Title: Oral History Interview with Anne Barnes, January 30, 1989. Interview C-0049.
Identifier: C-0049
Interviewer: Nasstrom, Kathryn
Interviewee: Barnes, Anne
Subjects: North Carolina--Politics and government    Women political activists--North Carolina    Women's rights--North Carolina    
Extent: 01:28:45
Abstract:  From 1981 to 1996, Anne Barnes sat in the North Carolina House of Representatives for Orange County. While there, she focused on issues of social justice, especially poverty, education, prison reform, civil rights, and women's rights. In this 1989 interview, she gives an overview of her childhood and early adulthood before explaining how those experiences motivated her to become involved in the political arena. Before running for election herself, she worked on a variety of campaigns, including Howard Lee's Chapel Hill mayoral bid, in which he became the first African American mayor in the United States elected by a predominantly white municipality. After exploring how her various campaign positions led to her eventual candidacy, she explains the reasons for her particular political foci and how she has seen the issues change over the past several decades. Much of the second half of the interview is devoted to the position of women in politics and the reasons Barnes believes women have struggled to find equality in that arena. After listing the sociological, psychological, economic, and political reasons for the gender imbalance, she proposes ways to level the playing field for a new generation of women.