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Title: Oral History Interview with Olive Stone, August 13, 1975. Interview G-0059-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Stone, Olive, interviewee
Interview conducted by Gluck, Sherna
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 152 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-03-14, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Olive Stone, August 13, 1975. Interview G-0059-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series A. Southern Politics. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0059-4)
Author: Sherna Gluck
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Olive Stone, August 13, 1975. Interview G-0059-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series G. Southern Women. Southern Oral History Program Collection (G-0059-4)
Author: Olive Stone
Description: 234 Mb
Description: 41 p.
Note: Interview conducted on August 13, 1975, by Sherna Gluck; recorded in Unknown.
Note: Transcribed by Patricia Crowley.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series G. Southern Women, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Olive Stone, August 13, 1975.
Interview G-0059-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Stone, Olive, interviewee


Interview Participants

    OLIVE STONE, interviewee
    SHERNA GLUCK, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
SHERNA GLUCK:
I was curious about what kind of ties you had with the college faculty at Huntingdon, the problems, if any, that you had as a single woman in that sort of situation, as a beginning member of the faculty, and, professional kinds of commitments during that period.
Maybe we can start with that; with specific things in 1929-1934 that we have yet to cover.
OLIVE STONE:
When I went to Huntingdon it was after a final summer quarter at University of Chicago. And one link between Chicago and Alabama was the visit to Montevallo of my former schoolmate, Mrs. Myra Callis of Tuskegee. Her husband, Dr. Callis, was with the Veteran's Administration in Tuskegee and she wanted to observe our child welfare program, probably with a view to setting up a parallel course at Tuskegee Institute. She was a very able woman. My colleague, Dr. John Steelman, helped introduce her as a descendant of a noted free Negro family and she spoke at several classes. But the college decided that she couldn't eat in the dining-room where I usually had lunch with students, but would have to be served in my office. And that's where she had her lunch, to my great embarrassment. She handled it with considerable aplomb.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, did you have lunch with her then, in the office?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, in the office.

Page 2
SHERNA GLUCK:
Some students also, or just the two of you?
OLIVE STONE:
No, just the two of us, because we didn't know how students would receive this.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So Mrs. Callis just stayed for a few days then?
OLIVE STONE:
She just stayed one day and went back that night, so we didn't have to provide sleeping quarters for her.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Was that deliberate; or, I mean, had she planned on staying?
OLIVE STONE:
No, she hadn't planned on staying. She had planned just that much of a trip that would get her back by train to Tuskegee.1 But it was a startling thing to me, though I should have understood, that the reaction in the … I think perhaps the students might have accepted more readily than the authorities, such as the head of the dining-room. Our president was a very liberal man, Dr. O. C. Carmichael, who was an Oxford graduate and very broad-minded. But I suppose I didn't appeal to him about that.
SHERNA GLUCK:
But it was mainly that you didn't expect the same sort of attitude? Was that it?
OLIVE STONE:
That was it. But I could understand the resistance and complied, hoping that Mrs. Callis, whom I got to know a good deal better when I went to Washington during the forties, understood.
So, through the social work organizations, college groups, and YWCA meetings, I got somewhat involved in liberal and radical programs, especially race relations.
You asked about faculty colleagues. There were several younger women who shared my enthusiasm for either fine arts or current events. We enjoyed forums, concerts, and plays together.

Page 3
Katherine Hardeman, a very liberal person in the physical education department and I became interested in international approaches. She explored Gandhi-ism, going out to India as a physical ed teacher under the auspices of the Presbyterian church, while I became interested in a shorter trip to the countries I had not visited in 1923 and '24, which included the Scandinavian countries and Russia, a very forbidding place in the 1920's. I also wanted to return to Vienna. When I had been in Vienna before, Sigmund Freud was a controversial figure but I had studied Freudian psychology at U. of Chicago meanwhile. And so it was with what was called the International Student Hospitality Association that I spent a few weeks in 1931.
By the way, it was not in 1931, but after I'd gone around the world, that I got interested in the sharecroppers. I mistakenly thought it was earlier.
SHERNA GLUCK:
I had the sense from the last interview that the taking the students to the visit of the sharecroppers' meeting on that Sunday was after the Russian trip.
OLIVE STONE:
It turns out to have been after 1933. It was my last year, Rheba (McCain Tuggle) said on long distance. She became my assistant; just after her graduation in 1933 and following our Michigan experience in the "School on Wheels". Three of my former students went - Agnes Whetstone and Minneola Perry in addition to Rheba. Rheba and Agnes met me for part of the summer program in Michigan. But didn't accompany me to Washington where I worked with Farm Research, Inc. in preparation for the School on Wheels.
SHERNA GLUCK:
You had mentioned that you thought there were two groups of students who were there at different times.

Page 4
OLIVE STONE:
Well, Minneola Perry came later and stayed on in the winter. And then I rejoined her and Jerry Ingersoll whome she married, during the Thanksgiving holidays at a meeting of the farmers groups in Chicago. This was a large national meeting of tenants and sharecroppers and small owners with a token southern delegation. I recall that Minneola Perry Ingersoll was there, because she spent her first few years after graduation in labor organizing.
Now I have never really been interested in industrial unions. In Chapel Hill we did try to help the Burlington textile workers that were on strike. But my heart has been in [laughter] agriculture and with rural groups. Although I liked having Lucy Randolph Mason talk about her exciting work with labor unions when she came to William and Mary to make that talk.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, what was that convention like then? That was to sort of update what was happening with the farm workers?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. The Middle West farm unions were the most active and articulate but there were sharecroppers' union representatives there, and that was my area of interest. On the closing day industrial unions joined in the rally.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So it wasn't basically a rural organizing conference?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, but with industrial labor support.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, do you remember anything about that conference?
OLIVE STONE:
No. Only that delegates were given places in people's homes, so they didn't have to go to hotels; and that I stayed in a worker's home for the few days that I was there. I didn't stay through the whole conference; I went mainly to talk with Minneola and Jerry, and to see what the sharecroppers' union representation would be like.

Page 5
SHERNA GLUCK:
Do you recall what the black and white representation was?
OLIVE STONE:
I know that they had both races throughout the conference. But that was the way labor was organized, except in the South. It came to be organized with black and white in the mines, you know, very early in Alabama, because they found that the way that their wages were kept down was that there were four layers (I've told you that): the white men, the black men, the white women, the black women. Four levels, and if white men didn't accept the Negroes' wages, then the Negroes would get the jobs, so they decided they'd better stay together and have one set of wages. It might make them feel better temporarily to have a higher wage than the black man, but it didn't make them feel better economically [laughter] in the long run to be pushed down.
SHERNA GLUCK:
This conference, then, would have had representatives from the Alabama Sharecroppers' Union and the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union? From all the various farmers' groups, in other words?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. Reading: "Farmers' National Committee for Action" Nov. 1933: 702 delegates from 36 states with a major goal to break down antagonism between farm owners and farm wageworkers. In large convention hall at the close thousands of industrial workers attended and cheered." There were stirring talks about organizing and working together. And it was still the Depression period; the Depression wasn't solved, as you know, [laughter] until the war came.
SHERNA GLUCK:
But the people who had been involved in the School on Wheels didn't hold any more workshops or anything?
OLIVE STONE:
No, no, no. It was only Minneola who stayed on. She never did come back South. In time she and Jerry lived in Brooklyn and held prominent positions, he as a publisher and she on the Board of Regents of

