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Oral History Interview with Harold Fleming, January 24, 1990. Interview A-0363. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Harold Fleming worked with the Southern Regional Council (SRC) in Georgia from 1947 through the late 1950s. He recalls some of the opposition that group faced, particularly accusations of Communist connections. He links the Red Scare to a general fear of changing race relations throughout the South, which he started recognizing while commanding black troops in Japan during World War II. Journalist Ralph McGill helped Fleming get involved with the SRC, but McGill, like several others, could not get involved with the organization himself for fear of losing his job. Fleming compares how several of the SRC leaders, such as Charles Johnson and Lillian Smith, approached the work, and he commends President Harry Truman for taking an early stance against segregation.
    Excerpts
  • Southern Regional Council advocates gradual change in segregation
  • Whites generally bow to pressure to avoid criticizing Jim Crow
  • Southern leaders have varying opinions on racial problems
  • Southern Regional Council faces unsubstantiated accusations of Communism
  • Will Alexander's sensitive approach to race relations
  • Fleming's family lives with relatives during the Depression
  • Fleming gains a new consciousness of racial prejudice while commanding black Army troops
  • Fleming gains empathy for black Americans through service with black soldiers
  • Fleming plans to leave Georgia before joining the Southern Regional Council
  • Southern Regional Council leaders take different approaches to southern society
  • Few white journalists openly address racism
  • Communist Scare was a farce meant to entrap those criticizing racism
  • Truman deserves credit for opposing segregation early but not for national security policy
  • Contentious project studies race and American schools
  • Feelings of joy and fear over Brown decision
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Civil rights--Georgia
  • Southern Regional Council
  • School integration--Georgia--Atlanta
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.