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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Paul Hardin Jr., December 8, 1989. Interview C-0071. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Ancestors instilled in Hardin a desire to improve church and society

Hardin inherited his interest in improving race relations from his father and grandfather. His grandfather criticized the Civil War and raised his father to believe that church involvement would help him fulfill his social responsibility.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Paul Hardin Jr., December 8, 1989. Interview C-0071. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

DONALD MATHEWS:
You were a whitness at the beginning of the civil rights movement then?
BISHOP PAUL HARDIN:
Oh yes. Let me go back to my childhood. My father was one of eight children. He grew up on a farm about four miles out of Chester. His father was a very large landowner, and he gave eight children an education if they would take it. Dad was one of the younger children and went to Wofford, and as I said, he went to Wofford in very fine shape. As we got along in life, we found out that certain things were inculcated in that family that maybe every family didn't get. In the first place, they had, to a certain degree, financial security and advantages of that sort. My grandfather put all of those children through college if they would go. Daddy was of the impression, I think, that he had a responsibility toward society. But in the first place, my grandfather did not believe in the War Between the States. He opposed it bitterly. He said it was stupid for the country to go to war. That those things ought to be amicably and so forth, and he understood certain situations. And I think he was ready to back the integration to that extent. So Dad grew up feeling that the church was powerful and influential. So that helped, I think, us, the family. And Mother and Dad were at one in their relationship to the church. Course, my grandfather Wannamaker, my mother's father, was the son of the Wannamaker who was a pastor at Allendale back in the 1880s. Well, I'll get wound up and I don't know where to stop. I'll stop. Now, you might have some more questions.