Page 6
New York City's University System.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So that was probably in the winter of 1933 then? 1934?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. It would have been the winter of 1933-34.
SHERNA GLUCK:
And then it was after the School on Wheels that you became involved in Highlander, rather than before?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. Highlander was organized in '32, and I have correspondence with Myles Horton referring to our having met in Chattanooga in 1932. However it was in 1934 that I became involved, maybe through Kester of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
SHERNA GLUCK:
And he somehow got you involved in Highlander?
OLIVE STONE:
Well his voice was added to that of Myles. I had letters from both Myles and Jim Dombrowski who was first with Highlander and then with the Southern Conference for Human Welfare and its offshoot, "Southern Conference Education Fund." Later he came out here to make a talk—he had been crippled by the assaults of southern "union busters" in Louisiana. He remembered me and I remembered him, you know. [laughter]
SHERNA GLUCK:
What became your connection, then, to Highlander? Had you visited there?
OLIVE STONE:
Oh no, I was never in Highlander until I went in 1972. I arranged money-raising visits by Myles in Los Angeles, in Portland, Oregon [laughter] and various places. I felt akin to Myles Horton's point of view. As far as I know he didn't become either a Socialist or a Communist. He had been, you know, at Union Theological (as Howard Kester had), and then he moved from radical religion into this program of helping people organize on their own what they needed. That's been the method of Horton all the time.

Page 7
SHERNA GLUCK:
So your focus was primarily in terms of organizing programs for them when they spoke in the community in which you lived, in other words?
OLIVE STONE:
That's true. I was one of many who assisted. And I've endorsed Highlander; the last few years I've sent quarterly contributions rather than annual ones, because after visiting there … I felt that they were doing what Commonwealth tried to do but failed in the community. They had chosen this Tennessee place (a large residence near the Horton home). It seemed to me that Myles knew Tennessee, he knew the people and he did work in the community. It puzzled me that in some way he had not won the support of neighbors, so that when the KKK and those other reactionaries set upon the School he might have been able to get the protection of the local people. I have heard that Commonwealth failed utterly in winning community support, because they seemed to be a little condescending toward the locality. That's what I've read; I don't know that to be true. And I thought that Horton would never do that, that he was never condescending. He was always folksy and at home with many people, and with the community. And so I couldn't until I read Erskine Caldwell's Deep South: Memory and Observation quite understand how that had happened. But I stayed [laughter] faithful to Highlander through the Knoxville period when they got attacked again. It may very well be that when you've got people like the KKK [laughter] and what we used to call the "rednecks" that you can expect anti-black behavior. But apparently it was not just poor whites who were violent. Since reading Katharine Lumpkin's story of the Grimke sisters, I've found that back in the eighteen hundreds the wealthy planters including illustrious families such as the Grimkes were sometimes very cruel.2 Angelina Grimke couldn't stand the cruel beatings.

Page 8
She heard there was a special punishment house. In the book you let me have I read for the first time, anything as gross as having a pregnant woman lie in a hole dug to protect her child while they flogged her. And that one person was severely punished because she lost her child from work in the fields; it was her fault assumedly that she lost it. They wanted that child as a slave, you see. Just a horrible thing. And in Gee's Bend some time later when I was making my study one of the women told me that the overseer of an absentee landlord tried to persuade a Negro woman to be his sexual mate. When she refused, he hitched up horses and tied one foot to one horse and one foot to the other and split her wide open. Horrible thing; I don't know how he could account for this to the absentee owner.
SHERNA GLUCK:
What year was this in?
OLIVE STONE:
It was way back; it may have been in slavery times. It was just the recall that I was given. I took a hundred interviews from people who lived in Gees Bend in 1942 after it had become a Farm Security project. And the older members were recalling what had happened to them or their ancestors; so I think that may have been in slave days.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Now this was the work that you did in the …? This wasn't the compilation thing?
OLIVE STONE:
No, the compilation was under TVA in 1933-34; this was my later research.
SHERNA GLUCK:
That was the one in the forties?
OLIVE STONE:
In 1942, yes, when I started that. But I learned a good deal from that research of what happened in olden days. I found among Gee's Bend people a tremendous sense of dignity and pride and freedom. They had been field hands, and had not been taught the obsequious behavior of house servants. Every now and then somebody would get frightened when the

Page 9
children played with me so freely, and didn't seem to think they had to kowtow because I was white.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Olive, were you on the board of Highlander at all?
OLIVE STONE:
No, I was never on the board.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Tell me about the group that acted as sort of the hospitality group for the radical movement.
OLIVE STONE:
It was a hospitality group for a lot of people. We had one person who came to Montgomery. Myra Page was her pseudonym and she was both a novelist and a sociologist. (She and her husband had doctorates from U. of Minn., I believe.) She went out to Commonwealth College; so she stopped by to see if she could raise some money. And I gathered some people together to hear her. So it was a hospitality group for people who were going into the rural areas for sharecroppers' union work or for peace or civil rights work in the South. People kept writing one or another of us, "We'd like so much to be able to get, for instance, a League for Industrial Democracy Lecture Series introduced in the South or a branch of the American Civil Liberties Union." And they just never could get a southern following.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, Olive, how did this work? Did you invite people, or they would be passing through and contact you?
OLIVE STONE:
They would usually write but sometimes just dropped by.
SHERNA GLUCK:
And you were this contact usually? How did you happen to become the contact?
OLIVE STONE:
Largely through people I had met in my travels or my charities, that is, causes to which I sent contributions.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So word would just spread, then, to these other groups when someone was going to come into the Montgomery area.

Page 10
OLIVE STONE:
They would write and I would try to get groups together.
SHERNA GLUCK:
You would, then, organize public meetings? Or would these be rather small, informal?
OLIVE STONE:
Both small and large, the latter would usually be at the college with one or another organization to sponsor. For instance, I've mentioned Jeanette Rankin whom I introduced to a YWCA sponsored meeting in the Y Hut. (She later occupied the "Chair of Peace" at Brenau College and a White Citizens Council investigated it as possibly Communistic.)
SHERNA GLUCK:
Now would these programs be sponsored by the college, or sponsored by the study group instead?
OLIVE STONE:
No, the study group did no sponsoring. It arranged in private homes to see visitors or each other. Public meetings would be sponsored by the Y.W.C.A. or some organization of the college maybe or by community groups having literary or civic interests or programs. [Machine interuptions]
SHERNA GLUCK:
Would you put the people up, or your hospitality was primarily in terms of providing a meeting place and a sponsor for the meeting?
OLIVE STONE:
I don't recall putting anyone up. I do remember getting calls from all directions. For example, I had a letter from some actors who had been on my Mediterranean trip in 1924; they had a stock company (repertory) that played in New England, and they decided to invade the South. They wrote me to know if I could help them put on a play at Huntingdon College, which I did. I invited them to come and I took them out to dinner [laughter] and had them in my apartment for after-dinner coffee or something like that. The show was not a great success. I worked very hard to get people to come out [laughter] .

