Results (most relevant first)
J. Randolph Taylor pauses to reflect on his participation in the civil rights movement, the reunification of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, and various other social justice campaigns.
Patience Dadzie immigrated to the United States of America from Ghana in 1991. In this interview, she describes her life in Ghana, her conversion to Mormonism, and her thoughts on practicing Mormonism in the American South in the 1990s.
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.
Patricia Long became an active member of Pullen Baptist Church, known for its progressive social activism, during the late 1980s. She describes how her involvement with Pullen allowed her to come to terms with her own lesbian sexuality and details the process by which Pullen decided to sanction holy unions between gay and lesbian couples.
Jessie Streater describes Mormon belief and practice and shares her thoughts on the place of African Americans in the Mormon religion.
Virginia Grantham discusses her thoughts on the Fellowship of Southern Churchman and her participation in it, primarily during the 1950s. In the interview, she focuses on such topics as leadership, socialism, and connections to the civil rights movement.
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.
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.
Louise Cole, a devout Mormon, discusses her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland, and her education in microbiology and biochemistry at Brigham Young University in the mid-1960s. In 1977, Cole settled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her family. In the late 1980s, she became actively involved in Putting Children First, a group concerned with issues in school curriculum such as multiculturalism and sex education and its impact on their children.
Johnnie and Kathleen Bratten describe the extent to which church groups and other volunteers helped them after their home was destroyed in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.
Jean Fairfax first moved to the South in 1942, where she became involved with the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen for several years. Fairfax describes the goals and activities of the Fellowship, discusses the role of leadership in the Fellowship, and draws connections between her work with the Fellowship in the 1940s and her later involvement with the civil rights movement from the late 1950s on.
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.
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.
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.
James M. Lawson was a key ally of Martin Luther King Jr. and also an important theoretician and practitioner of nonviolent protest. In this interview, he speaks about his relationship with some of the civil rights figures of the time, including Will Campbell, Kelly Miller Smith, Nelle Morton, Myles Horton, James Dombrowski, and James Holloway.
Thelma Stevens was the director of the Bethlehem Center in Augusta, Georgia, and the Superintendent of Christian Social Relations of the Women's Missionary Council for the Methodist Episcopal Church. In this interview, she describes her childhood in rural Mississippi, her education, and her work with the Methodist Church, all in relationship to her lifelong devotion to improving race relations in the South.
Nelle Morton served as the general secretary of the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen from 1944 to 1950. In this interview, she describes her perception of the leaders of the Fellowship and the organization's aims and strategies in advocating for various social justice causes, including racial integration and labor rights. In addition, she describes her leadership of a male-dominated organization and how her work with the Fellowship raised her awareness of the need for women's liberation as well.
Julia Peaks de-Heer describes her childhood in both Stagville and Durham, North Carolina, focusing primarily on her experiences living on Hopkins Street during the 1950s. Throughout the interview, themes of community solidarity, decline, and improvement dominate, with an emphasis on de-Heer's activities with the Greater Zion Wall Church in later years.
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.
Asa T. Spaulding, the first African American actuary in North Carolina and former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, recalls his early life and weighs his contributions to the insurance business and society at large.
Mary T. Mathew, an immigrant from India and an assistant professor at North Carolina Central University at the time of this interview, describes her successful assimilation into American culture and its effects on her family.
John Lewis served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966. In this interview, Lewis outlines his role within the civil rights movement through his participation in the sit-in movement of 1960 in Nashville, the Freedom Rides through Alabama and Mississippi in 1961, the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, the Selma voter registration drive in 1965, and the shift towards the politics of black power within SNCC by 1966. Throughout the interview, he situates the activities of SNCC within the civil rights movement more broadly, focusing on issues of leadership, religion, and politics.
Ella Baker was an instrumental figure in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In this interview, she offers a candid analysis of the formation of those organizations and an insider's perspective on the role of and interactions between various civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr.
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.
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.
Edwin Caldwell recalls a lifetime of political organization and advocacy.
