Women find leadership roles in some social justice organizations
Neale believes that women found a uniquely equal place in the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice. Female activists' experiences in the YWCA may have prepared them for leadership roles in these social justice movements.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Nancy Kester Neale, August 6, 1983. Interview F-0036. 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
- DALLAS BLANCHARD:
What about the role of women? In that group?
- NANCY KESTER NEALE:
Wonderful. I think that is where I got my early starts. I wish many times
I could have had some talks with him since my own evolution I guess.
Probably, and I would like to do some writings about this area sometime,
I think the role of women in some of these organizaitons and I
don't know about the Union, I have real conserns about the
explotations of women sometimes in unions. I have seen it happen in
community organization work. But in the Fellowship and the Committee on
Economic and Racial Justice as far as I recall all of the discussions
about that history it probably was outstanding compaired to the rest of
social life where women were very equal. Nell Morton there was no
problem about her succeeding The only question was how would she do it.
What her style was. She had her own particular style. There were women
who I can remember who werevery impressive.
There was Matha who was from Ridgecrest. A women named Miss Lyman who
was from Tennessee. I think a lot of that came from some very strong
YWCA women. And of course that has got history all in itself. I think
the YW has some good history related to that to study. A number of
National YWCA people Odie Swideny was one. I don't know if
Odie retired or not. She was on the national board for a while. Doris
Wilson I guess. Both of those were black women. All of them could be
very strong and active and pronounced and there was some mutual stuff.
Oh sure there was some prejudice, but it was really hard to find the
language, my dad's language, everybodies language referred to
men and this group of men and there were the women sitting there. But
that was standard in all of their experiences. But beyond that in terms
of actual operation I think it was a remarkable experience worth
studying, intensive study. It was quite unusual.