Page 11
SHERNA GLUCK:
[Machine interruption] Were you able to enlist support of college groups, for instance, when someone came through for the sharecroppers? Or, were those meetings done in a different way?
OLIVE STONE:
They were done more quietly, as I told you at great length. The SCU was known to be antagonizing or alarming. In fact, the papers had been full of the fact that the Communists had come into the South organizing sharecroppers' union—which was true. And there was a delightful young man—who Bea tells me had more than one pseudonym. I remembered him as Sid Benson, she as Ted Wellman. He once gave a Marxian interpretation of a Haydn symphony. But he was an industrial rather than a farm organizer.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Yes. He's the one that you said accompanied you with a group of students to that meeting (of the Alabama Sharecroppers Union).
OLIVE STONE:
No. Sid/Ted came earlier. He must have gotten housing and funding elsewhere. I saw him only 2 or 3 times. Rheba and other students were not involved until after the "School on Wheels". They had graduated before the Michigan trip. Rheba, Agnes and I drove to Tallassee, Alabama where Myrtice (who had also graduated the year before) gave us lunch and went with us to a Sharecroppers Union meeting. A black organizer called Jackson met us at the church to introduce us to members. It was a Sunday, and we wanted to see what the sharecroppers were like and hear them talk. And that's the only time that I was in there.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So, Olive, when someone came through then for the sharecroppers what sort of meeting would you set up for them?
OLIVE STONE:
No group meeting was ever held with the farm organizer unless he came once with Sid/Ted. And it would have been out of the question to have a public meeting when the sheriff was trying to destroy the Union. We talked

Page 12
about giving financial aid. And you remember that Rheba and I took money to the Post Office. I assumed the cautiousness was because of the interracial exchange. I have learned from Dale Rosen's thesis that he had to dodge arrest and eventually had to flee to Birmingham after which a white organizer took over his work and name. In time the white organizer had to flee the goons.
You asked about other groups. The Rabbi had several groups that he called "study groups". A nucleus of one of these expanded to include other denominations and to meet an occasional visitor. I never met other groups. I'm omitting a social club to which I belonged.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So most of your social life was centered, then, on the college community?
OLIVE STONE:
College community and a variety of community activities.
SHERNA GLUCK:
During this period in Montgomery you had mentioned several times the Powells, who had become your friends and helped to introduce you to more radicial causes as well. Now what was their …
OLIVE STONE:
Their connection. They have been my closest personal friends for 44 years. Through Jerry Ingersoll I met the staff at Farm Research, Inc., which Web established prior to the New Deal. He kept it going for some little time until WW II came when he got into War Production Board, and later became (because he had legal as well as economic and sociological training) a Labor Relations Board adjudicator before he went out to Australia as a labor attache in the Dept. of State. Then after a short term in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, he went back to university teaching.
What do you mean by "radical causes"? Both Alice and Web lived abroad and studied abroad so they had European friends associated with social, economic and literary movements. They were true cosmopolitans.

Page 13
SHERNA GLUCK:
But the Powells were in Washington; never in New York?
OLIVE STONE:
Alice stayed with the Little Red School House (nursery school) in New York while Web found a Georgetown house and established Farm Research. Earlier Web had been research director in the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and had collaborated on a study with Ewan Clague, who later became head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and President of the National Conference of Social Work in 1951.
SHERNA GLUCK:
It was part of the Department of Labor.
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was. At any rate, Web's "Farm Research, Inc." published material on the farm crisis in the Depression. So I met …
SHERNA GLUCK:
But these weren't still in Montgomery then, in other words? These people?
OLIVE STONE:
No. Web Powell was never in Montgomery. As I have already said, outside of Web's bureau I had found a single pamphlet on people instead of land and animals. It was by a Duke U. professor. No one else in the Dept. of Agriculture (under Pres. Hoover) ever researched the effect of the Depression on human beings. After I met the Powells I stayed in preparation for the School on Wheels in their Georgetwon home. They had a three-story home on Q Street, I remember it well. And several of us who had been teaching at Columbia or other places had come together to discuss the possibility of taking a school on wheels out to the middle West, where the farm organizations were ripe for a constructive program. I don't know why Webster Powell, who grew up on Fifth Avenue [laughter] in New York, and whose parents had a vacation home at Southern Pines, North Carolina chose farm research but he did.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So your initial association …

Page 14
OLIVE STONE:
My initial association there was because of my research interests. The TVA documentary study in 1934 led me to treasure, to hold in my mind, the possibility of going on to either write a book or to pursue Doctoral study. Dean Abbott had offered me a scholarship, as you know, for Doctoral study at the University of Chicago, but she agreed with me that it was a good opportunity to take first the Montevallo then the Huntingdon position beforehand. And I never got back to Chicago.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So this is just the beginning of the relationship. The Powells were not actually in Montgomery.
OLIVE STONE:
No, never.
SHERNA GLUCK:
I see.
OLIVE STONE:
No.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So it was a long-term relationship over the years?
OLIVE STONE:
Long-term. I met them first in 1932. Alice gave me the sequence of Web's activities and her own when we went last summer to Alaska and I had her verify the dates when they got the Q Street house. She's always been in early childhood development, as a profession. They established their own schools until Alice got her Doctorate and had a university laboratory for her use. She has, from the beginning, kept her maiden name, Alice Coe Mendham. Web with the greatest ease and confidence would introduce "my wife, Miss Mendham". Only very recently, when she taught at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, did she decide to be Mrs. Powell: Dr. Alice Coe Mendham Powell. It just made it easier for such things as her work with Planned Parenthood etc.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, Olive, what were your social ties within Montgomery and the South during that period at Huntingdon?
OLIVE STONE:
To begin with in the college and through it and through fellow

Page 15
alumnae in the community. I was introduced socially to some members of the country club set and elsewhere but I had very little interest in that. I did play bridge and learned from my Montgomery experience not to let them know at William and Mary that I played bridge, because in Montgomery it was still a small enough city that it was difficult to accept one bridge luncheon and not another. I liked social affairs and enjoyed them to some extent; but too much partying is burdensome to a studious person. I like to read. Don't you?
SHERNA GLUCK:
So most of your ties were to old classmates then, in other words?
OLIVE STONE:
Heavens, no! I met legal, medical and other professionals. I hope it doesn't sound invidious to say Montgomerians were delightful but less cosmopolitan than people in the Upper South.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well how about the people in the study groups, where did they come from?
OLIVE STONE:
Professional people like myself with open minds looking for fresh approaches to social problems - teachers, social workers, a Rabbi, a journalist, a wholesale merchant, etc. - and finding few answers in such traditional institutions as the schools, churches and courts. I've already characterized them as liberals. And some of that little Montgomery group (four of them) came up to Chapel Hill the latter half of the 1935 Summer Quarter. We rented a cottage and lived together. They went to school—took sociology and so forth. And at the conclusion we visited a labor college in the mountains, sponsored by Frank Graham of U. of NC, as I recall and others.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Were there any faculty members besides yourself in this group?
OLIVE STONE:
No. I would invite faculty members from time to time.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Did you detect no interest?

Page 16
OLIVE STONE:
No special interest in social issues.
Katherine Hardeman was interested, but she went out to India where I joined her in 1932 for 3 months. She went out as a physical ed teacher and came back in 1934. to take nurse's training, and then returned to India. She was later in the Massachusetts General Hospital until her retirement. And I see her still.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Was she the only faculty member whom you were very close to?
OLIVE STONE:
Close to on social issues. No, Rhoda Ellison and others with whom I've kept up all these years are highly congenial on literature and art but they were not interested in social reform. They were interested in Huntingdon and they were interested in artistic and intellectual programs. They went to the Forum and to professional theatre productions.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Now did you have to keep your activity, for instance, in this study group somewhat quiet too? Did that present problems?
OLIVE STONE:
It was not secret at all. But the meetings we had with visitors who were not there to hold public meetings, that part was kept quiet, because we didn't want to endanger them. Most organizers of unions only stayed briefly in order to rest a bit [laughter] and be provided some money and clean clothes, to go back on the road.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, how much money would a small group like that be able to get together for someone like him coming through trying to raise money?
OLIVE STONE:
We just gave individually, and I have no idea what the others gave. Some of them were quite well-to-do, and they probably gave generously. I didn't [laughter] because I didn't have much.
SHERNA GLUCK:
I mean, so someone conceivably could have raised, maybe, a thousand dollars?
OLIVE STONE:
I doubt that it would be that much. Well, a few of our group were well-to-do; most of us were social workers or teachers or writers.

