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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


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  Race and Civil Rights
    WHITE RESPONSES TO CHANGE
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Oral History Interview with Nelle Morton, June 29, 1983. Interview F-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Nelle Morton served as the general secretary of the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen from 1944 to 1950. In this interview, she describes her perception of the leaders of the Fellowship and the organization's aims and strategies in advocating for various social justice causes, including racial integration and labor rights. In addition, she describes her leadership of a male-dominated organization and how her work with the Fellowship raised her awareness of the need for women's liberation as well.

Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, November 8, 1976. Interview B-0041. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Presbyterian minister Charles Jones recounts his civil rights activism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Oral History Interview with Angus Boaz Thompson Sr., October 21, 2003. Interview U-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
An African American activist fights for integration in Lumberton, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with James Lawson, October 24, 1983. Interview F-0029. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
James M. Lawson was a key ally of Martin Luther King Jr. and also an important theoretician and practitioner of nonviolent protest. In this interview, he speaks about his relationship with some of the civil rights figures of the time, including Will Campbell, Kelly Miller Smith, Nelle Morton, Myles Horton, James Dombrowski, and James Holloway.

Oral History Interview with William C. Friday, December 18, 1990. Interview L-0049. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former president of the University of North Carolina, William C. Friday, describes his working relationship with Anne Queen, who was director of the Campus Y from the late 1950s into the 1970s. Friday discusses Queen's relationship with students and her leadership qualities.

Oral History Interview with Igal Roodenko, April 11, 1974. Interview B-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Igal Roodenko came of age during the 1930s and became increasingly involved in leftist politics during those years. During World War II he embraced philosophies of nonviolence and pacifism and worked in a camp for conscientious objectors during the conflict. He became a member of CORE during its formative years and participated in the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, an interracial endeavor to test segregation policies on buses in the South.

Oral History Interview with David Burgess, August 12, 1983. Interview F-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A northerner who followed his passion for justice south, David Burgess spent his life living his religious convictions through a devotion to economic and racial justice. Burgess recalls his involvement with some vanguard rights organizations, such as the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, a group Burgess believes laid the foundation for a civil rights movement motivated by Christian beliefs.

Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 22, 2001. Interview K-0215. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Daniel Pollitt describes the process of desegregation in the South. He discusses his involvement with civil rights activism and his relationship with progressive organizations and prominent North Carolinians, including UNC law school dean Henry Brandis and UNC basketball coach Dean Smith.

Oral History Interview with Vivion Lenon Brewer, October 15, 1976. Interview G-0012. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this interview, Vivion Lenon Brewer explains how her awareness of racial disparities caused her to support school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas. She discusses her leadership in pushing politicians to reopen the closed public schools during the 1958-1959 Little Rock school crisis.

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff, July 8, 1985. Interview F-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff recall their work with the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and with the Penn School. The interview centers largely on the internal problems and external mission of the Fellowship.

Oral History Interview with Pat Cusick, June 19, 1989. Interview L-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pat Cusick recalls his participation in the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Imprisoned for his role in these demonstrations, he describes the formative impact his incarceration had in stirring up his radicalism, emboldening his support of nonviolent strategies, and connecting with other like-minded activists. Cusick also discusses coming to terms with his homosexuality.

Oral History Interview with Isabella Cannon, June 27, 1989. Interview C-0062. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Elected in 1977 at the age of 73, Isabella Cannon was the first female mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. In this interview, Cannon describes her involvement in the United Church of Christ, her support of the civil rights movement, and her advocacy for community revitalization and development. In addition, she recalls her major accomplishments as mayor and the challenges she faced in implementing her long-range comprehensive plan for the city.

Oral History Interview with L. M. Wright Jr., April 1, 1974. Interview A-0333-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
A writer and editor for the Charlotte Observer, L. M. Wright offers his insider's perspective on the changing political landscape of Charlotte, North Carolina, from the late 1950s into the early 1970s. Throughout the interview, Wright emphasizes the intersections of race, economics, and urban renewal in the consolidation of local politics.

Oral History Interview with Thelma Stevens, February 13, 1972. Interview G-0058. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Thelma Stevens was the director of the Bethlehem Center in Augusta, Georgia, and the Superintendent of Christian Social Relations of the Women's Missionary Council for the Methodist Episcopal Church. In this interview, she describes her childhood in rural Mississippi, her education, and her work with the Methodist Church, all in relationship to her lifelong devotion to improving race relations in the South.

Oral History Interview with Guion Griffis Johnson, July 1, 1974. Interview G-0029-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Southern sociologist Guion Griffis Johnson describes her work with the Georgia Conference on Social Welfare during the 1940s and her involvement with the women's movement and civil rights activism during the 1960s and 1970s in North Carolina. She discusses strategies for effecting change, the achievements of the Georgia Conference in promoting awareness of social welfare and race-related issues, and the progress of women and African Americans in their struggle for equality.

