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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 >>

Racial integration of the YWCA caused a ripple effect in intergroup class relations

The integration of white and black branches of the YWCA resulted in black women's loss of leadership roles. This narrative of interracial integration extended to the subsequent class integration of YWCA women workers. Anderson and Stille discuss the shift in power from elite control to working class control.

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.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MARY FREDERICKSON:
One thing before you go. Did you have any contacts with the YW in Atlanta? The Phyllis Wheatley branch?
STILLE:
Yes, I did. That's before. . . now I don't think there's still a branch. They worked very well. Both branches.One thing they didn't want to do. Give up their branches. Because it meant then a great many blacks lost their leadership that they had in their branches. That was another difficulty came up when they did integrate. You see, if you were head of a Phyllis Wheatley or another Negro branch, you had a certain status. But if you. . . it was all integrated, the chances are that the white woman might be better trained for the job or something.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Wasn't this a thing that ran all the way through as far as integrating industrial girls with business girls because business girls would dominate?
STILLE:
Well, they never really tried too much to put them together, when I knew them. Did you think so?
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
I think not. The industrial leaders then. . . the great leaders, the fervent, ardent. . . were the industrial people. Now that's changed, hasn't it?
STILLE:
I think it has. I think the industrial girls as such, they don't think of them. They just think of them as people. But at that time it was very necessary they did have help because the industrial girl, of course, was kept down. Her wages and everything.