Page 17
And poor Huntingdon had such an awful time during my employment there raising money to pay off its mortgages that our salaries were out. (I only read that in Ellison's history, I didn't remember it.)
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, Olive, did you have any problems as a single professional woman?
OLIVE STONE:
I'm trying to recall that I might have, because recently one of my young colleagues at UCLA, a person I admire and respect very much, wrote a paper which she asked me to criticize, in which she was showing that in social work, most of the prestigeous offices and the higher-salaried jobs went to men. I said, "Jean (Giovannoni), this CAN'T be true, because look at all those wonderful women, the Abbotts and the Breckinridges, the Jane Addamses and the Florence Kellys who started social work in this country, and who studied in England with the Webbs and so on. They were women; there were a few men." I did go back through my old proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction, which later became the National Conference of Social Work and of late the National Conference of Social Welfare, and I said, "I do remember that when Jane Addams was offered the presidency of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections in 1909 many of the men came forward and said, ‘Of course we'll be glad to read your presidential address.’ " (And this had been necessary, incidentally, when Dorothea Dix wanted to appear before Congress; some man had to present her research on the mental hospitals. You will recall that that was way back in the eighteen forties or 50's, wasn't it?) So when the men crowded round and offered to read Jane Addams' presidential address she said, "I think inasmuch as it has taken you this long to invite me, it cannot be said that you acted in haste. I will deliver my own presidential address." The men were a little shocked. I was aware of that point with Jean so I challenged her, and I had to read her paper to see that she was completely right.

Page 18
SHERNA GLUCK:
So professionally you didn't actually feel it? Not personally?
OLIVE STONE:
Professionally single women were in the majority but I had other social contacts. Hence, I don't think I felt it personally.
Despite Jeanne's findings I didn't sense as much rivalry in my professional career as I might have if I had not had so many leadership roles—e.g. asked to make talks or to hold offices. I was chairman of many work groups, committees, and associations—was offered the presidency of the large Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; declined it because of the health of my third and last fiance, the one who died just before I came out here.
But I was very often acting the "woman's role" when I didn't need to—pushing some man forward and letting the man have the job or get the credit for things, such as I did at Chapel Hill … unwittingly, as you have pointed out. I mean, I wasn't conscious of that. But part of that, when we get to Chapel Hill, was that I did not want to offend the U of NC group by being "forward" or anything of that kind.
SHERNA GLUCK:
In Montgomery as the Dean, did you have any problem socially as being a single woman? Or were so many of the faculty single also?
OLIVE STONE:
Ah ha. No, I never felt self-conscious as a single person— I either had an escort (sometimes a confirmed bachelor!) or went in a small group to evening affairs. I have become aware of my single status when I have been asked, as happens occasionally, to break into a couples group and I did not want to be a fifth wheel. But with the university people here and at William and Mary and at Chapel Hill and elsewhere I was frequently invited as a person to go to these mixed male and female affairs and always—almost always—felt at ease. For instance, at Chapel Hill (I don't want to get too far ahead of my story) Guy Johnson, who was a

Page 19
great authority on Negro problems and history (taught anthropology as well as sociology) belonged to a writers' group to which Paul Green, Phillips Russell and a mixture of writers belonged. Guy was going to present a paper on the Negro and he told the group he'd like to invite me as a critic. The meeting was held at the Vances' home. Now Mrs. Vance had her Masters in sociology and she should have sat in as a participant, as a sociologist, but for some reason when I got there I was sitting by Mrs. Vance and she started talking to me about the children's measles and about housekeeping problems, and things that just sent me to the roof. And I moved my position. Well, pretty soon Guy asked for my comments after he had read the paper and Rheba got busy with social affairs—she had to serve the refreshments—so that let me off. But I have been made aware from time to time that because so many women have chosen not to have careers they don't always recognize… [laughter] and it never occurred to me not to have a career, and wouldn't have if I had married any of those … At least, I think not.
Another example of contrasting preceptions of women's role occurred also in Chapel Hill. One day, the maid in Dr. Mangum's home where I had a room, brought calling cards up to me. The wives of two professors, Mrs. Crittenden whose husband was in History and another, awaited me down-stairs in hat and gloves. They wanted to welcome me to Chapel Hill. It was a gracious gesture but I was neither a professor's wife nor a professor—in fact, had become so absorbed in my student role that I was taken aback. This variation in role definition happens constantly. At UCLA the wives organized first and called their association "UCLA Faculty Women". When the women professors became numerous enough they had to differentiate their organization through the title, "Association of Academic Women". Actually many spouses have careers and if not employed by the same institution hold

Page 20
equally stimulating positions. The point I'm making (none too well) is that men do not face the same problem. Perhaps the parallel for professors who are bachelors, as a certain one close to me sometimes hints, is being called on constantly to squire the visiting singles no matter what the age or to make up a fourth at bridge.
It turns out that that little study group in Montgomery was largely women because they were unmarried, but there were a few husbands present in the group. We didn't usually have more than eight or ten in all and we met Saturday afternoons. I was not a regular attendant. Later some younger men joined the group for example, George Stoney who came from Henry Street Settlement in New York and had had journalistic experience on the staff of Survey Graphic. More young men …
SHERNA GLUCK:
So many of you in the study group were from a social work background?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. It turned out that several got into the field if they weren't already. [laughter] My impression is that Carrie Lee Cobb (whom we called Arbadee for some reason), the daughter of an Episcopal bishop, and Clotilde Brand, who was a Huntingdon alumna (though she was a town student and didn't live on campus, and she was a Presbyterian instead of a Methodist), were not in social work. I think they were teaching in the school system of Montgomery. And then I got them interested in social work, I suppose, and they took training and in time joined the state social work program. I saw three or four of those men and women in Montgomery in 1971—not in reunion of the study group but out of personal friendship which has endured.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, Olive, there are a couple of more things that I think we should cover in this Montgomery period. (These were from notes that we made last time when we had to cut short.) One was, we wanted to talk about

Page 21
the Southern League for People's Rights that C. Vann Woodward was involved in in Atlanta in 1933 or 34.
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. There was one meeting, as far as I know no others, that took place in Atlanta. Woodward, who was at that time with Georgia Tech, and his friend Glenn Rainey of Emory came as did other professionals, black and white. A friend and I stayed at my brother's apartment in Atlanta.
We got together to see what we could do about problems of civil rights in the South, because the Scottsboro case was up as was the Angelo Herndon trial. We adopted no specific action about cases but hammered out general principles and goals. "Southern League for People's Rights" was the title we gave the new organization, but it didn't seem to go forward, as far as I know.
SHERNA GLUCK:
How many people do you recall were at that meeting?
OLIVE STONE:
A news article says representatives from eleven Southern states—artists, writers, teachers, preachers and other professionals.
SHERNA GLUCK:
And that was to be the founding body?
OLIVE STONE:
The founding body. Then later I went on to Chapel Hill, where I found that Vann Woodward was getting his Doctor's degree in history. He and the Maclachlams helped me with the organization which we called Committee instead of League—the "Southern Committee". And he and I recalled having met in Atlanta; but I didn't pursue the matter further because meanwhile I had spent the whole fall of 1934 after leaving Huntingdon in the interest of doing an executive job with this Southern League for People's Rights.
SHERNA GLUCK:
In other words, this Southern League for People's Rights didn't… It was an attempt to form something that never got off the ground.
OLIVE STONE:
As far as I know. Except that I must have been commissioned to promote its financially sound establishment.

