Results (most relevant first)
Eulalie Salley, a suffragist from South Carolina, describes the effort of American suffragists to bring about the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the issues that mobilized male and female supporters of women's suffrage, important leaders in the movement, and the issues facing women today.
Julia Virginia Jones traces the development of her professional career, which culminated in a federal judgeship. She illuminates the impact her gender had on her growth in the legal field.
Mary Turner Lane was the first director of the women's studies program at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, she discusses the beginnings and the evolution of the women's studies program at UNC.
Bill Hull describes the social environment for gay men in Chapel Hill from the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Founder of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center Miriam Slifkin discusses the issue of rape within the context of the local women's movement in Orange County, North Carolina. The founding of the OCRCC was illustrative of growing tensions between feminism and anti-feminism in Orange County. The issue of rape is also situated more broadly within the context of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s, especially in relationship to legal changes, the formation of women's studies curriculum, and the relationship between local and national aspects of the movement.
English professor Margaret O'Connor discusses the formation of the women's studies department at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as some of the administrative and political issues she dealt with after its inception.
Guion Griffis Johnson, a southern sociologist who received her Ph.D. in sociology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1927, discusses the challenges she faced as she balanced career and family as a woman. Johnson describes women's changing roles in American society, and addresses her involvement in voluntary organizations, advances in birth control and abortion, and the evolving nature of marriage, divorce, and family.
Civil rights activist Suzanne Post speaks about what motivated her commitment to social justice. Though she is best known for her work to overcome race-based segregated education in Louisville and to launch Louisville's Metropolitan Housing Coalition, Post insists that her most important work centered on women's rights.
Sharon Rose Powell attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the mid-1960s, when the university began to admit women students in greater numbers. In this interview, she vividly recalls her experiences at UNC, focusing primarily on the
in loco parentis rules that gave the university permission to act as surrogate parents and her own role in challenging and removing many of those rules.
Frances Hogan was in charge of finding facilities, equipment, and competitions for the women's athletics program at the University of North Carolina from 1946 to the 1970s. She discusses how students and coaches worked around the limitations to plan their own tournaments and occasionally succeeded on the national level. She describes the change from club sports to NCAA division sports and the introduction of Title IX in the 1970s. The interview ends with her summary of why the program is successful.
Southern sociologist and civil rights activist Arthur Raper discusses his interactions with Jessie Daniel Ames and the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching during his tenure as the research director of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation from 1926 to 1939. Raper describes Ames as an effective but contentious leader.
The daughter of southern singer Lily May Ledford, Barbara Greenlief, recalls the life and career of her mother. Focusing primarily on her mother's years spent performing with the Coon Creek Girls, Greenlief describes her mother's working relationship with her manager, John Lair, and the ways in which she struggled to reconcile her desire for independence with her adherence to gender ideals of the day.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Ellen Gerber received her doctorate in physical education and taught in northern colleges before attending the School of Law at the University of North Carolina during the mid-1970s. After her graduation, she accepted a job with Legal Aid. She describes her careers in physical education and law and discusses in detail her advocacy of women's issues.
Before moving to North Carolina in 1999, Angela Brightfeather spent most of her life in Syracuse, New York, where she was actively involved in the transgender community. In this interview, Brightfeather describes her own transgender experience, variations in transgenderism, the history of transgender people, the relationship of transgender people to the GLBT community, and her activist work for transgender rights in North Carolina.
Southern writer, academic, and social activist Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin describes growing up in a family where the "Lost Cause" was heralded and her subsequent work towards promoting causes of social justice. In so doing, Lumpkin describes her work with the YWCA, her education, her career in academe, and her books
The Making of a Southerner and South in Progress.
Martha McKay, women's rights activist and Democratic Party member, describes the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in the North Carolina General Assembly in 1973. Focusing on the role of the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus (NCWPC) in lobbying for ratification of the amendment, McKay describes how the opposition successfully organized to defeat the amendment and how that defeat affected the NCWPC.