Oral History Interview with J. Randolph Taylor, May 23, 1985. Interview C-0021. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
J. Randolph Taylor pauses to reflect on his participation in the civil rights movement, the reunification of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, and various other social justice campaigns.

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, February 6, 1991. Interview A-0337. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Civil rights activist Virginia Foster Durr describes her involvement in the nascent civil rights movement of the 1940s and 1950s.

Oral History Interview with Robert Lee Mangum, November 18, 2003. Interview U-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
The Reverend Robert Lee Mangum channels his Christian faith into social action in Robeson County, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Louise Young, February 14, 1972. Interview G-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Louise Young was an educated woman from Tennessee who spent most of her adult life working to promote better race relations in the South. Young describes her years teaching at African American institutions of higher education—Paine College and the Hampton Institute—during the 1910s and 1920s; her job as the director of the Department of Home Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, where she trained students at Scarritt College in race relations; her support of women's organizations, particularly the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching; and labor activism, as exemplified by the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.

Oral History Interview with W. Horace Carter, January 17, 1976. Interview B-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Journalist Walter Horace Carter received the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for his journalistic campaign against the Ku Klux Klan in his newspaper, the Tabor City Tribune. The interview focuses almost exclusively on the actions of the Klan from 1950 to 1952, including threats made against Carter, connections between local law enforcement and the Klan, and Carter's journalistic campaign against their vigilante tactics.

Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, November 19, 1990. Interview L-0048. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Daniel Pollitt describes his admiration for University of North Carolina Campus Y director, Anne Queen. He discusses his and Queen's engagement in social justice movements and the city of Chapel Hill's reaction to student political engagement.

Oral History Interview with Modjeska Simkins, November 15, 1974. Interview G-0056-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Modjeska Simkins describes growing up in a prosperous African American family, going to school, and her thoughts on "color consciousness" during her childhood in Columbia, South Carolina. In addition, she discusses her involvement in the South Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation and other race organizations beginning in the 1920s, her thoughts on women's unique capabilities as leaders of social justice movements, and the nature of racial tension in the South.

Oral History Interview with Asa T. Spaulding, April 14, 1979. Interview C-0013-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and civic leader Asa T. Spaulding reflects on how his growing influence as a business leader allowed him to make unique contributions to dismantling segregation in Durham.

Oral History Interview with Howard Kester, August 25, 1974. Interview B-0007-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Socialist and Christian activist Howard Kester describes his work in various organizations committed to social justice in the South during the 1930s and 1940s. In particular, Kester focuses on his work in promoting equality for African Americans and working people in the South, including his efforts to bridge gaps between those two groups.

Oral History Interview with Frances Pauley, July 18, 1974. Interview G-0046. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Frances Pauley was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia, during the early twentieth century. An advocate for the poor and of racial integration, Pauley served as president of the Georgia League of Women Voters in the 1940s and 1950s, where she focused specifically on integration of public schools. In 1960, she became director of the Georgia Council on Human Relations and worked within the civil rights movement to promote African American leadership and interracial organizations.

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth Brooks, October 2, 1974. Interview E-0058. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Elizabeth Brooks was one of the leaders of the UNC Food Workers Strike of 1969. As a new worker in the Lenoir Dining Hall, Brooks helped to organize the food workers with the help of Preston Dobbins and the Black Student Movement. This interview focuses on the first strike, which was sparked by the unexpected firing of one worker, low wages, and withheld back pay for overtime.

Oral History Interview with Howard Kester, July 22, 1974. Interview B-0007-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Howard Kester was a pacifist and social reformer in the South from the early 1920s through the 1960s. In this interview, he focuses on his adherence to pacifism, Christianity, the Social Gospel, and Socialism. He describes his work to end injustices associated with race and labor, and assesses the work of prominent social justice leaders in the South during the 1920s and 1930s.

Oral History Interview with Julian Bond, November 1 and 22, 1999. Interview R-0345. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Julian Bond recounts a life of civil rights activism in the American South. He discusses his work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and his connection with other activists, including Ella Baker, Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, and Stokely Carmichael.

Oral History Interview with Harold Fleming, January 24, 1990. Interview A-0363. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Harold Fleming recounts how he became involved with the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and the criticism he faced for opposing racism in the 1940s and 1950s. He describes the effect of the Red Scare on limiting the involvement of racial progressives in the organizations like the SRC. Additionally, Fleming compares the leadership styles of those he encountered within the organization.

Oral History Interview with Marion Wright, March 8, 1978. Interview B-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Marion Wright was one of a group of white southerners who sought to tackle the entrenched racism of the twentieth-century South. As a member of the Southern Regional Council (SRC), he sought to do so without direct action. This interview is a portrait of a civil rights leader in the era before the movement was defined by public protest.

Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, July 31, 1975. Interview A-0311-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Virginius Dabney traces his involvement with the school desegregation crisis in post-1954 Virginia. Dabney's political and social beliefs about integration appeared in the newspaper he edited, the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This interview spans the breadth of his career from the 1920s to the 1970s.