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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The impact of religious beliefs on interracial cooperative efforts

Anderson discusses the interracial conferences held at Camp Merriwoode. She explains how religion influenced workers' liberal ideas about race.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. 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.

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MARY FREDERICKSON:
I'm mainly interested in what they were involved in. Did the industrial department cause most of the furor?
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Labor. Race. There are plenty of people here. . . . The thing on race I guess you'd say was more definitely related to religion. And right down through they were very active on race. We were talking about a camp, Merriwoode. You know where that is?
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Yes, I was just reading some things about one of the conferences you held there.
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
This Mrs Day. . . goodness, she had a famous husband. She really risked a great deal on letting us have interracial conferences there. But you see it hasn't much point if I don't know what date it was. It was an exceedingly swanky camp and she let us do it. She really risked a lot with her prestigous clients. She was in the Richmond Y. Her husband was a very famous liberal in the city government here.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
The conference I was reading about was in 1936, and I think that was the first one where you had an interracial group. Grace Hamilton was there and Winifred Wygal . . .
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Yes. That shows you shouldn't trust me. I just told Polly Sunday it was lots earlier than that. Yes, Winifred Wygal.