The first woman to serve in a cabinet-level position in North Carolina, Grace Jemison Rohrer first became involved in politics in the 1960s, organizing the Republican Party in Forsyth County, North Carolina. Rohrer later joined forces with Democratic women in order to establish the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus (NCWPC) in 1971. In 1973, Governor James Holshouser appointed her to serve as the Secretary of Cultural Resources. Throughout the 1970s, Rohrer advocated for women to have a more active role in politics, and she actively supported the Equal Rights Amendment.
Willie Snow Ethridge discusses her career as a writer in the South and her efforts to combine work with family and marriage. In addition, she describes growing up in Georgia, gender expectations in the South, and her work in the anti-lynching movement.
Marguerite Tolbert worked throughout her life as an educator in South Carolina public schools and universities for adult education. She describes her education and high school graduation through stories from her book,
South Carolina's Distinguished Women from Laurens County. She recounts how she earned a scholarship to Winthrop College and met her teaching colleagues Wil Lou Gray and Dr. D. B. Johnson; describes local activism for women's suffrage between 1914 and 1920; and recalls encounters with leaders, including President Hoover and Jane Addams. She concludes by discussing the controversy at Winthrop College over a discrepancy in female teachers' salaries.
Mabel Pollitzer was born Charleston, South Carolina, in 1885. After graduating from Columbia University in 1906, she returned to Charleston to teach biology at Memminger, an all-girls school. Pollitzer describes her involvement in the women's suffrage movement, her perception of politicians and women's rights leaders, and her civic work within the community of Charleston.
Patricia Long became an active member of Pullen Baptist Church, known for its progressive social activism, during the late 1980s. She describes how her involvement with Pullen allowed her to come to terms with her own lesbian sexuality and details the process by which Pullen decided to sanction holy unions between gay and lesbian couples.
A pioneer in women's education and women in law, Kathrine Robinson Everett describes what it was like to attend law school in the early twentieth century. In the 1920s, Everett practiced law in Cumberland County and worked to register women to vote after the passage of the 19th Amendment. Following her marriage in 1928, Everett worked alongside her husband, supporting his legal and political career; became involved in local politics in Durham; and worked with various women's organizations.
Mabel Pollitzer describes her involvement in the women's suffrage movement in Charleston, South Carolina. In particular, Pollitzer describes the leadership role of Susan Pringle Frost within the movement, the split between the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman's Party in the 1910s, and her perception of various leaders within the movement in South Carolina.
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.
Beginning with her family background and early childhood, Adamson traces the dynamics that led her to adopt her radical stance later in life. She also responds to the accusations that she had been a Communist spy and explains how the Red Scare affected her life.
Kay Yow, a pioneering women's basketball coach, discusses her childhood in Gibsonville, North Carolina, and her early experiences playing basketball. She discusses her experiences as a coach, her philosophy of leadership, and the challenges facing women's athletics.
Bishop John Thomas Moore Jr. describes the conflict between God and the devil in his life and the in life of the African American community in Durham, North Carolina.
Geraldine Ray has lived in Barnardsville, North Carolina, nearly her entire life. In this interview, she describes growing up on her family's farm, attending all-black schools, and caring for sick relatives and friends. She describes racial segregation as a problem that seemed less difficult to avoid than segregation and prejudice between local black residents. Geraldine learned several essential skills of farm life from her grandmother and then used them to support the family through illness. The interview concludes with a description of her husband—a childhood friend—and how they chose to raise their children.
Gladys Avery Tillett was an advocate for women's suffrage during the early twentieth century and a participant in both state and national politics from the 1920s into the 1950s. In this interview, she describes her education, her work with the League of Women Voters, and her experiences as a leader in the National Democratic Party.
Born in 1895, Lucy Somerville Howorth was born and raised in Mississippi. An activist for women's rights from an early age, Howorth was actively involved in the campaign for women's suffrage before she became a lawyer, a judge, and a politician. She describes her involvement in numerous women's organizations, her perceptions of the women who led those organizations, and their evolution over the years.
