Results (most relevant first)
In the second of three interviews, four-term Democratic North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt discusses the elements—including team-building and bipartisanship—that shaped his philosophy as governor and resulted in political accomplishments.
Albert Gore Sr.—a politician from Tennessee noted for being one of two southern senators to refuse to sign the Southern Manifesto, a 1956 document decrying the desegregation of public spaces in America—summarizes his senatorial career. He discusses his opposition to the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as his activities on a variety of Senate committees.
In this first of three interviews, four-term Democratic North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt recalls the forces that shaped his political views. He also discusses his early interest in elective politics and describes his rise through the ranks of the Democratic Party.
In the third of three interviews, four-term Democratic North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt assesses his leadership and the changes that occurred in the Democratic Party during his tenure.
James E. Holshouser Jr., who in 1972 was the first Republican since 1896 to take North Carolina's governorship, reflects on his term and on the state of the Republican Party.
In this interview, the first in a three-part series, Herman Talmadge discusses his political career as governor of Georgia and his decision to run for the United States Senate.
Former Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott discusses his time in office, reflecting on subjects like the power of the governorship, his accomplishments and disappointments, and the effect of the job on his family.
Edward L. Rankin served as private secretary to North Carolina Governors William Umstead (1952-1954) and Luther Hodges (1954-1961). In this interview he describes their political leadership, the Pearsall Plan, and the spectrum of political responses to the
Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Bert Nettles discusses the state of politics and the Republican Party in Alabama in the 1970s. He discusses, among other things, desegregation, the need for honesty and ethics reform in the political system, and the effect of Watergate on the Republican Party.
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's first Republican governor since 1896, reflects on the office and the challenges it presents.
Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia offers concluding remarks in this final interview of a three-part series, reflecting on contemporary political issues of the mid-1970s. Additionally, he reflects on his own political legacy in the state of Georgia.
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.
North Carolina businessman and politician Lauch Faircloth describes his ascent through both business and politics.
John Ivey received his doctoral degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1944. He and his wife, Melville Corbett Ivey, describe their interaction with such leading figures as Howard Odum, Rupert Vance, and Frank Porter Graham. After a brief sojourn working for the Tennessee Valley Authority, Ivey became the director of the Southern Regional Education Board, where he advocated for the desegregation of public schools in the South.
Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia recalls national political happenings during his tenure in the Senate from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s.
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's governor from 1973 to 1977, reflects on his term, the Republican Party, and North Carolina politics.
North Carolina Republican Chair Jack Hawke outlines the evolution of the party from the 1960s through the 1980s. Hawke especially focuses on divisions, various leaders, and organizational limits and successes within the Republican Party.
Virginius Dabney recounts his early experiences as a reporter for the
Richmond News Leader as well as his later stint as the editor of that newspaper. He also discusses his attitudes about the role of reporters in the political and social arenas, and his work with the Southern Regional Council.
Orval Faubus defends his legacy.
James E. Holshouser Jr., the first Republican governor of North Carolina since 1896, reflects on his early political life, his gubernatorial campaign, and his governorship.
Former Governor Robert W. Scott discusses the consolidation of the University system during his administration, focusing on the leadership of William Friday and Cameron West and the political maneuvering that characterized the process. In addition, he reflects on his accomplishments as governor, expressing pride in his ability to significantly reduce racial unrest during a tumultuous era.
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.
David Pryor discusses the new political order in Arkansas just months before he won the state's governorship.
Lloyd Griffin was a lawyer who was born and raised in Belvedere, North Carolina. Following his service in World War I, Griffin returned to North Carolina and became involved in state politics. He describes his involvement in the North Carolina Citizens Association and his perception of North Carolina politics, focusing specifically on the leadership of B. Everett Jordan.
Terry Sanford recalls his political career as a Democratic governor of North Carolina. He discusses the impact of race on southern politics and the realignment of political parties in the late twentieth century. Sanford attempts to reject the image of southern exceptionalism.
Terry Sanford—former state senator, governor, president of Duke University, and member of the United States Senate—describes Democratic politics in North Carolina.
Albert Gore Sr. reviews the history leading up to his senatorial career, concentrating on his rural upbringing and his early political experiences. He also reflects on his impressions of other important politicians he knew, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, Estes Kefauver, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Robert W. (Bob) Scott, former governor of North Carolina and the state's community college system president, describes his tenure as governor and discusses North Carolina politics.
