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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


Browse Collection by Theme

  Southern Women
    FAMILY AND DOMESTIC SPHERE
      Marriage and Divorce

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 John Thomas Moore, October 18, 2000. Interview R-0142. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Bishop John Thomas Moore Jr. describes the conflict between God and the devil in his life and the in life of the African American community in Durham, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Floyd Alston Jr., November 29, 1995. Interview Q-0002. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Granville County, North Carolina, resident Floyd Alston and his mother, Ethel Thorpe Alston, remember their lives in the area in an interview that touches on, among other topics, racial identity and the struggles of post-emancipation African Americans to find economic and social security.

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 Ethelene McCabe Allen, May 21, 2006. Interview C-0316. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Born in 1934 to tenant farmers in North Carolina, Ethelene McCabe Allen focuses on describing family dynamics that shaped her childhood, paying particular attention to her parents' relationship with each other and with their children.

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 Margaret Edwards, January 20, 2002. Interview R-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Margaret Edwards grew up in a large African American sharecropping family in Ayden, North Carolina, during the 1950s and 1960s. She eventually settled in the Raleigh area. Following her experiences with the Baptist and Pentecostal Holiness churches, she converted to Mormonism in 1998. In this interview, she discusses her role within the Mormon Church as an African American woman; the intersections between race, gender, and religion; and the attitude of other denominations toward Mormonism.

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 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 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 Grace Aycock, March 28, 1990. Interview L-0037. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Grace Aycock briefly describes her childhood and her education in North Carolina during the 1920s and 1930s. Most of the interview is dedicated to a discussion of Aycock's life with her husband, William Aycock, chancellor of the University of North Carolina (1957-1964). She also discusses her husband's decision to return to teaching, her pursuit of a master's degree in social work, and her battle with multiple sclerosis.

Oral History Interview with Louise Pointer Morton, December 12, 1994. Interview Q-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Louise Pointer Morton describes life in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early twentieth century. In addition to describing social gatherings and living conditions, Morton speaks at length about her formerly enslaved grandmother's role in the founding of the Jonathon (Johnson) Creek Church, alluding to the centrality of religion as a preeminent social institution within southern African American communities.

Oral History Interview with Junior Johnson, June 4, 1988. Interview C-0053. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Junior Johnson became a stock car racer during the early 1950s and participated in the exponential growth of that industry. He describes growing up in Wilkes County, North Carolina, his role in the evolution of NASCAR, and his business endeavors in poultry farming.

Oral History Interview with Florence Dillahunt, May 31, 2001. Interview K-0580. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Florence Dillahunt describes growing up on a small tobacco farm near Grifton, North Carolina, during the 1930s and 1940s. Dillahunt's family were victims of the extensive flooding that Hurricane Floyd brought to eastern North Carolina in 1999. She describes the devastating impact on their farm and their personal lives.

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 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 Wilbur Hobby, March 13, 1975. Interview E-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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 Edna Y. Hargett, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0163. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Edna Yandell Hargett describes life and work in North Charlotte, a mill village in Charlotte, North Carolina. Focusing primarily on the 1920s through the 1940s, Hargett discusses her work as a weaver in North Charlotte textile mills. In addition, she explains in detail how textile mill workers functioned like "one big family" both at work and in the community.

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 Jessie Streater, November 10, 2001. Interview R-0165. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Jessie Streater describes Mormon belief and practice and shares her thoughts on the place of African Americans in the Mormon religion.

Oral History Interview with Leslie Thorbs, May 30, 2001. Interview K-0589. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Leslie Thorbs describes growing up in a tenant farming family in eastern North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. Thorbs describes his experiences with poverty, farming, factory work, race relations, and family life. He concludes the interview by discussing the devastating impact of Hurricane Floyd's flooding on his family and his community.

Oral History Interview with Clyda Coward and Debra Coward, May 30, 2001. Interview K-0833. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Adetola Hassan, December 16, 2001. Interview R-0160. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Adetola Hassan, a British citizen of Nigerian descent, was a freshman student at Duke University at the time of this interview in 2001. In the interview, she discusses her Mormon faith, focusing on tensions surrounding Mormonism in the South as well as issues related to gender and race within the church.

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 Edith Mitchell Dabbs, October 4, 1975. Interview G-0022. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mareda Sigmon Cobb and her sister Carrie Sigmon Yelton both worked long careers in North Carolina textile mills, completing the family journey from farm to factory in the early decades of the twentieth century. Here they describe their family lives both as children and parents, the many implications of the Depression, working conditions in the mills, religion, and other themes central to social and labor history. The economic and material realities of textile employment are explored in detail; each suffered a major injury on the job, neither favored unionization (though their husbands did), and neither received a pension.

