Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mildred Price Coy, April 26, 1976. Interview G-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Absence of political consciousness at the North Carolina College for Women

Though Coy traces the beginning of her social consciousness to her time at the North Carolina College for Women, she does not remember the student body as being politically aware.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mildred Price Coy, April 26, 1976. Interview G-0020. 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 What were the main student activities that people were involved in there? Was there a student government?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Yes. My very good friend who was one year ahead of me, Lena Kernodle was her name. She was from Washington, D.C. She married a druggist there in Greensboro. She's dead now. She was awfully nice. She was the most popular person in school, and I certainly did like her. And when she left, I remember that I loved her so. Oh, I was just crazy about her. And I went out on the lawn by myself, and I just couldn't control the tears. I thought, "Well, she's gone." She was the best friend. I never did have a friend like her. And later on, after she married, I told her about that, and we both doped it out that that epitomized the end of my childhood, my young days, you know. From now on everything was different. In Chapel Hill I didn't know anybody and didn't know how to get along with so many boys and no girls particularly. MARY FREDERICKSON Was there a YWCA there?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Yes, there was a YWCA, but I don't think anybody paid any attention to it. No, I don't believe there was a. . . . MARY FREDERICKSON Did the students at Women's College ever discuss social issues or political issues? Was there a debating society?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
No such thing as discussing race. You wouldn't do that. The school would have been run out of the state. No, we never discussed social issues. MARY FREDERICKSON What about any feeling about women's suffrage?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
We were all for that. Anna Howard Shaw came there, and we were just crazy about her. She told us we should take part in things. She was a great woman in her time. MARY FREDERICKSON Did you ever do any work for suffrage or get petitions signed?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
No, I was just for it. MARY FREDERICKSON Were most of the women at the school for it?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
Most of them didn't care. MARY FREDERICKSON But there was a group that did care and was sort of involved in what was going on around them?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
I don't know. Maybe there was. We had a sort of a clinque there that we went around with, and we discussed everything, but I can't remember if we ever discussed anything worthwhile. MARY FREDERICKSON This was right after World War I. Was there any feeling about the United States' participation in the War?
MILDRED PRICE COY:
No, we were all for it. Anything the government did was just dandy. We never discussed anything the government did. It was more or less like things are now. I know that government's come in for more criticism, especially since Nixon, but still. . . . We never did really get into any deep questions.