Page 22
Many people came to Montgomery during my last two years there wanting to start programs of this kind in the South, but I had a hunch (such as Odum did too) that it had to be southern. [laughter] Because there were two things that were touchy questions in the South: one was race relations and the other was Yankeeism. But I couldn't rally enough foundation money to support me in that capacity, so I had to consider the combining of it with research. And I did get an Elmhurst Fellowship at Chapel Hill. I didn't go to Chapel Hill until January, 1935.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Oh, I see. And that's when there seems to have been two conferences in there, too, somewhere before you went to Chapel Hill. There seems to have been a Swarthmore conference following a Blue Ridge conference. And in Nov. 1934 a bi-racial conference at Shaw University in Raleigh.
OLIVE STONE:
Oh, the YW's Blue Ridge Conference was just the usual thing at the end of the school year.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Where did your mother go, then, when you were leaving Huntingdon?
OLIVE STONE:
She went to Texas to live with my sister—not to Dadeville, our old home town, where she had stayedas paying guest in the home of very dear friends, the Bulgers, during my summer absences abroad or in the North.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, these conferences were …
This Swarthmore conference was …
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. This was a race relations conference in which we had twenty-nine famous Negro speakers in twenty-nine days. I'd never met so many important people in my life: E. Franklin Frazier, Ira Reid, Ralphe Bunche …
SHERNA GLUCK:
Oh, it was a very long conference.
OLIVE STONE:
It was a month's conference, yes. And we lived—it was summer—time and Swarthmore was not in session—in the dormitories there and held meetings. Dr. Charles Johnson was co-director with a professor from

Page 23
Columbia, Otto Klineberg, and dear Dr. Parks …
SHERNA GLUCK:
From Chicago?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes Robert Ezra Parks from Chicago was the main consultant. And we all sat at his feet, more or less, because he was a wonderful man. Though I cringed from one of the stories he told which was about having a Negro nurse whom he regarded as a "mammy" [laughter] . And I didn't care for that slant out of my new outlook … I had had a Negro nurse too [laughter] whom we loved very dearly, as well as other servants when I grew up. And we hadn't questioned our attitude because we were … kind. [laughter] But it took some exposure for me, as it did for Katharine Lumpkin (The Making of a Southerner), to become aware of my old stereotypes. Apparently by the time I went to Swarthmore I had sloughed off so many stereotypes that a fellow southerner, Prof. H. C. Brearley, of Clemson U., came up to say goodbye at the closing reception. Taking both my hands as I stood there in evening dress, he said, "You are a lovely Southern lady if I haven't agreed in the least with your point of view."
While we were in Huntingdon, for instance, Mother was asked to teach a class of the nurse-maids who came with white children to Sunday School. She reported it with a great pride and a sense that this would please me, that she was teaching the Negro nurse-maids [laughter] . I said, "Well, I think that's fine, Mother [laughter] . I'm so glad that you're getting acquainted with them. [laughter] "
I had wished that we could have had the Negroes in and of the Sunday School and church. Actually they may not have wanted integration there—and don't to this day, in some instances. They want to have separate churches, because they have a good deal more control of the leadership posts.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Like the women.
OLIVE STONE:
Yes.

Page 24
SHERNA GLUCK:
Was this conference, then, primarily an academic conference, this Swarthmore conference?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, it seems to have been. Because two years later—this was in the summer of 1934—and two years later I had letters from Dr. Ralph Bunche, who was going to be the co-director with Dr. George E. Simpson of Temple University (the Quakers always had a black and a white person as co-directors of the Swarthmore Institute on Race Relations).
SHERNA GLUCK:
Oh, in other words, this was a yearly conference.
OLIVE STONE:
No, a biennial conference. And I had a letter from Mrs. Helen R. Bryan, Secy., Institute of Race Relations, who was administrator of the 1936 session and from Dr. Bunche inquiring whether I would mind suggesting professors in the North Carolina area to recruit other professors or advanced students to come there. I said in my reply that I tried to catch Dr. Odum, but he was a visiting professor at Illinois that quarter. Dr. Vance was somewhere, and Dr. Johnson was in and out on the "Negro in America" Myrdal study. But I did catch Johnson long enough for us to complete the list (and it made three or four pages), of all the private and public, black and white colleges and universities, and indicated the professors who might be willing to do the interviewing for the Swarthmore Conference. So that's the way they did it every session. I did make a talk at a conference in Washington that Dr. Bunche and John P. Davis put on at Howard University while I was at Chapel Hill.
SHERNA GLUCK:
That was later, though.
OLIVE STONE:
That was in May 1935.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Now this Blue Ridge Summer …
OLIVE STONE:
So in Blue Ridge, I had gone as a student to Blue Ridge. I had also gone to Winthrop, South Carolina to a student government meeting. Thus I had not, like Katharine Lumpkin, been entirely in Alabama until I

Page 25
went to graduate school. Instead, I had gone to South Carolina, had gone to Atlanta to opera and symphony and to Blue Ridge as a student—and of course to Europe and U. of Chicago. But they remembered me, I suppose, from student days or else they'd kept up in some way. At any rate, they wrote and asked if I would lead a workshop at the Blue Ridge YWCA conference in 1934. And I had thought I would like to lead a workshop on unemployment and economic problems and other Depression things of this kind, but the students wanted to talk about marriage and family instead. I had to do what the students wanted, I believed in letting them choose. We did bring up economic matters—that it was a handicap for young people to have to postpone either marriage or children. But I do have in my correspondence a letter from Miss Mears thanking me for leading the workshop. So I spent part of the summer after leaving Huntingdon, in June 1934, at Blue Ridge and then at Swarthmore. And then on to New York.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
SHERNA GLUCK:
You went to New York first to talk to the A.C.L.U.
OLIVE STONE:
Well, to get some money, yes. To meet friends who had connections. I think I met Mary Van Kleek who was with the Russell Sage Foundation. And I exchanged letters with Dr. Lathrum who was with Southern Labor Colleges. I had not met Hilda Smith before this fortieth reunion of Highlander, where I met Jacqueline Hall.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well Olive, when did you decide to make the move and leave Huntingdon? What was the motivation behind it?
OLIVE STONE:
Well, first of all the fact that I felt that Dr. Agnew was having to take extra precautions to try to prevent any harm to Huntingdon. He didn't ever tell me that some of the D.A.R.-type people would come out and protest that I was the "Red Dean," you know. Perfectly ridiculous but people kept asking me to talk about Russia. And by the way, I explained

