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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics

Browse Collection by Theme

  Piedmont Industrialization
      Non-Union Advocacy: Individual

Results (most relevant first)

Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson remembers her work with the YWCA industrial department over the course of forty years. She describes the impact liberalism and communism had on organizing textile mill labor unions.

Oral History Interview with Junie Edna Kaylor Aaron, December 12, 1979. Interview H-0106. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Junie Edna Kaylor Aaron remembers her long working life in the clothing industry in North Carolina.

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 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 Eula McGill, February 3, 1976. Interview G-0040-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Eula McGill grew up in Sugar Valley, Georgia, during the early twentieth century. Raised in a working class family, McGill had to leave school because of her family's economic hardships and began to work in a textile mill as a spinner at the age of 14. By the late 1920s, McGill had moved to Alabama, where she became a leader in the labor movement in Selma. Throughout the Great Depression, McGill primarily worked as a labor organizer, first for the Women's Trade Union League and later for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union.

Oral History Interview with Eula McGill, December 12, 1974. Interview G-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Lifelong textile worker Eula McGill shares her thoughts on the benefits of Alabama textile unions.

Oral History Interview with Roy Lee and Mary Ruth Auton, February 28, 1980. Interview H-0108. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Roy Lee Auton reflects on a string of jobs and a string of wives in this engaging interview.

Oral History Interview with Paul and Pauline Griffith, May 30, 1980. Interview H-0247. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Paul and Pauline Griffith spent their working careers in the Judson Mill in Greenville, South Carolina. They offer an overview on conditions in the mill and how the work changed from the 1920s into the 1970s.

Oral History Interview with Lacy Wright, March 10, 1975. Interview E-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Lacy Wright worked for Cone Mills in Greensboro, North Carolina, for nearly fifty years, from the late 1910s at the age of twelve to the mid-1960s. He describes work in the textile industry, life in the mill villages, and the role of the labor movement in the southern textile industry during a large stretch of the twentieth century.

Oral History Interview with Josephine Glenn, June 27, 1977. Interview H-0022. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
During the course of her career, Josephine Glenn worked in several mills around Burlington, North Carolina, allowing her to compare the textile factories in Burlington and their various working environments. She covers many topics, including wartime production, the end of segregation, and the changing roles of women in the factories.

Oral History Interview with Emma Whitesell, July 27, 1977. Interview H-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Emma Whitesell recalls a lifetime of work in North Carolina textile mills.

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 Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen, May 11, 2006. Interview U-0098. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen recalls her community activist work and her service as a congressional liaison for Congressman Mel Watt. She assesses the tensions between lower-income and wealthier residents in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Clay East, September 22, 1973. Interview E-0003. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Clay East was a founding member of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. In this interview, he describes life in Tyronza, Arkansas, during the 1920s and 1930s; his conversion to socialism; his observation of the problems of tenant farmers and sharecroppers; and his role in the formation of the union during the early 1930s.

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mareda Sigmon Cobb and her sister Carrie Sigmon Yelton both worked long careers in North Carolina textile mills, completing the family journey from farm to factory in the early decades of the twentieth century. Here they describe their family lives both as children and parents, the many implications of the Depression, working conditions in the mills, religion, and other themes central to social and labor history. The economic and material realities of textile employment are explored in detail; each suffered a major injury on the job, neither favored unionization (though their husbands did), and neither received a pension.

Oral History Interview with Geddes Elam Dodson, May 26, 1980. Interview H-0240. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Geddes Dodson worked as a textile mill employee for sixty years. During that time, he progressed through the factory's employment hierarchy, seeing many different aspects of life within the mills. He often focuses on issues involving masculinity and unionism.

Oral History Interview with Nell Putnam Sigmon, December 13, 1979. Interview H-0143. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this 1979 interview, Nell Putnam Sigmon describes her upbringing in a large family, her decision at age eighteen to take a job sewing women's gloves, her work in the mill, and her experiences as wife and mother of two children.

Oral History Interview with Mildred Price Coy, April 26, 1976. Interview G-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mildred Price Coy discusses the development of her egalitarian ideals, her involvement in various justice movements during the twentieth century, and the societal changes she witnessed.

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 Don West, January 22, 1975. Interview E-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Activist, leftist, poet, and ordained minister Don West remembers a lifetime of union and civil rights activism.

Oral History Interview with Vesta and Sam Finley, July 22, 1975. Interview H-0267. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."