Robert Giles recalls state politicians' efforts to hinder total school integration in North Carolina through the use of moderate token desegregation and effective state policy.
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.
New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu describes the changing political landscape of the Crescent City following World War II through his tenure as mayor in the 1970s. Stressing the importance of voter registration and the appointment of African American public officials, Landrieu emphasizes the role of political leadership in effecting real change in New Orleans race relations during the long years of the civil rights movement.
President of the University of North Carolina System William Friday discusses his interaction with American presidents from Herbert Hoover to George H. W. Bush. The bulk of the interview revolves around descriptions of Friday's work with Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter on issues of higher education.
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.
Horace Kornegay was born and raised in North Carolina. He practiced law and became involved in local and state politics during the 1950s. In 1960, Kornegay was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives, where he worked closely with North Carolina Senator B. Everett Jordan to promote the interests of North Carolina textiles, tobacco, and furniture industries.
North Carolina State Treasurer and former Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Richard Moore describes the impact of Hurricane Floyd (1999) and the state government's response to the crisis. Moore describes the evolution of the Division of Emergency Management during his term and what he sees as its increasing effectiveness in responding to natural disasters.
J. Carlyle Sitterson discusses his tenure as University of North Carolina chancellor during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the difficult balance he struck between the Board of Trustees and the student body on issues of student rights.
Former president of the University of North Carolina System William Friday describes his relationship with and perception of his predecessors Frank Porter Graham and Gordon Gray. In addition, he describes various aspects of his own presidency, including his approach to desegregation and his relationships with a variety of individuals and organizations.
Florida governor Reubin Askew describes his approach to politics and comments on the political character of Florida and the American South.
Louisiana Congresswoman Lindy Boggs discusses changes in Louisiana politics dating back to the 1930s, when she participated in the People's League, and through the 1950s and 1960s, which saw the gradual elimination of the "race issue" in politics. Boggs offers her thoughts on the nature of the Louisiana congressional delegation, the role of the South in Congress, and the impact of the women's movement on Congress during the 1970s.
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.
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.
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.
James Folsom served as the governor of Alabama for two terms in the 1940s, during which time he worked to change racial politics and improve the plight of black Americans. As governor, he opposed the poll tax, appealed for reapportionment of state funding, and avoided campaign slogans and gimmicks based on racist rhetoric. He describes how he developed liberal ideas on race and why he believed that race was no longer a viable political issue in the South.
Senator Jesse Helms describes some of his political positions, and reflects on the state of the Republican Party.
Born into a long line of Texas politicians, Maury Maverick Jr. served in the Texas House of Representatives for six years during the 1950s, and as a lawyer from the 1960s into the 1970s. Maverick speaks at length about his radical political leanings and the evolution of liberalism in Texas.
Bill Clinton discusses his victory in an Arkansas Democratic congressional primary and his upcoming race against the incumbent Republican congressman.
George LeMaistre remembers Alabama politics from the 1920s to the 1970s, a story troubled by violent racism and the struggle over integration.
William Dallas Herring discusses his rise to membership and tenure on the North Carolina State Board of Education and the struggle to create a community college system.
Calvin and Elizabeth Kytle, both born and raised in the South, held liberal views on race issues and supported civil rights. Here, they describe their perceptions of race problems and their thoughts on the actions of various leaders and politicians, ranging from pro-segregationists to racial moderates to civil rights activists.
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.
Claude Pepper reflects on his political career and the rise of conservatism in Florida.
Nancy Kester Neale remembers her father, Howard "Buck" Kester, who founded the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and held leadership positions in the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice.
Terry Sanford, a Democratic politician who served as a state senator, governor, and U.S. senator in North Carolina and held the presidency at Duke University, reflects on his political career.
Longstanding Alabama governor and former presidential candidate George Wallace discusses Alabama politics and racial issues in the United States.
Political journalist Ferrel Guillory describes the state of party politics in North Carolina.
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.
Elizabeth Pearsall reflects on the role of her husband, Thomas Pearsall, in the North Carolina school desegregation plan. She also discusses her own efforts at fostering racial cooperation.
Jimmy Carter, the governor of Georgia, discusses the growing influence of the Democratic Party in southern states and links it to distinctly southern trends, such as increased voter participation and the impact of the civil rights movement.
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.