Page 26
the attitude that Russians had towards red as a color; that red was beautiful and they used "red and black", instead of "white and black". But that still didn't assuage the critics. I also was feeling that I would have to suppress myself if I stayed on and honored the needs that I felt Huntingdon justifiably had. President Agnew never would have fired me.
SHERNA GLUCK:
And by this time you were becoming more involved in some of these racial things and more progressive …
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. I don't think that the sharecroppers would have been any special issue, because I didn't feel that I needed to do any more than I did for a very brief time there when the organizers were seeking financial aid. But a good many people were coming into the South or writing that they would like to come into the South and get progressive programs going. While I was sympathetic, I didn't feel that I would help their causes if I became known as the radical at Huntingdon. So it was a conscious decision, I think, also I had gotten just a little restive at Huntingdon; I felt it was rather parochial [laughter] in many ways. Some of the people weren't; we had professors there from many parts of the country: one from Evanston, Illinois; and others from, you know, various places. And there was this lovely man from Copenhagen [laughter] . But it was a provincial place, and I was spreading myself too thin.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Now had you already decided, then, to go ahead with your Doctorate at that point?
OLIVE STONE:
No. I had felt, as I wrote Dr. Agnew (and it's in the correspondence here) that I was reluctant to go to a university for fear it would cripple what I wanted to do in research by having me conform to certain forms of the dissertation, and I wanted to do more field work. What I had decided on was to use this historical study I had done on Alabama as background for research on modern times. Through the TVA's beneficence I

Page 27
had hired people to research the newspapers in the Ala Archives, I had obtained some perfectly magnificent data from that early period; what some of the newly-freed blacks were trying to do. They got suppressed, but they were trying to do things! At any rate, I wanted to use that and I wanted to make a field study, which later the University of N.C. encouraged. I went to Chapel Hill in January 1935, and in the first half of the summer did my field research in Alabama.
SHERNA GLUCK:
But when you left Huntingdon, then, you had no intention of going for Doctoral study?
OLIVE STONE:
Not really or perhaps I should say not a settled intention. I held it in the back of my mind, but I wanted to combine research with civil rights work. I wanted to do it on my own if I could get a foundation, but I didn't manage to do that.
SHERNA GLUCK:
I see. So in other words, that summer you were looking for foundation support both for the Committee for People's Rights and for your own sociological research?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. I got hospitality, such as being made a "Visiting Scholar" at Brookings Institution, where I could use their library and where I met interesting people. And I had a small grant for research at the Library of Congress. I don't know what else I was living on in this time; I must have saved a little money [laughter] .
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, you had mentioned something about a Garland Fellowship. Was that during that period?
OLIVE STONE:
I tried to get that, but I didn't succeed. Later the heirs of the Garland Foundation became good friends, because they were supporting Farm Research, Inc. The Garlands were very wealthy people and very homespun, down-to-earth people of Scandinavian background. They inherited a fortune but Charles "Barley" and Ursula lived in a simple kind of large brick home and brought

Page 28
their children up in natural surroundings. He was a member of the trustees of Farm Research and because of his background he loved farm life himself. The family had a suburban place near Washington where we went from time to time for talks and discussions. I didn't know when I was in New York that I was to meet the Garlands later [laughter] . And I didn't ask them when I did meet them to do any financing. I didn't know they had money for individual research; I knew that they did support Farm Research and gave large grants to ACLU and other progressive causes.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Olive, the clippings that we looked at once before indicated that you left Huntingdon to be the executive secretary of the League for People's Rights. When did the idea of the League develop, and how did that happen?
OLIVE STONE:
Hmm. I've clarified this already.
SHERNA GLUCK:
I mean, it was something you started, wasn't it?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes and no. I did not call the Atlanta meeting but I must have had some assurance in Atlanta that there would be a possibility of other chapters if we got something going, and if we could do it in the South. I'm not sure where I thought I would have headquarters as executive secretary; I think I planned to have them either in Atlanta or the upper South. I hated to give up the deep South, and I stayed there just as long as I could, you know. I felt in some ways problems were gravest in Birmingham, Montgomery and Atlanta. However, Atlanta wasn't a typical southern city; it was "civilized"—the Lester Maddox phenomenon to the contrary notwithstanding—headquarters for so many national organizations and businesses. But I felt that in some ways people recognized the contrasts more in the deep than in the upper South. In Richmond the liberals didn't have as much difficulty working with blacks or supporting liberal causes. And Virginius Dabney, the editor of the Times Dispatch, was very articulate about race relations and civil rights. He helped chair many

Page 29
movements. And the Mitchells lived there; old Dr. S. C. Mitchell who taught at Richmond College was an openly avowed socialist. His wife sat next to me at a dinner one time. They had two dintinguished sons, George (who was at one point with the Southern Regional Council) and Broadus (who taught at Johns Hopkins). I may have told this little anedote about Mrs. Mitchell.
SHERNA GLUCK:
No, I don't think you have.
OLIVE STONE:
Mrs. Mitchell said to me in an aside, "Broadus is the apple of my eye, but I wish he would not fret people so." [laughter] George was more politic; he didn't rub people [laughter] , fret them as Broadus did. So Broadus stayed in Baltimore; while George came to Atlanta later on.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well Olive, in other words while you were still at Huntingdon you had the idea for this League or Committee for People's Rights, and some idea that you might have funding. You left Huntingdon with the idea that you were going to devote your time to that and also to do some of your own research.
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. But I didn't have financing—only faith and hope.
SHERNA GLUCK:
And then you left Huntingdon. When you went to New York was to actually look for funding?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, that was it. And by this time I must have known Katharine Lumpkin and Dorothy Douglas.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Do you recall when you met them?
OLIVE STONE:
I think it was after—I know it must have been after—the trip around the world. Because in the summer of '31, after I came back from Russia, I didn't stop anywhere in New York except to meet Norman Thomas through Harry Laidler. Barbara Irish, a journalist with Fortune, and I were met at the boat: I was met by my sister, and she was met by her brother-in-law, Corliss Lamont, a Columbia professor and son of the Wall St. banker. We introduced each other but paid no further attention there

Page 30
except that I bought a book of his. I stayed with my sister briefly at Columbia in the International House. She was getting her Master's in art.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So that would not have been when you met?
OLIVE STONE:
No. And I didn't meet anyone else, and came on back to Huntingdon and began making talks that year.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well now, Katharine Lumpkin did not have the same sort of political views and involvement as her sister, though?
OLIVE STONE:
No, it is my impression that they were at odds with each other at that time. Partly because, I think, Katharine's liberal views did not match Grace's… I never met Grace Lumpkin and knew nothing at first hand. Katharine was of a calmer temperament and I'm sure was not a Communist. She was interested in labor studies, and she and Dorothy Douglaes, a Smith professor, and several other academic people established a labor research institute. I have a letter from Katharine on the official letterhead in this correspondence addressed to Chapel Hill. She was asking if I knew anyone who would like to participate in the labor studies. Her sister wrote an excellent novel, by the way, about the people who came down from the hill country, from the farms, to work in the mills. You probably know her novel, "To Make My Bread." I have it.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So by the time you went to Chapel Hill you actually had met Katharine Lumpkin.
OLIVE STONE:
Katharine and Dorothy Douglas. I'd met somebody who wrote a book on the chaingang; Walter Wilson's Forced Labor in the United States. I have the book. And I have many of Katharine's books. She and I are fellow sociologists and are congenial on many scores. Dorothy was an economist.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So right in through this period is when you were getting steeped more and more in some of the Negro causes and civil rights.

