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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen, May 11, 2006. Interview U-0098. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Ron Charity helped integrate traditionally white agricultural worker groups

Ron Charity reemerges as a champion of agricultural workers. He ran and encouraged others to run for positions within rural farmers' associations. These positions were typically segregated, but with the increased minority participation within these associations, minorities gained a stronger voice in effecting policy changes.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen, May 11, 2006. Interview U-0098. 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

TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
Well, Ron [had been] doing organizing since the civil rights movement. He was doing community and political organizing. His wife was an attorney, and she was also an organizer in her own right. They worked in rural Virginia helping people who would not have had access to the courts and whatnot. She did [things?] a little differently from Ron. He would actually run campaign, and he really helped to organize Virginia and some of the other groups around the southeast. He was Governor Wilder's first campaign manager also. He also worked with a lot of farmer's groups. One of the things I could appreciate is before actually working on a candidate's campaign, a candidate running for office, do you remember, I don't know. You probably don't remember, the old, [there] were agricultural groups in--. A lot of them in this area and South Carolina and Georgia. Farmer's Home Administration was one of them. He would run for those offices, these farmers and different people in the various locales would actually run for offices. The Farmer's Home Administration in particular was lily white. But yet its policies impacted all farmers.
ELIZABETH GRITTER:
So these were governmental--
TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
Governmental and local groups that had gotten together to try to influence farm issues.
ELIZABETH GRITTER:
Okay.
TAWANA BELINDA WILSON-ALLEN:
So what we did was we worked with farmers who wanted to become officers, wanted to become elected officers, but we taught them to actually run campaigns. So it ended up being a lot more integrated--both African Americans and Native Americans onto those boards.