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.
Mill workers Carl and Mary Thompson describe their experiences as skilled employees and active members of their local communities.
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.
Rosamonde R. Boyd shares her observations on women's activism in the early twentieth century.
Louise Cole, a devout Mormon, discusses her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland, and her education in microbiology and biochemistry at Brigham Young University in the mid-1960s. In 1977, Cole settled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her family. In the late 1980s, she became actively involved in Putting Children First, a group concerned with issues in school curriculum such as multiculturalism and sex education and its impact on their children.
Born in 1934 to tenant farmers in North Carolina, Ethelene McCabe Allen focuses on describing family dynamics that shaped her childhood, paying particular attention to her parents' relationship with each other and with their children.
Adele Clark was a founding member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia and the League of Women Voters. In this interview, she describes how the suffrage movement unfolded in Virginia, discussing the successes as well as the obstacles suffragettes faced during their struggle.
Southern novelist Harriette Arnow discusses what it was like to grow up in Kentucky during the 1910s and 1920s. The teacher-turned-writer focuses especially on her family relationships, her experiences in school and in teaching, her goals as a writer, and her views on marriage and family.
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 explains her motivations to become involved in the political arena and discusses some of the political campaigns she has been associated with, including her own.
Virginia Foster Durr discusses her early life and how she became aware of the social justice problems plaguing twentieth-century America. In this first part of a three-interview series, Durr describes her life on the plantation when she was a child; race issues in Birmingham, where she grew up; and how her views began to change when she left Birmingham to attend Wellesley College.
The daughter of tenant farmers during the 1930s and 1940s, Ethelene McCabe Allen reflects on her family history in this interview, paying particular attention to her maternal and paternal grandparents, her parents' childhood experiences, and her own relationship with extended family during her childhood in North Carolina.
Martha McKay was actively involved in student politics at the University of North Carolina before her graduation with a degree in economics in 1941. Here, McKay describes her active involvement in Terry Sanford's gubernatorial campaign, the Democratic Party, and the women's rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s. She discusses her role as a founding member of the North Carolina Women's Political Caucus, the need for effective leadership and organization for women's rights, and the progress women have made in politics.
Kanwal Rahman, who arrived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from Bangladesh in 1991 to study public health, describes her enduring connection to her homeland and her struggle to adjust to the American way of life.
Josephine Dobbs Clement talks about her various civic roles, including her activity as a member of the League of Women Voters, the Durham City-County Charter Commission, the Board of Education, and the Board of County Commissioners. She also discusses her efforts on behalf of social justice and her views on race, gender, and environmental issues.
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.
Ellen Black Winston was born and raised in North Carolina. She received her doctorate in sociology in 1930. Actively involved in issues of social welfare in North Carolina, Winston was appointed as the North Carolina Commissioner of Public Welfare in 1944 and went on to become the first United States Commissioner of Welfare in 1963. In this interview, she describes problems and opportunities for professional women, her goals to improve standards of social welfare in North Carolina, and her work with various branches of government.
During the mid-1970s, Gemma Ziegler became a nurse in Louisville, Kentucky, and joined the campaign to organize nurses. In this interview, she discusses her experiences as a nurse; her work as an organizer for We're Involved in Nursing (WIN); her role in the founding of the Nurses Professional Organization (NPO); and the NPO's various activities from the late 1980s into the early twenty-first century.
Adetola Hassan, a British citizen of Nigerian descent, was a freshman student at Duke University at the time of this interview in 2001. In the interview, she discusses her Mormon faith, focusing on tensions surrounding Mormonism in the South as well as issues related to gender and race within the church.
Longtime Chapel Hill, North Carolina, city councilman Joseph A. Herzenberg describes his experiences as a gay man in a southern town.