The daughter of tenant farmers during the 1930s and 1940s, Ethelene McCabe Allen reflects on her family history in this interview, paying particular attention to her maternal and paternal grandparents, her parents' childhood experiences, and her own relationship with extended family during her childhood in North Carolina.
Sharon Rose Powell attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the mid-1960s, when the university began to admit women students in greater numbers. In this interview, she vividly recalls her experiences at UNC, focusing primarily on the
in loco parentis rules that gave the university permission to act as surrogate parents and her own role in challenging and removing many of those rules.
Howard Kester was a pacifist and social reformer in the South from the early 1920s through the 1960s. In this interview, he focuses on his adherence to pacifism, Christianity, the Social Gospel, and Socialism. He describes his work to end injustices associated with race and labor, and assesses the work of prominent social justice leaders in the South during the 1920s and 1930s.
William E. White Jr. describes his encounters with religion, race, and sexuality.
Pentecostal pastor Bert Pickett provides a compelling description of the despair that accompanied Hurricane Floyd's devastation.
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.
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.
Born and raised in Oxford, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century, Lillian Taylor Lyons discusses her family history, her education, and her career as a teacher. Lyons also speaks at length about race relations in Oxford, arguing that Oxford was especially "forward-looking" in comparison to other southern communities.
Activist, leftist, poet, and ordained minister Don West remembers a lifetime of union and civil rights activism.
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.
James Pharis reflects on his forty years the textile industry, most of which he spent as a supervisor.
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.
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.
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.
Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch remembers her childhood in an African American neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida, and her experiences with segregation and development.
Martha Cooley describes her childhood in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early part of the twentieth century.
Louise Riggsbee Jones describes life and work in Bynum, North Carolina, a cotton mill town, during the first half of the twentieth century. Jones discusses the role of religion, marriage, and family in her life and in the community. In addition, she describes working as a winder in the cotton mill, focusing on such issues as work conditions, gender, balancing work and family, relationships between workers, and workers' benefits.
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.
Gladys Irene Moser Hollar and her husband, Glenn Hollar, share recollections about work and rural life in the early twentieth century.
Alester G. Furman Jr. describes his family's involvement in the founding of Furman University in the early 1800s, his father's role in the establishment of the textile industry in Greenville, South Carolina, and the evolution of the textile industry over the course of the early twentieth century.
Two-time mayor and newspaper publisher Floyd Adams Jr. describes urban renewal past and present in Savannah, Georgia, and its impact on the black community.
Samuel and Leonia Farrar remember a lifetime of hard work in rural and urban North Carolina.
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.
Lawrence Ridgle, a near-lifelong resident of Durham, North Carolina, discusses his family's work at the American Tobacco Company and his role of leadership in the newly integrated United States Army during the early 1950s. In addition, he discusses the changing nature of the African American community, focusing on perceived threats to its solidarity, and the impact of demographic changes, primarily the rapidly growing Latino community.
The Hudsons explain that although God used the Floyd flood to warn against materialism, He helped many escape the floodwaters and oversaw astonishing generosity afterward.
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.
Mill owner Caesar Cone reflects on the textile industry and what he views as the pernicious influence of government in business and society.
Mill workers Carl and Mary Thompson describe their experiences as skilled employees and active members of their local communities.
John Wesley Snipes recalls his childhood in rural Chatham County, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century.
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.
Presbyterian minister Charles Jones recounts his civil rights activism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Barbara Lorie describes her experiences and teaching philosophy as a teacher at newly integrated, racially charged schools in North Carolina.
African American civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins describes her upbringing in a prosperous family during the early twentieth century. She charts her work with the Tuberculosis Association, the NAACP, and the Richland County Citizens' Committee. Throughout the interview, Simkins offers telling anecdotes about racial tensions in South Carolina, the inner workings of civil rights organizations, and relationships between leaders of the movement.
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.
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.
Before moving to North Carolina in 1999, Angela Brightfeather spent most of her life in Syracuse, New York, where she was actively involved in the transgender community. In this interview, Brightfeather describes her own transgender experience, variations in transgenderism, the history of transgender people, the relationship of transgender people to the GLBT community, and her activist work for transgender rights in North Carolina.
