Title: Oral History Interview with John Ivey, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0360.
Interviewer: Egerton, John
Interviewee: Ivey, John
Subjects: North Carolina--Race relations School integration--Southern States
Abstract: John Ivey was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1919 and raised in Auburn, Alabama. After completing college at Auburn University, Ivey came to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to pursue a doctoral degree in sociology. While at UNC-CH, Ivey met and married his wife, Melville Corbett Ivey, another sociology graduate student. Ivey and his wife describe the sociology graduate program, focusing on Howard Odum and Rupert Vance as especially influential figures. Emphasizing his increasing interest in regionalism at that time, Ivey discusses the relationship between Odum and Frank Porter Graham and their respective approaches towards addressing political and social problems in the South. Ivey graduated with his doctoral degree in sociology in 1944 and went to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority. In 1948, Ivey briefly returned to academia, teaching at UNC-CH and then accepting a position at New York University. During that same year, Ivey was recruited by southern governors to head up the newly-formed Southern Regional Education Board. Ivey moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as director of the SREB from 1948 until 1956. He describes his own support of desegregation and acknowledges that he saw the SREB as an instrument for changing educational policies in the South. Ivey and his wife focus specifically in their discussion of their work with SREB on the role of southern governors, notably Millard Caldwell of Florida, and the competing visions of whether SREB should uphold or challenge segregation in southern public schools.