Margaret Kennedy Goodwin grew up in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. In this interview, she describes a thriving African American community in Durham, one that she views as having suffered at the hands of urban renewal during the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, she describes her educational aspirations and her career as a technician in the radiology laboratory at Durham's Lincoln Hospital.
Civil rights activist and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) mentor Ella Josephine Baker outlines her family history, traces her growing radical tendencies, and explains the catalysts that pushed her into public activism. In this interview she discusses her work not only with SNCC, but also with the Workers' Education Project, the Cooperative League, and the NAACP.
Josephine Wilkins was born in Athens, Georgia, in 1893. In the 1920s, she became increasingly interested in issues of social justice. In the 1930s, she became the president of the Georgia chapter of the League of Women Voters and helped to found the Citizens' Fact Finding Movement. In addition she describes her involvement and perception of such organizations as the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, the Commission of Interracial Cooperation, and the Southern Regional Council.
Emily S. MacLachlan grew up in the early twentieth century in Jackson, Mississippi, in a family that advocated relatively progressive ideas about race. MacLachlan describes her mother's efforts to balance family life with social activism (specifically with the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching), her own academic endeavors, and her advocacy of civil rights and radical politics during the 1930s.
Kathrine Robinson Everett recalls a career as a trailblazing female lawyer and women's rights activist.
Louise Pointer Morton describes life in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early twentieth century. In addition to describing social gatherings and living conditions, Morton speaks at length about her formerly enslaved grandmother's role in the founding of the Jonathon (Johnson) Creek Church, alluding to the centrality of religion as a preeminent social institution within southern African American communities.
Grace Aycock briefly describes her childhood and her education in North Carolina during the 1920s and 1930s. Most of the interview is dedicated to a discussion of Aycock's life with her husband, William Aycock, chancellor of the University of North Carolina (1957-1964). She also discusses her husband's decision to return to teaching, her pursuit of a master's degree in social work, and her battle with multiple sclerosis.
Miriam Bonner Camp describes growing up in Washington, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century, focusing specifically on her mother's strong influence, opportunities for women in the community, and race relations. She moved to California in 1909, and received degrees in English education from Berkeley. She describes coeducational life in college, her experiences teaching at North Carolina College for Women in the 1920s, and her involvement in the women worker education programs in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
University of North Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance reflects on his teams' remarkable successes and his career as a male coach of a women's team.
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.
Annie Mack Barbee describes her life as a worker in the segregated Liggett & Myers tobacco factories, and discusses how gender, class and race affected her life and the choices she made.
Carrie Lee Gerringer describes what it was like to work in the textile mills in Bynum, North Carolina, from the 1920s into the post-World War II years. She discusses growing up in a working class family, focusing especially on balancing family and work. Married at sixteen, Gerringer worked in the textile mills throughout her adult life, struggling to make ends meet while raising six children.
Bonnie Cone describes her career as an educator in South Carolina and North Carolina during the first half of the twentieth century. After teaching at Duke University during World War II, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and became one of the primary personages behind the successful establishment of a university in that city.
Cecil W. Wooten, professor of Classics at the University of North Carolina, grew up in Kinston, North Carolina, in the 1940s and 1950s. He became aware at an early age that he was gay but was not exposed to an openly gay community until he became a graduate student at University of North Carolina during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He did not actively participate in that community until he returned to UNC as a professor in 1980. He describes his work in the gay rights movement at UNC and describes Chapel Hill as a relatively tolerant community.
Guion Griffis Johnson was among the first generation of female professional historians and a pioneer of social history. In this interview, she discusses the work she did for Dr. Howard Odum of the University of North Carolina sociology department from 1923 until 1934. She also describes the research she did on St. Helena's Island and on antebellum North Carolina while working toward her Ph.D. She explains how she lost her job at the University of North Carolina in 1930 but continued to work until she and her husband transferred to Baylor College in 1934.