Page 31
OLIVE STONE:
I would not express it your way. My interest in race relations and civil rights arose out of my lifetime experience and I thought I had made this clear to you.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Now when you went to New York is when you talked to the A.C.L.U. and decided that it…?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, in 1934, the ACLU and several other such organizations. Earlier when I went to New York I was getting reference letters, as I've told you, to people in the Orient, including one to future Prime Minister Nehru of India which I couldn't deliver because he was in prison. But Katherine Hardeman and I did visit the philosopher Tagore in his Ashram and learned how he was trying to liberize the Caste System. India's barriers were not unlike those we had in the USA.
But the 1934 trip to New York had a different purpose. Among friends who could suggest funding was Dorothy Douglas. I saw her following the Swarthmore Conference—and I must have known her and Katharine rather well by then—because I went with them to Backlog Camp (a Quaker Camp) in the Adirondacks and subsequently joined them on other vacations.
I considered the Southern League for People's Rights already formed. My mission was to take its principles and seek practical means for implementing. I conferred with several Northern-based programs (correspondence includes Urban League) but preferred an independent organization to a branch of an extablished organization. Actually I was trying to cover all bases to see what I could do about funding. A letter to President Agnew reports my final solution.
"My work here at the University of North Carolina is fulfilling every expectation. I had known of the prestige of the sociology department, particularly in the rural field, but I did not expect to find quite such a high level of work all along the line."
Then I tell something about Rupert Vance, Guy Johnson, Lee Brooks, Odum &

Page 32
Ernest Groves. "When you have a little spare time I would appreciate it if you would write Dr. Howard W. Odum, Director, Institute for Research in Social Sciences, and express your pleasure that I have decided to tie up my research project with a university of the calibre of U. of N.C. I think it would please him. And besides, I believe he would be glad to learn something of my work at W.C.A. (Woman's College of Alabama), whether I left in good standing and so forth. It would be a good plan for you to say that you advised me in the beginning to use my material for a Doctoral dissertation, and to go right on for my degree. At that time I felt that any academic affiliation would be restrictive, both of my research plans and of a strong desire I had for doing something with a program of civil rights. For instance, I have told Dr. O. of my interest in the latter." I didn't want Dr. Odum to accept me as a student without knowing that I had this background.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well then, Olive, when you couldn't get the funding for the …
OLIVE STONE:
Then I told President Agnew, "As you may recall, the year I came to Huntingdon [it was not called Huntingdon then] I was offered a very enticing fellowship at the University of Chicago, and Bess Adams was urging me to be her roommate there. However, I have never regretted my decision to come to Montgomery. In fact, no more enriching years have I had in a long time." And so forth. "For much of the real joy, as well as the fine constructive value, I am indebted to you." And then I tell about seeing members of the Huntingdon faculty in Washington and in New York.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well now, it was when you were not able to get the financing for both the Committee for People's Rights and for your own research that you decided, in that interim before January, to go to Chapel Hill for the Doctorate?
OLIVE STONE:
And to apply first for admission and then for a fellowship.

Page 33
However I hadn't really made up my mind about U. of N.C. until I went to Shaw University, in late Nov. 1934. And the letter that came to me inviting me to Shaw was from the International Student Service was forwarded from Montgomery. Frances Henson said, "I have the pleasure of inviting you to attend a very important conference of about twenty-five younger Negro and younger white leaders to be held at Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina, from 2 p.m. Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2, 1934." The invitation tells who is on the committee, and it included such people as Howard Kester [either he or FOR or the Swarthmore leaders may have suggested me] and Dr. Ira Reid, who is the author of a number of books on the Negro, and who taught both at Atlanta University and later at Swarthmore or one of the eastern colleges. He was on that American Council on Education study of the Negro in which Franklin Frazier, Charles Johnson, and several others participated. It was before the Swedish scholar Myrdal came over to write the book, An American Dilemma, you know; Guy Johnson worked on that. So I met a number of the Swarthmore people at the Shaw U. conference; I had known Howard Kester longer than the others. And here he's called "Howard A. Kester, Secretary of the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice." See, he had made the shift by then. Then Mr. Henson concludes: "The whole question of objectives in interracial work, as well as the inadequacy of present organizations in this field, and educational provisions for the Negro will be discussed freely." He adds, "I think it's desirable for us to handle the issues without gloves. Out of our discussions we will expect action to come." You see, the Odum point of view, I had heard, was to discuss more than to act. Though, in a way, to act too; at least to try to get people to sit down and listen to each other. Shaw University was generously making it possible for us to obtain room and board at $1.50 a day. [Isn't that charming?] And when it was found that I was in

Page 34
Washington it was offered that Dr. Virginia Alexander stop and pick me up and bring me to Shaw. And she did.
But the final decision to attend U. of N.C., if accepted, came after I met John and Emily Maclachlan there at Shaw. John was getting or had gotten his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina, and he was teaching at the Raleigh branch. They seemed a little restive not under the regional emphasis, but, I felt, under the concentation on it. However they liked it and they admired Odum and Vance and Johnson very, very much. But at that time they thought they'd better tell me [laughter] that civil rights should be handled more cautiously than at Shaw because of the "Will Alexander approach" and because regionalism was the emphasis. Here I was meeting some real graduates who had experienced Chapel Hill directly and I became quite convinced from them that that would be the best place on earth to go if I were accepted and could find a fellowship. So I conferred with Odum about enrolling as a student. He invited me to come, and I did.
SHERNA GLUCK:
I see. And then you decided that wherever you were going to be, you were still going to try to set up this Southern Committee for People's Rights.
OLIVE STONE:
Yes. And I told Odum that I was interested in civil rights programs, and that I had been active in this general area of southern leadership for civil rights. And I think he liked my appreciation of the fact that any "cause", to work in the South, should be southern. It should not be superimposed from the outside, or brought in by strangers. It was not so much the prejudice against Yankeeism as it was the fact that Northerners might not understand—in short, a program should be indigenous. And we agreed on that.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Now what was your image of him exactly?
OLIVE STONE:
As a very famous man, and an awesomely able man. My, he was

Page 35
brilliant! [laughter] He could read a page before you could hand it to him.
SHERNA GLUCK:
But you saw him as definitely having a different, as being a much more conservative voice in terms of the civil rights movement?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, I did think of his being conservative. But I had great respect for his scholarship. I had read several of his books and I … liked two things about him and UNC that I didn't like about Chicago. He knew and loved the South and he saw no conflict between social work and sociology. At Chicago Miss Abbott and Miss Breckinridge had parted company with sociology. Sociology had also severed connection with the National Conference of Charities and Corrections when it decided to become scientific. Actually there could be nothing more scientific than what Miss Abbott and Miss Breckinridge [laughter] had us do in our research. However, if I had gone there for my Doctorate I would not have had as broad an opportunity. I felt they belonged together, the social sciences and social work, and I have always believed that. Dr. Odum was strongly in favor of social work. He helped found the School of Social Work and the Department of Public Welfare, and wrote some of the books in that field. So there was never any schism in Chapel Hill at all. I liked that. I took a minor in social work but actually I had many courses in anthropology—it could have been a minor, because I was interested in folk groups and anthropological methods of research.
SHERNA GLUCK:
But you mentioned several times your hesitancy because of his conservative position and the caution that you had to use in terms of the formation of the Southern Committee for People's Rights. Was he very overt about this?
OLIVE STONE:
No, never, never. And neither were my other professors. And I don't recall inviting them; I asked other people such as Paul Green and Phillips Russell to involve Guy Johnson and Rupert Vance. Actually the

