Title: Oral History Interview with Anne Queen, April 30, 1976. Interview G-0049-1.
Interviewer: Herzenberg, Joseph A.
Interviewee: Queen, Anne
Subjects: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--Students--Political activity Young Women's Christian associations
Abstract: Anne Queen was born into a working family in Canton, North Carolina. She graduated from high school in 1930 and accepted a job at the Champion Paper and Fibre Company, where she worked for ten years. During this time she grew to identify herself as a New Deal Democrat. Queen became increasingly interested in the labor movement during the 1930s and sought to reconcile its ideals with her religious faith. By 1940, she became determined to act on her lifelong desire to receive a college education and enrolled at Berea College in Kentucky. While a student at Berea, Queen was able to interact with African Americans for the first time in her life and became increasingly drawn to issues of social justice. Following her graduation in 1944, she participated in the first interracial workshop at Fisk University before studying for a year at the Missionary Training School in Louisville, Kentucky. From there, Queen continued her graduate education at Yale Divinity School. In so doing, she disproved her own earlier belief that "poor people couldn't go to Yale." Queen describes her educational experiences at Berea and Yale in great detail, focusing on her academic inspirations and the influence of teachers such as Liston Pope and H. Richard Niebuhr. After finishing her doctoral work in 1948, Queen returned to the South to work as an assistant chaplain at the University of Georgia (1948-1951), for the Friends Service Committee in Greensboro, North Carolina (1951-1956), and as the director of the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1956-1975). Because of her long tenure working as an advocate of social justice, particularly for the labor movement and the civil rights movement, Queen is able to offer a comprehensive assessment of the changing social landscape of the South during the middle of the twentieth century. In so doing, she offers insight into the leadership abilities of southern women such as Dorothy Tillman and Jessie Daniel Ames, the process of integration at two major southern universities, and the nature of politics in North Carolina.