes wrought in Mississippi by the civil rights movement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
George LeMaistre remembers Alabama politics from the 1920s to the 1970s, a story troubled by violent racism and the struggle over integration.
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.
Segregation and integration caused difficulties in the life of this African American student.
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.
John Hope Franklin remembers life as a student in the segregated South.
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.
Journalist and activist Daisy Bates recalls working for civil rights in desegregation-era Arkansas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A former student at Lincoln and Chapel Hill High School recalls the frustrations of integration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clyde Smith recalls the tensions that integration introduced to athletics at North Carolina's Lincolnton High School.
Maggie Ray, teacher at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
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.
Steve Cherry describes desegregation from the perspective of a coach and a principal in Lincoln County, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Activist and politician Eva Clayton describes her years of service in and out of politics in Warren County, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
A principal remembers integration in a largely Native American community.
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.
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.
Birmingham politician Arthur Shores offers his thoughts on the intersection of race and politics in his home city.
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.
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.
African American Birmingham city council member Richard Arrington discusses the slowly increasing presence of African Americans on Birmingham's political landscape.
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.
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.
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.
Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia recalls national political happenings during his tenure in the Senate from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s.
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.
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.
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.
Arthur Little describes glove making from his perspective as the owner of a glove mill in Newton, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
A white student remembers fear and violence during desegregation in Chapel Hill.
Sociologist Hylan Lewis describes his experiences with race in the American South in the post-World War II period.
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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Brown, a white teacher who taught at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Alabama, describes desegregation and its legacies in her city.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mary Robertson offers an insider's view of the organized labor movement in western North Carolina.
Bill Hull describes the social environment for gay men in Chapel Hill from the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first century.
John Harris, longtime cab driver and businessman in Greensboro, North Carolina, describes his community in the context of race and redevelopment.
An African American man reflects on race and protest in segregated Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
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.
Longstanding Alabama governor and former presidential candidate George Wallace discusses Alabama politics and racial issues in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Racism and segregation return to declining integrated schools.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."
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.
Activist, leftist, poet, and ordained minister Don West remembers a lifetime of union and civil rights activism.
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.
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.
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.