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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


Browse Collection by Theme

  Southern Women
    WOMEN AND WORK
      Career Choice and Implications

Results (most relevant first)

Oral History Interview with Guion Griffis Johnson, May 17, 1974. Interview G-0029-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Guion Griffis Johnson, a southern sociologist who received her Ph.D. in sociology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1927, discusses the challenges she faced as she balanced career and family as a woman. Johnson describes women's changing roles in American society, and addresses her involvement in voluntary organizations, advances in birth control and abortion, and the evolving nature of marriage, divorce, and family.

Oral History Interview with Willie Snow Ethridge, December 15, 1975. Interview G-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Olive Stone, August 13, 1975. Interview G-0059-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Julia Virginia Jones, October 6, 1997. Interview J-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Guion Griffis Johnson, August 19, 1974. Interview G-0029-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Marguerite Tolbert, June 14, 1974. Interview G-0062. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Harriette Arnow, April, 1976. Interview G-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Southern novelist Harriette Arnow discusses what it was like to grow up in Kentucky during the 1910s and 1920s. The teacher-turned-writer focuses especially on her family relationships, her experiences in school and in teaching, her goals as a writer, and her views on marriage and family.

Oral History Interview with Mabel Pollitzer, September 19, 1973. Interview G-0047-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mabel Pollitzer was born Charleston, South Carolina, in 1885. After graduating from Columbia University in 1906, she returned to Charleston to teach biology at Memminger, an all-girls school. Pollitzer describes her involvement in the women's suffrage movement, her perception of politicians and women's rights leaders, and her civic work within the community of Charleston.

Oral History Interview with Emily S. MacLachlan, July 16, 1974. Interview G-0038. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Josephine Wilkins, 1972. Interview G-0063. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Frances Hogan, May 23, 1991, and June 3, 1991. Interview L-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Frances Hogan was in charge of finding facilities, equipment, and competitions for the women's athletics program at the University of North Carolina from 1946 to the 1970s. She discusses how students and coaches worked around the limitations to plan their own tournaments and occasionally succeeded on the national level. She describes the change from club sports to NCAA division sports and the introduction of Title IX in the 1970s. The interview ends with her summary of why the program is successful.

Oral History Interview with Bonnie E. Cone, January 7, 1986. Interview C-0048. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Bonnie Cone describes her career as an educator in South Carolina and North Carolina during the first half of the twentieth century. After teaching at Duke University during World War II, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and became one of the primary personages behind the successful establishment of a university in that city.

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 Ellen W. Gerber, February 18 and March 24, 1992. Interview C-0092. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Ellen Gerber received her doctorate in physical education and taught in northern colleges before attending the School of Law at the University of North Carolina during the mid-1970s. After her graduation, she accepted a job with Legal Aid. She describes her careers in physical education and law and discusses in detail her advocacy of women's issues.

Oral History Interview with Margaret Kennedy Goodwin, September 26, 1997. Interview R-0113. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Margaret Kennedy Goodwin grew up in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. In this interview, she describes a thriving African American community in Durham, one that she views as having suffered at the hands of urban renewal during the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, she describes her educational aspirations and her career as a technician in the radiology laboratory at Durham's Lincoln Hospital.

Oral History Interview with Carrie Lee Gerringer, August 11, 1979. Interview H-0077. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Carrie Lee Gerringer describes what it was like to work in the textile mills in Bynum, North Carolina, from the 1920s into the post-World War II years. She discusses growing up in a working class family, focusing especially on balancing family and work. Married at sixteen, Gerringer worked in the textile mills throughout her adult life, struggling to make ends meet while raising six children.

Oral History Interview with Viola Turner, April 17, 1979. Interview C-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Carl and Mary Thompson, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0182. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mill workers Carl and Mary Thompson describe their experiences as skilled employees and active members of their local communities.

Oral History Interview with Ellen Black Winston, December 2, 1974. Interview G-0064. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Brooks, October 2, 1974. Interview E-0058. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Anson Dorrance, June 11, 1991. Interview L-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
University of North Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance reflects on his teams' remarkable successes and his career as a male coach of a women's team.

Oral History Interview with Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, August 4, 1974. Interview G-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Naomi Elizabeth Morris, November 11 and 16, 1982, and March 29, 1983. Interview B-0050. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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.

Oral History Interview with Broadus Mitchell, August 14 and 15, 1977. Interview B-0024. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Thomas Henderson, October 28, 1999. Interview K-0228. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Thomas Henderson was born in Brookneal, Virginia, a small, tobacco farming community. He later became a tobacco buyer in Greenville, North Carolina. Focusing on the tobacco industry in the 1930s and 1940s, Henderson explains the establishment of gradation policies for the tobacco industry as a New Deal reform measure, the process of buying and selling tobacco at auction, and changes in tobacco farming.

Oral History Interview with Eulalie Salley, September 15, 1973. Interview G-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Eulalie Salley, a suffragist from South Carolina, describes the effort of American suffragists to bring about the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the issues that mobilized male and female supporters of women's suffrage, important leaders in the movement, and the issues facing women today.

Oral History Interview with Margaret Anne O'Connor, July 1, 1987. Interview L-0031. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
English professor Margaret O'Connor discusses the formation of the women's studies department at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as some of the administrative and political issues she dealt with after its inception.

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Eva Hopkins, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0167. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Eva Hopkins worked in a cotton mill from the 1930s until 1952 and recalls various aspects of millwork, union activity, social activities, and life in the mill villages.

Oral History Interview with Mary Turner Lane, September 9 and 16, 1986; May 21, 1987; October 1 and 28, 1987. Interview L-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mary Turner Lane was the first director of the women's studies program at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, she discusses the beginnings and the evolution of the women's studies program at UNC.

Oral History Interview with Josephine Glenn, June 27, 1977. Interview H-0022. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Letha Ann Sloan Osteen discusses how farming and mill work affected the mobility, size, health, and activities of families from about 1900 to the 1930s.

Oral History Interview with Nell Putnam Sigmon, December 13, 1979. Interview H-0143. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Septima Poinsette Clark, July 25, 1976. Interview G-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Annie Mack Barbee, May 28, 1979. Interview H-0190. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Vivion Lenon Brewer, October 15, 1976. Interview G-0012. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Vesta and Sam Finley, July 22, 1975. Interview H-0267. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."

Oral History Interview with Zeno Ponder, March 22, 1974. Interview A-0326. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, March 13, 14, 15, 1975. Interview G-0023-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, March 13, 14, 15, 1975. Interview G-0023-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Sidney Leneer Pete Underdown, June 18, 2000. Interview I-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)