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.
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.
Maggie Ray, teacher at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
A northerner who followed his passion for justice south, David Burgess spent his life living his religious convictions through a devotion to economic and racial justice. Burgess recalls his involvement with some vanguard rights organizations, such as the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, a group Burgess believes laid the foundation for a civil rights movement motivated by Christian beliefs.
This interview with Dr. Guy B. Johnson, sociology professor and author, focuses on his work as the first executive director of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and as a member of the North Carolina Committee for Interracial Cooperation. Johnson discusses the role that women and church groups played in the Interracial Commission, describes the debate over issues such as segregation among SRC members, and outlines the conflict between SRC leaders and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare.
Pauli Murray was a prominent legal activist within the civil rights and women's liberation movements. In this interview, she discusses her childhood and her education, the events leading up to her decision to pursue a career in law, the evolution of her career, her decision to enter the seminary, and her thoughts on civil rights and women's liberation.
In this interview, Richard Lee Hoffman Jr., a real estate broker in Mars Hill, North Carolina, describes his response to the growth ushered in by the construction of the I-26 corridor.
James and Nannie Pharis both began working in the cotton mills of Spray, North Carolina, as children during the turn of the twentieth century. In this interview, which focuses primarily on Nannie Pharis, they discuss working conditions, family life, community gatherings, and foodways in a southern community that merged industrial and agricultural lifestyles.
Anne Queen spent ten years working for the Champion Paper and Fibre Company in North Carolina before continuing her education at Berea College and Yale Divinity School during the 1940s. In this interview, she describes her life as a worker, her advocacy of social justice causes, her experiences in higher education, and her work at University of Georgia, with the Friends Service Committee, and the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina.
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.
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.
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.
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.
Carolyn Farrar Rogers discusses how growing up in rural North Carolina sheltered her from racism and taught her the values of hard work and racial self-worth. These values served her well as a teacher during the early desegregation period.
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.
Alice Evitt describes her rural childhood and life as a millworker and mother in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century.
Paul and Pauline Griffith spent their working careers in the Judson Mill in Greenville, South Carolina. They offer an overview on conditions in the mill and how the work changed from the 1920s into the 1970s.
Louise Young was an educated woman from Tennessee who spent most of her adult life working to promote better race relations in the South. Young describes her years teaching at African American institutions of higher education—Paine College and the Hampton Institute—during the 1910s and 1920s; her job as the director of the Department of Home Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, where she trained students at Scarritt College in race relations; her support of women's organizations, particularly the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching; and labor activism, as exemplified by the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.
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.
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.
Durham, North Carolina, resident Josephine Turner reflects on her struggle to leave behind a life of poverty.
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.
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.
Aaron and Jenny Cavenaugh, long-time Duplin County, North Carolina, residents, lost their antiques business and turkey farm in the flooding that accompanied Hurricane Floyd.
Larry Kelley shares the details of a lifetime of farming and other rural work while discussing the hardships he and others faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.
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.
Mabel Williams, wife of civil rights activist and advocate of armed self-defense Robert Williams, remembers her husband's efforts to overturn segregation in Monroe, North Carolina, in the 1960s.
Quinton E. Baker reflects on how his identity as a black gay man influenced his social activism, especially his role in the 1960s civil rights protests.
Ran Kong, who immigrated to the United States from Cambodia at a young age, reflects on her life as a Cambodian-American and on her immigrant identity.
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.
Pat Cusick recalls his participation in the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Imprisoned for his role in these demonstrations, he describes the formative impact his incarceration had in stirring up his radicalism, emboldening his support of nonviolent strategies, and connecting with other like-minded activists. Cusick also discusses coming to terms with his homosexuality.
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."
Raymond and Eunice English, along with their son and nephew, worry that Hurricane Floyd may have irreparably crippled the aging Duplin County, North Carolina, farming community.
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.
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.