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Eunice Austin remembers her life in Catawba County, North Carolina, focusing on her many years working in the textile and furniture industries.
Rosamonde R. Boyd shares her observations on women's activism in the early twentieth century.
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.
Louise Riggsbee Jones describes growing up in the cotton mill town of Bynum, North Carolina, during the early twentieth century. She discusses her family and household economy, the role of religion in the community, her experiences in school, her work as a spinner in the cotton mill, and the different ways in which people received medical care in this small mill community.
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.
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.
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.
Gordon Berkstresser III shares the fruits of his study of the textile industry.
Junie Edna Kaylor Aaron remembers her long working life in the clothing industry in North Carolina.
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.
A black sharecropper's daughter discusses her difficult upbringing on the farm and the many stories of slavery on which she was raised.
Margaret Kessee-Forrester, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, became the first woman from Guilford County elected to the North Carolina General Assembly. She describes her experiences as a woman serving in the state legislature during the 1970s and 1980s, her involvement in the women's movement, and her stance as a moderate Republican.
From 1981 to 1996, Anne Barnes sat in the North Carolina House of Representatives for Orange County. While there, she focused on issues of social justice, especially poverty, education, prison reform, civil rights and women's rights. In this 1989 interview, she explains her motivations to become involved in the political arena and discusses some of the political campaigns she has been associated with, including her own.
Emma Whitesell recalls a lifetime of work in North Carolina textile mills.
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.
Arthur Little describes glove making from his perspective as the owner of a glove mill in Newton, North Carolina.
Dock Hall recalls his laboring life, focusing on his years as a miner.
Elizabeth Brown, a white teacher who taught at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Alabama, describes desegregation and its legacies in her city.
Lifelong textile worker Eula McGill shares her thoughts on the benefits of Alabama textile unions.
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.
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.
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.
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.
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.
Roger Gant explains the professional and personal activities of his father-in-law, Everett Jordan, Democratic United States Senator from North Carolina. Gant discusses how he became involved with Jordan's textile mill and how Jordan structured his business. Jordan's skill at relating to people helped him in business and in politics. Gant focuses on a few of Jordan's political successes, including the way he helped Lyndon Johnson before his presidential bid.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.
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.