Results (most relevant first)
Ray Spain, the principal of Bertie High School, describes his management style and the demands of his job.
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.
Laura Waddell describes her successful career as a tailor as well as her civic activities in Savannah, Georgia.
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.
Dora Scott Miller reflects on the changes in tobacco factory work from the perspective of an African American woman.
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.
Venton Bell, principal of Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, describes his duties and reflects on race and education.
Pediatrician James Slade and his wife, Catherine, discuss their experience of race and medicine in Edenton, North Carolina.
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.
Former mechanic and streetcar foreman Loy Connelly Cloniger recalls the 1919 Charlotte streetcar strike by the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Though five strikers were killed, the strikers soon returned to work without the raise they demanded.
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.
Mary Robertson offers an insider's view of the organized labor movement in western North Carolina.
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.
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.
Cary Joseph Allen Jr. an aluminum worker for Alcoa in Badin, North Carolina, describes the establishment of a local branch of the Aluminum Workers of America in the mid-1930s. Initial efforts at organization were hampered by the strong paternalistic influence Alcoa exerted over the community, yet efforts to unionize succeeded by 1937.
Evelyn Gosnell Harvell recalls growing up on a South Carolina farm and the more than three decades she spent as a weaver in a textile mill.
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.
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.
Wilbur Hobby describes growing up impoverished in Durham, North Carolina, during the Great Depression and his eventual involvement in the labor movement. Employed by the American Tobacco Company after World War II, he became an active member of the union and eventually became a leader in such organizations as the Voters for Better Government and the Committee on Political Education.
Hill Baker recalls his long working life as a railroad worker and a factory employee in Conover, North Carolina.
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.
Gordon Berkstresser III shares the fruits of his study of the textile industry.
John Harris, longtime cab driver and businessman in Greensboro, North Carolina, describes his community in the context of race and redevelopment.
Frank Gilbert recalls his laboring life in and around Conover, North Carolina.
Jean Cole Hatcher became president of Cole Manufacturing Company, her family's business, in 1953. Hatcher describes her family's history in the Piedmont, the establishment and evolution of the Cole Manufacturing Company in the industry of agricultural technology, and she illuminates life in Charlotte, North Carolina—both for workers and as an economic center of industry.
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.
Walter F. Ulmer Jr. served as the president for the Center for Creative Leadership, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, from 1985 to 1995. In this interview, Ulmer discusses various changes the Center underwent during his tenure, focusing primarily on the Center's rapid economic and geographic growth.
Ethel Bowman Shockley and her daughter Hazel Shockley Cannon describe life and work in the mill town of Glen Raven, North Carolina. Shockley worked at the Plaid Mill from 1927 to 1964; she describes how working conditions changed through the Depression, World War II, and the postwar years.
Clyda Coward, joined by her daughter Debra and other family members, reflects on her childhood in rural North Carolina and the state of the small community of Tick Bite in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.
Stan Gryskiewicz worked as a psychologist for the Center for Creative Leadership beginning with its inception in 1970. In this interview (the second of two), Gryskiewicz describes the Center's development in creativity leadership programs and marketing, its evolution and gradual globalization from the 1970s into the 1990s, and the role of various leaders of the organization.
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.
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.
John Thomas Outlaw, who headed the rate bureau of the North Carolina Motor Carriers Association, discusses the history of the trucking industry in North Carolina.
Eunice Austin remembers her life in Catawba County, North Carolina, focusing on her many years working in the textile and furniture industries.
Sisters Mattie Shoemaker and Mildred Shoemaker Edmonds discuss their experiences 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.
Samuel and Leonia Farrar remember a lifetime of hard work in rural and urban North Carolina.
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.
Flossie Moore Durham fondly remembers mill work, the mill community, and her long life as a wife and mother in Bynum, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
Frank Durham discusses how his family first came to work in the mills and describes other people they got to know there. He describes the inner workings of the mill, the ways management negotiated labor complaints with the employees, the social structure of the mill village, and the commonalities of mill town life.
Emma Whitesell recalls a lifetime of work in North Carolina textile mills.
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.
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.
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.
Dock Hall recalls his laboring life, focusing on his years as a miner.
George Perkel evaluates the failure of unions in the post-World War II South.
Robert Riley Sr. describes his thirty-one years at the White Furniture plant in Mebane, North Carolina, a tenure that ended with the plant's closing in 1993.
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.
Sherwood Smith, chairman of the board of Carolina Power and Light, reflects on the energy business, and business in general, in North Carolina from the 1960s to the late 1990s.
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.
James Pharis reflects on his forty years the textile industry, most of which he spent as a supervisor.
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.
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.
Private waste management company owner Lonnie Poole discusses the past and present of his incredibly successful endeavor.
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.
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.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
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.
Eula McGill grew up in Sugar Valley, Georgia, during the early twentieth century. Raised in a working class family, McGill had to leave school because of her family's economic hardships and began to work in a textile mill as a spinner at the age of 14. By the late 1920s, McGill had moved to Alabama, where she became a leader in the labor movement in Selma. Throughout the Great Depression, McGill primarily worked as a labor organizer, first for the Women's Trade Union League and later for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union.
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.
John G. Medlin Jr., CEO of Wachovia, discusses the growth of the Charlotte-based bank.
Robert Sidney Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, discusses the hosiery industry in North Carolina and the United States.
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.
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."
In this 1979 interview, Nell Putnam Sigmon describes her upbringing in a large family, her decision at age eighteen to take a job sewing women's gloves, her work in the mill, and her experiences as wife and mother of two children.
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.
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.