South Carolinian Edith Mitchell Dabbs discusses her family history as well that of her husband's family, which owned the Rip Raps Plantation. In addition, she describes the work she and her husband, James McBride Dabbs, did in advocating for racial justice during the 1940s and 1950s, their evolving views about race and race relations, and her involvement with the United Church Women.
William E. White Jr. describes his encounters with religion, race, and sexuality.
Cornelia Spencer Love, granddaughter of Cornelia Phillips Spencer and sister of Burlington Industries founder J. Spencer Love, discusses her long relationship with the University of North Carolina, the town of Chapel Hill, and its black community.
Naomi Elizabeth Morris grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. After graduating from college in the early 1940s, she worked as a legal secretary before attending the School of Law at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. One of the only women to graduate with her class in 1955, Morris practiced law for twelve years before becoming one of the original judges to serve on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
Letha Ann Sloan Osteen discusses how farming and mill work affected the mobility, size, health, and activities of families from about 1900 to the 1930s.
Ran Kong, who immigrated to the United States from Cambodia at a young age, reflects on her life as a Cambodian-American and on her immigrant identity.
Granville County, North Carolina, resident Floyd Alston and his mother, Ethel Thorpe Alston, remember their lives in the area in an interview that touches on, among other topics, racial identity and the struggles of post-emancipation African Americans to find economic and social security.
Margaret Edwards grew up in a large African American sharecropping family in Ayden, North Carolina, during the 1950s and 1960s. She eventually settled in the Raleigh area. Following her experiences with the Baptist and Pentecostal Holiness churches, she converted to Mormonism in 1998. In this interview, she discusses her role within the Mormon Church as an African American woman; the intersections between race, gender, and religion; and the attitude of other denominations toward Mormonism.
Ian Thomas Palmquist describes his work in advocating for awareness and tolerance for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender sexualities. Palmquist "came out" to his friends and family while a high school student in Raleigh, North Carolina during the early 1990s when he became involved in his first protest. In addition, Palmquist explains his work with B-GLAD and QNC at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his work with Equality NC PAC following his graduation.
Mary T. Mathew, an immigrant from India and an assistant professor at North Carolina Central University at the time of this interview, describes her successful assimilation into American culture and its effects on her family.
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.
John Broadus Mitchell grew up in a family that held to liberal politics and believed in community involvement. Educated as an economic historian, Mitchell conducted extensive research on the establishment of the cotton textile industry in the South following the Civil War. In the 1920s and 1930s, he advocated for labor rights, spoke out against racial violence, and socialist politics.
Florence Dillahunt describes growing up on a small tobacco farm near Grifton, North Carolina, during the 1930s and 1940s. Dillahunt's family were victims of the extensive flooding that Hurricane Floyd brought to eastern North Carolina in 1999. She describes the devastating impact on their farm and their personal lives.
Sociologist Olive Stone describes her work as the dean of Huntingdon College from 1929 to 1934, her doctoral work at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1934 to 1936, and her work in radical politics and for social justice during the 1930s. In addition, Stone speaks at length about her life as a single woman, both professionally and socially.
Septima Clark served as a board member and education director for the Highlander Folk School and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1950s and 1960s. She links her activism to the memory of her parents' struggles with poverty and racism. She also describes how community relations functioned within the NAACP and SCLC. Her plans for increasing community involvement, protecting the labor rights of black teachers, and educating black voters were often ignored because she was female. She discusses why these types of gender roles persisted in the SCLC and the role of leaders in the black community.
Zeno Ponder is one of the most respected and influential leaders of Madison County, North Carolina. This interview begins with his descriptions of his family's activities in the area and local political traditions. Ponder briefly describes his experiences at local schools, including Mars Hill College. Ponder became involved in local politics through a training program and his brother's campaign for sheriff.
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.
Serena Henderson Parker, born in 1923, remembers the rural North Carolina of her childhood.