Nancy Palm was the chairperson of the Republican Party in Harris County, Texas, during the 1960s and 1970s. She describes her own transition from liberal to conservative in the 1950s, the importance of political organization to the evolution of the Republican Party in Texas, her perception of women's liberation, and the role of such politicians as John G. Tower, John Connally, George Bush, and Richard Nixon in the rise of southern conservatism.
I. Beverly Lake Sr. reflects on his long career as a teacher, attorney, and judge. He counsels white political unity as a means to stem racial integration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former president of the University of North Carolina, William C. Friday, describes his working relationship with Anne Queen, who was director of the Campus Y from the late 1950s into the 1970s. Friday discusses Queen's relationship with students and her leadership qualities.
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.
Arkansas Governor Dale Bumpers describes the accomplishments of his administration (1970-1975), the changing political conditions and the political strategy that had allowed for his election, and his hopes for the future as he prepared to enter the United States Senate.
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.
John Ledford, the sheriff of Madison County, North Carolina, describes the effects of economic growth on his job and his community.
African American Birmingham city council member Richard Arrington discusses the slowly increasing presence of African Americans on Birmingham's political landscape.
Civil rights leader Modjeska Simkins discusses race and civil rights before World War II.
Birmingham politician Arthur Shores offers his thoughts on the intersection of race and politics in his home city.
Presbyterian minister Charles Jones recounts his civil rights activism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1960s.
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.
This is the last in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes his work with a variety of organizations that shared his vision of protecting civil liberties.
Stanford Raynold Brookshire, Charlotte's first four-term mayor, explains why Charlotte and Mecklenburg County failed to consolidate their city services in the early 1970s.
Former governor of North Carolina Terry Sanford lauds the leadership of Anne Queen, director of the YMCA/YWCA at the University of North Carolina. In addition, Sanford discusses his advocacy of the civil rights movement and argues that UNC was a particularly powerful force for social change during the mid-twentieth century.
Southern lawyer and activist Clifford Durr describes his work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the 1940s. In particular, he focuses on federal efforts to regulate broadcast radio. He also discusses the impact of the burgeoning Red Scare on his work and his life. The House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoenaed him and his wife, Virginia Foster Durr, during the early 1950s.
Sociologist Hylan Lewis describes his experiences with race in the American South in the post-World War II period.
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.
Sid McMath was the governor of Arkansas from 1949 to 1953. A staunch liberal Democrat, McMath advocated for the inclusion of African Americans in the Democratic Party and in higher education, challenged the patriarchal control of the power companies over the state, and improved infrastructure. Here, he describes his perception of the Dixiecrat revolt of 1948 and his belief that federal intervention was necessary to end Jim Crow segregation in the South.
Economist David Breneman discusses his brief tenure with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) in 1977. In this interview, Breneman describes his role in the establishment of federal criteria for school desegregation, focusing particularly on HEW's interactions with education officials in North Carolina.
Aaron Henry describes the role of race and racism in Mississippi politics.
Birmingham lawyer and politician U. W. Clemon describes his place in Birmingham politics and the city's continuing problems with race.
George Esser remembers his contributions to the North Carolina Fund and pulls back the curtain on a network of organizations that worked for social justice in the 1960s.
Journalist Hodding Carter describes the changes wrought in Mississippi by the civil rights movement.
John Hope Franklin remembers life as a student in the segregated South.
Martha McKay, women's rights activist and Democratic Party member, describes the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in the North Carolina General Assembly in 1973. Focusing on the role of the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus (NCWPC) in lobbying for ratification of the amendment, McKay describes how the opposition successfully organized to defeat the amendment and how that defeat affected the NCWPC.
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.
Thomas Jackson White Jr. describes his leadership on the State Art Museum Building Commission and his career as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry in North Carolina.
Howard Fuller began his activism in Durham, North Carolina, as a student volunteer for the North Carolina Fund. His experiences as an activist for low-income black residents shaped his lifelong work and involvement in anti-poverty campaigns.
Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen recalls her community activist work and her service as a congressional liaison for Congressman Mel Watt. She assesses the tensions between lower-income and wealthier residents in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Elected in 1977 at the age of 73, Isabella Cannon was the first female mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. In this interview, Cannon describes her involvement in the United Church of Christ, her support of the civil rights movement, and her advocacy for community revitalization and development. In addition, she recalls her major accomplishments as mayor and the challenges she faced in implementing her long-range comprehensive plan for the city.
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.