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group was younger than Odum. He had been the professor of my professors. See, he invited his most brilliant students to stay on, and brought in other people. He had never expressed any … In fact one of the first courses I took was a course under him, and he put me through the mill to see if I could do it: [laughter] partly having me make sort of a historical study of some of the earlier sociologists that I hadn't learned about before coming to Chapel Hill. So I had a great time with him; enjoyed it very much. But I had a feeling that since Vance and Johnson did not join the Southern Committee probably it was not the thing to do. And I think, on the other hand, that people in the humanities and other fields were a little freer to work for civil liberties than someone in the social science field, who would then be confused with the social worker.
You see, if you go out to improve conditions instead of study then, it was the same old problem that was handled in Chicago by separation of sociology and social work. On the other hand, the Chicago people like Parks believed in having race relations conferences. Parks taught at Fisk University. In fact, he was a newspaper man, I believe, or taught philosophy until he went to Tuskegee and met Booker T. Washington and decided to move to sociology (and took a Doctors degree later in that).
SHERNA GLUCK:
Well, I think what I would like to do is wait to really get into the Committee for People's Rights, so we don't start and then have to interrupt it. So if we can wait 'til next time for that. But I would like to ask you just a few brief questions, primarily in terms of … You went back, then, and became involved in graduate school at Chapel Hill. You were already in your mid-thirties. In those days it wasn't that usual for someone of that age to be back in graduate school, was it?
OLIVE STONE:
No, I suppose not. But why not?
SHERNA GLUCK:
Did you have any feelings about that, or problems?

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OLIVE STONE:
No. Harry Moore was about my age as were sociologists who came for refresher courses. However, Marnie Hegood, who became my apartment-mate one summer was at least ten years younger than I (though she said later that she didn't know there was that much of an age difference between us). Most of my friends, [laughter], to tell you the truth, have usually been younger than I; I find them more congenial. It may be a little bit arrogant on my part to think they reciprocate. Today, I enjoy my emeriti friends but still have very good friends among those who haven't retired yet: the Crescitellis, for instance, who are still teaching, have been good friends of mine for these twenty-five years that I've been in California.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So you didn't feel in an awkward position being …
OLIVE STONE:
I didn't; I'm trying to think why. In some ways yes, in other ways … I think it could have been a little awkward that I came there as an associate professor from Huntingdon. But it became clear very soon that I had a lot to learn in sociology. It may have made my professors who were my age and younger (Vance is two or three years younger than I, and Guy Johnson, younger than that, I think—I think they were both born in this century, and I was born in 1897, you know) feel that in a way they should treat me somewhat differently, [unclear] [laughter] but they didn't and on neither side were we the least bit ill at ease. I was invited to their homes as the other doctoral students were on both formal and informal occassions. I got selected out occassionally when no one else would be but on grounds of subject matter, such as ethnic groups. And I just took it in stride, and to tell the truth I've always loved the role of student—never will stop studying. [laughter] I always called my professors "Professor" until after I graduated.

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SHERNA GLUCK:
It seems to me like it would have been somewhat of an awkward … I mean, you were really marginal.
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, I was.
SHERNA GLUCK:
You were very much like them, and yet at the same time a graduate student.
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, there was this situation. And the fact that I was a woman in largely a man's world. I think I told you that Miss Jocher, Dr. Katharine Jocher who taught courses as "Others" in the catalogue, was a right-hand man to Dr. Odum. She put out Social Forces; she was in charge of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences. Odum was the titular head of both and the policy maker and planner but Miss Jocher really did the management, the administrative processes in both the Institute and on the magazine. She taught some courses in both social work and sociology—one or two courses, not many—but they couldn't put her in the catalogue except under the caption, "Odum and Others". I think maybe social work helped a little in the policy change when it came along as a separate school. It had to have professors who were teaching casework and other methods and they tended to have the professional Master's but not the Ph.D. and were almost entirely women. After a while Dr. Jocher began appearing in her own right.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So she was the only one on the faculty, then, who was a woman?
OLIVE STONE:
And Miss Herring, who was not teaching courses until my second year there, or second summer. I stayed only from January '35 through the summer of 1936. I did my field research in the summer of 1935, first term. Then I went to William and Mary in the fall of '36, and came back successive summers until I finished my dissertation and made a second field trip to Alabama.

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There was another smart thing on Dr. Odum's part. He got marvelous grants from Rosenwald Foundation, from Social Science Research Council, Inc. and everywhere, and set up this excellent Institute for Research in Social Sciences at UNC. He could pay the full salary of people like Guyon Johnson, who was writing a history of North Carolina [that's Guy Johnson's wife who had a Doctorate in history] and of Harriet Herring, who was a splendid industrial studies person, and Katharine Jocher, who was, as I said, the right-hand person. Finally Miss Herring taught a course or so, but I don't think she appeared in the catalogue. She probably did—but they've all retired now. Dr. Odum got around things that were not technically acceptable.
SHERNA GLUCK:
And what about among the graduate students? Were most of them men?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, a very large proportion of them were men. Bernice Moore and Marnie Hegood and I were the only women, I think.
SHERNA GLUCK:
In how large a graduate class?
OLIVE STONE:
Well, you see there were a lot of people who didn't go on to finish their Doctorates. But we would have from twelve to fifteen Doctoral students plus a much larger number of Master's. And I think now they have far more than that; I'm not sure about size. Dr. Odum's department, incidentally, was ranked in 1935 (I have the exact date somewhere else) by the National Council on Education (whatever the accrediting body is) as one of the five most distinguished graduate departments of sociology in the nation. And it still is ranked among the top ten. It was, I think, next to the top when I was there; I think Harvard was ahead. But it was ahead of Chicago. [laughter] The five were: Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, North Carolina and—what was the fifth one? Wisconsin? But it was ahead

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of Duke; considerably ahead of Duke, because Duke didn't have a distinguished department then. So we all knew this, that Odum had brought good people to Chapel Hill. He had the endowment, he had the research, and he had a school of thought. It was, in a way, a popular school of thought, this regionalism, because it was a method of solving southern problems more positively than through sectional rivalries between the "wool hat boys" and the "silk hat boys", or between, you know, the upper South and the lower South, and the North and the South.
SHERNA GLUCK:
So you saw it as being a positive social force, in other words?
OLIVE STONE:
Yes, I did see it as a positive force. I used it as an organizing theme in one part of my dissertation.
I was in awe of Odum, and never felt as comfortable with him as his own professors did. Though after I finished [laughter] I felt a little more so when I would go back or would have occasion to attend (at sociological meetings) Chapel Hill breakfasts or something like that. We would usually have Miss Jocher [laughter] representing Odum. He seldom came to these breakfasts or luncheons himself, you see, he had been president of the American Sociological Society, and won all the top honors, and had received all the honorary degrees from distinguished universities—in short, ran in higher circles.
Actually, you know, I'm a good scholar but not a good writer. I like it; there's nothing I like better than doing research and writing. But I've lost the flair, I find in rereading articles I sent to the home paper from Europe in 1923-24 were written in a much fraer and more natural way. I now use too much sociological jargon.
SHERNA GLUCK:
Yes. It's taken me years to get over that [laughter]
OLIVE STONE:
And I've got to try to do something about it, because I

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dearly love to write. But between my perfectionism and my [laughter] awkward writing I don't get as much published as I should, and I feel guilty about that.
END OF INTERVIEW
1. I met her train in Calera and because she was a woman I could have her ride beside me on the front seat of my car. This was according to the racial etiquette of that period of history.
The Emancipation of Angelina Grimke