Anne Queen spent ten years working for the Champion Paper and Fibre Company in North Carolina before continuing her education at Berea College and Yale Divinity School during the 1940s. In this interview, she describes her life as a worker, her advocacy of social justice causes, her experiences in higher education, and her work at University of Georgia, with the Friends Service Committee, and the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina.
Louise Riggsbee Jones describes life and work in Bynum, North Carolina, a cotton mill town, during the first half of the twentieth century. Jones discusses the role of religion, marriage, and family in her life and in the community. In addition, she describes working as a winder in the cotton mill, focusing on such issues as work conditions, gender, balancing work and family, relationships between workers, and workers' benefits.
Margaret Kessee-Forrester, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, became the first woman from Guilford County elected to the North Carolina General Assembly. She describes her experiences as a woman serving in the state legislature during the 1970s and 1980s, her involvement in the women's movement, and her stance as a moderate Republican.
Ruth Dial Woods describes growing up as a Lumbee Indian in Robeson County, North Carolina, in the 1930s and 1940s. During the 1960s, Woods participated in the civil rights and women's liberation movements. In 1985, she was appointed to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, where she worked to promote equality for minority students.
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.
James and Nannie Pharis both began working in the cotton mills of Spray, North Carolina, as children during the turn of the twentieth century. In this interview, which focuses primarily on Nannie Pharis, they discuss working conditions, family life, community gatherings, and foodways in a southern community that merged industrial and agricultural lifestyles.
Durham, North Carolina, resident Josephine Turner reflects on her struggle to leave behind a life of poverty.
George and Tessie Dyer discuss their jobs in Charlotte cotton mills and their lives outside of work. They describe their childhood and the work their parents and grandparents did. They recall the parties and social events that their friends participated in after work. The interview ends with their observations about local union activity.
This interview with Dr. Guy B. Johnson, sociology professor and author, focuses on his work as the first executive director of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and as a member of the North Carolina Committee for Interracial Cooperation. Johnson discusses the role that women and church groups played in the Interracial Commission, describes the debate over issues such as segregation among SRC members, and outlines the conflict between SRC leaders and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare.
John Wesley Snipes recalls his childhood in rural Chatham County, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century.
Martha Cooley describes her childhood in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early part of the twentieth century.
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.
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.
Raleigh Bailey describes his work with Southeast Asian immigrant groups in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Patience Dadzie immigrated to the United States of America from Ghana in 1991. In this interview, she describes her life in Ghana, her conversion to Mormonism, and her thoughts on practicing Mormonism in the American South in the 1990s.
Roger Gant explains the professional and personal activities of his father-in-law, Everett Jordan, Democratic United States Senator from North Carolina. Gant discusses how he became involved with Jordan's textile mill and how Jordan structured his business. Jordan's skill at relating to people helped him in business and in politics. Gant focuses on a few of Jordan's political successes, including the way he helped Lyndon Johnson before his presidential bid.
Former governor of North Carolina Terry Sanford lauds the leadership of Anne Queen, director of the YMCA/YWCA at the University of North Carolina. In addition, Sanford discusses his advocacy of the civil rights movement and argues that UNC was a particularly powerful force for social change during the mid-twentieth century.
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.
Julia Peaks de-Heer describes her childhood in both Stagville and Durham, North Carolina, focusing primarily on her experiences living on Hopkins Street during the 1950s. Throughout the interview, themes of community solidarity, decline, and improvement dominate, with an emphasis on de-Heer's activities with the Greater Zion Wall Church in later years.
Isabella Cannon was the first woman mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. Elected in 1977, at the age of 73, the "old lady who wore tennis shoes" was a staunch advocate for community growth and revitalization. During her tenure, she worked to push through the Long Range Comprehensive Plan, to reconcile tensions between the city and the police and fire departments, strengthen the relationship between the city and the state, and to revitalize the downtown area.
Eva Hopkins worked in a cotton mill from the 1930s until 1952 and recalls various aspects of millwork, union activity, social activities, and life in the mill villages.
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.
