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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


Browse Collection by Theme

  Race and Civil Rights
    RACE AND EDUCATION K-12
      Desegregation Plans and Orders

Results (most relevant first)

Oral History Interview with Edward L. Rankin, August 20, 1987. Interview C-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Charles Adams, February 18, 2000. Interview K-0646. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Carl A. Mills Jr., June 30, 1999. Interview K-0182. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Carl A. Mills Jr., principal of Cary High School during its desegregation, recalls a relatively easy process of integration.

Oral History Interview with Robert Giles, September 10, 1987. Interview C-0063. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Angus Boaz Thompson Sr., October 21, 2003. Interview U-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
An African American activist fights for integration in Lumberton, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Clyde Smith, March 17, 1999. Interview K-0443. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Clyde Smith recalls the tensions that integration introduced to athletics at North Carolina's Lincolnton High School.

Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, February 14, 1987. Interview C-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Mack Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with William Hamlin, May 29, 1998. Interview K-0169. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former West Charlotte student muses about the school and the uncertain legacies of integration.

Oral History Interview with Johnny A. Freeman, December 27, 1990. Interview M-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Longtime principal Johnny A. Freeman reflects on the mixed legacy of desegregation.

Oral History Interview with Vennie Moore, February 24, 1999. Interview K-0439. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Vennie Moore recalls her childhood in segregated Davidson, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Kenneth Norton, March 23, 1999. Interview K-0440. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Kenneth Norton remembers being a student at the segregated Ada Jenkins School in Davidson, North Carolina, in the 1930s.

Oral History Interview with Orval Faubus, June 14, 1974. Interview A-0031. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Orval Faubus defends his legacy.

Oral History Interview with Sam Holton, March 28, 2001. Interview K-0206. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sam Holton explains his role in the desegregation of Chapel Hill schools during his tenure on the school board from 1968 to 1974.

Oral History Interview with Gwendolyn Matthews, December 9, 1999. Interview K-0654. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Willa V. Robinson, January 14, 2004. Interview U-0014. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Residents of Maxton, North Carolina, respond to integration.

Oral History Interview with Glennon Threatt, June 16, 2005. Interview U-0023. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A Birmingham lawyer shares his reflections on segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, and racism in the United States.

Oral History Interview with Daisy Bates, October 11, 1976. Interview G-0009. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Journalist and activist Daisy Bates recalls working for civil rights in desegregation-era Arkansas.

Oral History Interview with Burnis Hackney, February 5, 2001. Interview K-0547. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Brown, June 17, 2005. Interview U-0019. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Elizabeth Brown, a white teacher who taught at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Alabama, describes desegregation and its legacies in her city.

Oral History Interview with Harriet Gentry Love, June 17, 1998. Interview K-0171. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Harriet Love shares memories of and fondness for West Charlotte, a truly unique school.

Oral History Interview with Patricia Neal, June 6, 1989. Interview C-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Guy B. Johnson, July 22, 1990. Interview A-0345. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sociologist Guy B. Johnson describes his path to sociology and recalls his participation in the Southern Regional Council in the 1940s.

Oral History Interview with Walter Durham, January 19 and 26, 2001. Interview K-0540. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Herman Talmadge, November 8, 1990. Interview A-0347. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Georgia politician Herman Talmadge reflects on race in southern politics and the intrusive process of desegregation.

Oral History Interview with James Arthur Jones, November 19, 2003. Interview U-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A principal remembers integration in a largely Native American community.

Oral History Interview with Joanne Peerman, February 24, 2001. Interview K-0557. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0056. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006. Interview U-0178. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Saundra Davis, May 12, 1998. Interview K-0278. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Enthusiasm for West Charlotte High School clashes with uncertainty about the efficacy of integration.

Oral History Interview with Carrie Abramson, February 21, 1999. Interview K-0275. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A white student's experience with racial division at West Charlotte convinces her of the importance of integrated education.

Oral History Interview with Josephine Clement, July 13 and August 3, 1989. Interview C-0074. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Charlene Regester, February 23, 2001. Interview K-0216. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Charlene Regester assesses the costs to blacks of school integration in Chapel Hill.

Oral History Interview with Howell Heflin, July 9, 1974. Interview A-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Modjeska Simkins, July 28, 1976. Interview G-0056-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Terry Graham, March 22, 1999. Interview K-0434. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Arthur Griffin, May 7, 1999. Interview K-0168. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Arthur Griffin reminisces about Second Ward High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and reflects on the legacies of desegregation.

Oral History Interview with William Culp, February 19, 1999. Interview K-0277. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A white teacher recalls a harmonious racial atmosphere at West Charlotte High School during his short stint there in the 1970s.

Oral History Interview with Rebecca Clark, June 21, 2000. Interview K-0536. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Reubin Askew, July 8, 1974. Interview A-0045. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Florida governor Reubin Askew describes his approach to politics and comments on the political character of Florida and the American South.

Oral History Interview with Raney Norwood, January 9, 2001. Interview K-0556. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A former student at Lincoln and Chapel Hill High School recalls the frustrations of integration.

Oral History Interview with William and Josephine Clement, June 19, 1986. Interview C-0031. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Latrelle McAllister, June 25, 1998. Interview K-0173. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Latrelle McAllister remembers a nurturing, vibrant environment at West Charlotte High School and worries that this ethos may be at risk.

Oral History Interview with Julian Bond, November 1 and 22, 1999. Interview R-0345. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Thurman Couch, February 12, 2001. Interview K-0537. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Thurman Couch describes social, cultural, and economic splintering in African American networks in Chapel Hill following integration.

Oral History Interview with Leroy Miller, June 8, 1998. Interview K-0174. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Harold Fleming, January 24, 1990. Interview A-0363. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with George A. LeMaistre, April 29, 1985. Interview A-0358. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
George LeMaistre remembers Alabama politics from the 1920s to the 1970s, a story troubled by violent racism and the struggle over integration.

Oral History Interview with George Wallace, July 15, 1974. Interview A-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Longstanding Alabama governor and former presidential candidate George Wallace discusses Alabama politics and racial issues in the United States.

Oral History Interview with Bert Nettles, July 13, 1974. Interview A-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, July 31, 1975. Interview A-0311-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Strom Thurmond, July 20, 1978. Interview A-0334. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Ella Baker, April 19, 1977. Interview G-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.