Results (most relevant first)
Civil rights leader Modjeska Simkins discusses race and civil rights before World War II.
Leroy Magness describes his belief in avoiding conflict, and how that belief shaped his response to the civil rights movement.
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.
Elva Templeton remembers her childhood in historic Cary, North Carolina.
An African American man reflects on race and protest in segregated Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
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.
Racism and segregation return to declining integrated schools.
Thurman Couch describes social, cultural, and economic splintering in African American networks in Chapel Hill following integration.
A white student reflects on race and racism at West Charlotte High School.
Carl A. Mills Jr., principal of Cary High School during its desegregation, recalls a relatively easy process of integration.
Segregation and integration caused difficulties in the life of this African American student.
Alma Enloe remembers West Charlotte High School as an extension of the pre-integration African American community in Charlotte.
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.
Residents of Maxton, North Carolina, respond to integration.
Laura Waddell describes her successful career as a tailor as well as her civic activities in Savannah, Georgia.
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.
Brenda Tapia, one of the first African Americans to attend North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina, describes an alternative view of desegregation.
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 West Charlotte student muses about the school and the uncertain legacies of integration.
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.
Former student remembers West Charlotte High as a place where diversity created both opportunity and conflict.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An African American activist fights for integration in Lumberton, North Carolina.
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.
Diane English describes her activism in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina.
A former student at Lincoln and Chapel Hill High School recalls the frustrations of integration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Birmingham lawyer shares his reflections on segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, and racism in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
Latrelle McAllister remembers a nurturing, vibrant environment at West Charlotte High School and worries that this ethos may be at risk.
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.
Samuel and Leonia Farrar remember a lifetime of hard work in rural and urban North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.