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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


Browse Collection by Theme

  Race and Civil Rights
    BLACK SELF-ASSERTION
      Activism and Protest Disagreements

Results (most relevant first)

Oral History Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978. Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this May 1978 interview, Kojo Nantambu—one of the participants in the 1971 Wilmington, North Carolina, race conflicts—describes what he remembers of the 1971 strife, the inequities present in the trial of the Wilmington Ten, and the aftermath of the discord.

Oral History Interview with Leroy Magness, March 27, 1999. Interview K-0438. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Leroy Magness describes his belief in avoiding conflict, and how that belief shaped his response to the civil rights movement.

Oral History Interview with Asa T. Spaulding, April 16, 1979. Interview C-0013-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Asa T. Spaulding, the first African American actuary in North Carolina and former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, remembers and reflects on community activism in Durham, North Carolina.

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 Guy B. Johnson, July 22, 1990. Interview A-0345. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sociologist Guy B. Johnson describes his path to sociology and recalls his participation in the Southern Regional Council in the 1940s.

Oral History Interview with Madge Hopkins, October 17, 2000. Interview K-0481. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Madge Hopkins, a graduate of West Charlotte High School and the vice principal of the school at the time of the interview, describes her experiences with segregation and school desegregation in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Edwin Caldwell, March 2, 2001. Interview K-0202. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Edwin Caldwell recalls a lifetime of political organization and advocacy.

Oral History Interview with Modjeska Simkins, May 11, 1990. Interview A-0356. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Civil rights leader Modjeska Simkins discusses race and civil rights before World War II.

Oral History Interview with Lemuel Delany, July 15, 2005. Interview R-0346. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Lemuel Delany grew up in segregated Raleigh, North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s before moving to Harlem in New York City. In this interview, Delany discusses race relations in the South and in the North, offers his reaction to his aunts' book Having Our Say, outlines his family's accomplishments, and explains his disapproval of some of the actions of the NAACP and his disappointment in the impact of desegregation on African American institutions.

Oral History Interview with John Lewis, November 20, 1973. Interview A-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
John Lewis served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966. In this interview, Lewis outlines his role within the civil rights movement through his participation in the sit-in movement of 1960 in Nashville, the Freedom Rides through Alabama and Mississippi in 1961, the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, the Selma voter registration drive in 1965, and the shift towards the politics of black power within SNCC by 1966. Throughout the interview, he situates the activities of SNCC within the civil rights movement more broadly, focusing on issues of leadership, religion, and politics.

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 Diane English, May 20 2006. Interview U-0184. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Diane English describes her activism in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with George Simkins, April 6, 1997. Interview R-0018. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Dentist George Simkins describes his efforts to desegregate hospitals and other facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Leroy Beavers, August 8, 2002. Interview R-0170. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Leroy Beavers despairs of the effects of integration on Savannah, Georgia.

Oral History Interview with Hylan Lewis, January 13, 1991. Interview A-0361. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sociologist Hylan Lewis describes his experiences with race in the American South in the post-World War II period.

Oral History Interview with George Esser, June-August 1990. Interview L-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
George Esser remembers his contributions to the North Carolina Fund and pulls back the curtain on a network of organizations that worked for social justice in the 1960s.

Oral History Interview with Rebecca Clark, June 21, 2000. Interview K-0536. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Rebecca Clark describes the economic impact of Jim Crow: denying African Americans desirable jobs, forcing them into low-paying jobs, and humiliating African American consumers.

Oral History Interview with Fran Jackson, March 23, 2001. Interview K-0208. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Fran Jackson discusses her reaction to the integration of Chapel Hill High School.

Oral History Interview with Pauli Murray, February 13, 1976. Interview G-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pauli Murray was a prominent legal activist within the civil rights and women's liberation movements. In this interview, she discusses her childhood and her education, the events leading up to her decision to pursue a career in law, the evolution of her career, her decision to enter the seminary, and her thoughts on civil rights and women's liberation.

Oral History Interview with Harvey E. Beech, September 25, 1996. Interview J-0075. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Harvey E. Beech describes his journey to becoming a lawyer fighting for legal justice. In 1951, he was one of five students who made up the first group of African Americans to attend the University of North Carolina School of Law. Beech assesses the racial changes since the mid-twentieth century and discusses racism in contemporary America.

Oral History Interview with Aaron Henry, April 2, 1974. Interview A-0107. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Aaron Henry describes the role of race and racism in Mississippi politics.

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 Harvey B. Gantt, January 6, 1986. Interview C-0008. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Architect and politician Harvey Gantt describes his ascent from a childhood in segregated Charleston, South Carolina, to becoming the first black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. As a southerner, he sees the accomplishments of the civil rights movement as dramatic; as a member of the black middle class, he leans toward negotiation rather than revolt.

Oral History Interview with Walter Durham, January 19 and 26, 2001. Interview K-0540. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Walter Durham discusses coming of age during the 1950s and 1960s in Orange County, North Carolina. Durham focuses especially on the process of school integration as it occurred in the merging of the all black Lincoln High School and the newly integrated Chapel Hill High School. According to Durham, this was a tense process in which many of the school traditions he fondly remembers from his days at Lincoln were lost in the transition to integrated schools.

Oral History Interview with Ruth Vick, 1973. Interview B-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Ruth Vick describes her tenure at the Southern Regional Council (SRC), an interracial organization committed to racial justice in the South. The SRC supported the direct action strategies of the civil rights movement that emerged in force in the 1950s and 1960s, but chose study over sit-ins as a means of change. This interview addresses this decision as well as decades of internal disputes.

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 Quinton E. Baker, February 23, 2002. Interview K-0838. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Quinton E. Baker reflects on how his identity as a black gay man influenced his social activism, especially his role in the 1960s civil rights protests.

Oral History Interview with Modjeska Simkins, July 28, 1976. Interview G-0056-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
African American civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins describes her upbringing in a prosperous family during the early twentieth century. She charts her work with the Tuberculosis Association, the NAACP, and the Richland County Citizens' Committee. Throughout the interview, Simkins offers telling anecdotes about racial tensions in South Carolina, the inner workings of civil rights organizations, and relationships between leaders of the movement.

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 Mabel Williams, August 20, 1999. Interview K-0266. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mabel Williams, wife of civil rights activist and advocate of armed self-defense Robert Williams, remembers her husband's efforts to overturn segregation in Monroe, North Carolina, in the 1960s.

Oral History Interview with Paul Green, May 30, 1975. Interview B-0005-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and activist Paul Green—most famous for his symphonic drama The Lost Colony—reflects on social justice and art as he describes his work as a playwright and his efforts as an activist.