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 John W. Snipes, November 20, 1976. Interview H-0098-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
John W. Snipes grew up in an agricultural family during the early twentieth century and worked on a farm, in a cotton mill, and in the timber industry. He offers a unique perspective on various industries, and he describes in vivid detail various aspects of workers' lives and culture.

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 Kathrine Robinson Everett, April 30, 1985. Interview C-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A pioneer in women's education and women in law, Kathrine Robinson Everett describes what it was like to attend law school in the early twentieth century. In the 1920s, Everett practiced law in Cumberland County and worked to register women to vote after the passage of the 19th Amendment. Following her marriage in 1928, Everett worked alongside her husband, supporting his legal and political career; became involved in local politics in Durham; and worked with various women's organizations.

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 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 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 Roger Gant, July 17, 1987. Interview C-0127. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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 Roy Lee and Mary Ruth Auton, February 28, 1980. Interview H-0108. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Roy Lee Auton reflects on a string of jobs and a string of wives in this engaging interview.

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 Christine and Dave Galliher, August 8, 1979. Interview H-0314. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Christine Galliher describes life and work in Elizabethton, Tennessee, during the late 1920s through the 1940s. She also discusses their participation in the 1929 walk-out strike at the Bermberg and Glantzstoff textile mills; Christine's attendance of the Southern Summer School for women workers; life during the Great Depression; and balancing work and family.

Oral History Interview with Gladys Avery Tillett, March 20, 1974. Interview G-0061. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Gladys Avery Tillett was an advocate for women's suffrage during the early twentieth century and a participant in both state and national politics from the 1920s into the 1950s. In this interview, she describes her education, her work with the League of Women Voters, and her experiences as a leader in the National Democratic Party.

Oral History Interview with Jessie Lee Carter, May 5, 1980. Interview H-0237. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0335. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with William E. White Jr., October 29, 2000. Interview R-0147. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
William E. White Jr. describes his encounters with religion, race, and sexuality.

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, October 16, 1975. Interview G-0023-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
This is the final interview in a series of three with Virginia Foster Durr. Since the previous session, Clifford Durr had died, making the interview feel very different from the two in which he had taken part. The interview begins with Durr's growing awareness of racial matters and her activism during their life among the New Dealers in Washington, D.C. Among the topics she touches on are the anti-communism of the 1950s, sexual discrimination on Capitol Hill, and the southern reaction to Roosevelt's New Deal policies.

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 Ralph Waldo Strickland, April 18, 1980. Interview H-0180. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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 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 Geraldine Ray, September 13, 1977. Interview R-0128. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Chandrika Dalal, July 22, 1999. Interview K-0814. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.

Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, February 4, 1998. Interview C-0336-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former North Carolina Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott recalls his early life and describes his ascent from the lieutenant governorship to the governor's mansion.

Oral History Interview with George and Tessie Dyer, March 5, 1980. Interview H-0161. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
George and Tessie Dyer discuss their jobs in Charlotte cotton mills and their lives outside of work. They describe their childhood and the work their parents and grandparents did. They recall the parties and social events that their friends participated in after work. The interview ends with their observations about local union activity.

Oral History Interview with Mildred Price Coy, April 26, 1976. Interview G-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mildred Price Coy discusses the development of her egalitarian ideals, her involvement in various justice movements during the twentieth century, and the societal changes she witnessed.

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 Lucy Somerville Howorth, June 20, 22, and 23, 1975. Interview G-0028. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Born in 1895, Lucy Somerville Howorth was born and raised in Mississippi. An activist for women's rights from an early age, Howorth was actively involved in the campaign for women's suffrage before she became a lawyer, a judge, and a politician. She describes her involvement in numerous women's organizations, her perceptions of the women who led those organizations, and their evolution over the years.

Oral History Interview with Josephine Turner, June 7, 1976. Interview H-0235-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Durham, North Carolina, resident Josephine Turner reflects on her struggle to leave behind a life of poverty.

Oral History Interview with Margaret Carter, October 25, 1975. Interview A-0309-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Margaret Carter, the "grand dame of liberal Texas politics," reflects on how she and her husband became interested in politics, what she learned through her political experiences, the ways the state's political structure changed from the New Deal era through the late 1950s, and the character of various state politicians.

Oral History Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977. Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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 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 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 Terry Sanford, August 20 and 21, 1976. Interview A-0328-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Terry Sanford was a North Carolina governor and Democratic United States senator. This interview describes his political career since 1960, including his unsuccessful presidential runs and his term as president of Duke University.

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 Frank Durham, September 10 and 17, 1979. Interview H-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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