Daniel Duke was born in Palmetto, Georgia, in 1915 and became a lawyer during the 1930s. As the solicitor general of Fulton County in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Duke presided over a case against the Ku Klux Klan and their use of flogging as a terror tactic against both African Americans and whites.
Anne Queen, director of the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina, discusses leftist student political groups at Chapel Hill during the 1950s and 1960s and the evolution of student activism into the 1970s. Additionally, she speaks more broadly about the role of radical politics in the South and offers her thoughts on the state of national politics at the time of the interview.
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.
Civil rights activist Virginia Foster Durr describes her involvement in the nascent civil rights movement of the 1940s and 1950s.
Edwin Caldwell recalls a lifetime of political organization and advocacy.
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.
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.
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.
A two-term member of the Texas state legislature, Frances Farenthold describes reform efforts in Texas politics during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition, Farenthold talks about what she perceives as a decline in overt racism during the post-World War II years, the role of women, and other demographic and sociocultural changes in Texas politics.
Martha W. Evans was already an active participant in Charlotte, North Carolina, politics when she was elected as a state legislator in 1962. In this interview, she describes local and state politics as they related to the great physical and economic growth Charlotte experienced from the late 1950s into the 1970s.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and activist Paul Green—most famous for his symphonic drama
The Lost Colony—reflects on social justice and art as he describes his work as a playwright and his efforts as an activist.
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.
Mack Pearsall recalls his father's role in the Pearsall Plan, a school desegregation strategy in post-
Brown North Carolina that allowed parents to move their children to non-integrated schools. He expresses faith that economic progress will positively affect the state's race relations.
Clarke Reed became the state chairman of the Republican Party in Mississippi during the mid-1960s, thus overseeing the growing prominence of the Republican Party in the South and the burgeoning importance of the South in national politics into the mid-1970s. In this interview, he describes his own political philosophy in relationship to southern conservatism and his perception of various Republican political leaders.
Howell Heflin, who sat on the Alabama State Supreme Court in the 1970s before a two-decade tenure in the United States Senate, discusses the post-segregation Alabama judiciary.
Rita Jackson Samuels, coordinator of the Governor's Council on Human Relations in Atlanta, Georgia, describes her role in expanding the presence of African Americans in Georgia's state government.
Journalist and activist Daisy Bates recalls working for civil rights in desegregation-era Arkansas.
Mill owner Caesar Cone reflects on the textile industry and what he views as the pernicious influence of government in business and society.
Roy Lee Auton reflects on a string of jobs and a string of wives in this engaging interview.
Civil rights activist Floyd McKissick evaluates the legacies of the civil rights movement and looks toward its next phase in the 1970s.
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.
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.
Longtime Chapel Hill, North Carolina, city councilman Joseph A. Herzenberg describes his experiences as a gay man in a southern town.
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.
The Reverend Robert Lee Mangum channels his Christian faith into social action in Robeson County, North Carolina.
Academic and Carter cabinet member Juanita Kreps describes her career as an economist and as an early proponent of women's rights.
Ruth Dial Woods describes growing up as a Lumbee Indian in Robeson County, North Carolina, in the 1930s and 1940s. During the 1960s, Woods participated in the civil rights and women's liberation movements. In 1985, she was appointed to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, where she worked to promote equality for minority students.
Lawyer William Patrick Murphy describes his 1950s battle against segregation and his struggle to keep his job after his beliefs became public in Oxford, Mississippi. Murphy, who taught constitutional law at the University of Mississippi, used journal articles and his classroom to speak out in favor of the
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.
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.
In this May 1978 interview, Kojo Nantambu—one of the participants in the 1971 Wilmington, North Carolina, race conflicts—describes what he remembers of the 1971 strife, the inequities present in the trial of the Wilmington Ten, and the aftermath of the discord.
Nancy Holt, raised in North Carolina's Cane Creek community and a member of the Cane Creek Conservation Authority, discusses the reaction of the community when UNC and the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority attempted to build a reservoir in Cane Creek.
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.
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.
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.
Southern sociologist Guion Griffis Johnson describes her work with the Georgia Conference on Social Welfare during the 1940s and her involvement with the women's movement and civil rights activism during the 1960s and 1970s in North Carolina. She discusses strategies for effecting change, the achievements of the Georgia Conference in promoting awareness of social welfare and race-related issues, and the progress of women and African Americans in their struggle for equality.
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.
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.
John G. Medlin Jr., CEO of Wachovia, discusses the growth of the Charlotte-based bank.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
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.