Hoy Deal recalls his youth and young manhood in rural North Carolina, including stints at lumber mills and glove factories, two industries that, along with textiles, were a vital part of the state's economy in early twentieth century.
Jessie Streater describes Mormon belief and practice and shares her thoughts on the place of African Americans in the Mormon religion.
William and Josephine Clement were both born and raised in the South. They describe their family backgrounds and education. Josephine focuses on race relations in Atlanta and her father's radical politics, while William describes his participation with the Masons and his work with North Carolina Mutual.
Grace Towns Hamilton was raised in Atlanta, where both of her parents were involved in community service and issues of social justice. Following family tradition, Hamilton was an active participant in the YWCA during the 1920s, and during the 1940s and 1950s she was the director for Atlanta's Urban League. She describes her work with these organizations, focusing on issues of segregation, education, voter registration, and housing.
Born and raised in Oxford, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century, Lillian Taylor Lyons discusses her family history, her education, and her career as a teacher. Lyons also speaks at length about race relations in Oxford, arguing that Oxford was especially "forward-looking" in comparison to other southern communities.
In this fast-paced 1975 interview, Virginia Foster Durr remembers her growing awareness of social problems in the South, and continues sharing her life stories through 1948. Along with her husband Clifford Durr, Virginia recounts their move to Washington, D.C., particularly her disaffection with social society and her transition to political action.
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.
James Folsom served as the governor of Alabama for two terms in the 1940s, during which time he worked to change racial politics and improve the plight of black Americans. As governor, he opposed the poll tax, appealed for reapportionment of state funding, and avoided campaign slogans and gimmicks based on racist rhetoric. He describes how he developed liberal ideas on race and why he believed that race was no longer a viable political issue in the South.
George Elmore discusses a life that took him from farm labor to mill management in rural North Carolina.
George Miller describes his career as a black administrator in desegregated schools.
Martha W. Evans was already an active participant in Charlotte, North Carolina, politics when she was elected as a state legislator in 1962. In this interview, she describes local and state politics as they related to the great physical and economic growth Charlotte experienced from the late 1950s into the 1970s.
Academic and Carter cabinet member Juanita Kreps describes her career as an economist and as an early proponent of women's rights.
Eunice Austin remembers her life in Catawba County, North Carolina, focusing on her many years working in the textile and furniture industries.
Jane Squires describes building a career as a tobacco auctioneer, a male-dominated profession.
Alice Grogan Hardin remembers her early years in the rural Greenville County, South Carolina, on the farm and at the mill.
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.
Kathryn Killian and her sister Blanche Bolick recall their upbringing near Conover, North Carolina, and their careers making gloves.
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.
Renowned southern sociologist Guion Griffis Johnson discusses her education, her work with the Institute for Research in Social Sciences, her participation in the Carnegie-Myrdal Study of the Negro in America, and the challenges of being a woman academic during the 1920s and 1930s. Throughout the interview, she emphasizes the challenges and experiences of academics with progressive views of race and gender during that era.
This is the final interview in a series of three with Virginia Foster Durr. Since the previous session, Clifford Durr had died, making the interview feel very different from the two in which he had taken part. The interview begins with Durr's growing awareness of racial matters and her activism during their life among the New Dealers in Washington, D.C. Among the topics she touches on are the anti-communism of the 1950s, sexual discrimination on Capitol Hill, and the southern reaction to Roosevelt's New Deal policies.
Louise Riggsbee Jones describes growing up in the cotton mill town of Bynum, North Carolina, during the early twentieth century. She discusses her family and household economy, the role of religion in the community, her experiences in school, her work as a spinner in the cotton mill, and the different ways in which people received medical care in this small mill community.
Elva Templeton remembers her childhood in historic Cary, North Carolina.
Patricia Neal settled in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1950s and became an active member of the community. Having served on the Durham County Board of Education from the late 1960s through the 1980s, Neal describes the process of integration and its impact on Durham schools and on the community.
Mars Hill, North Carolina, town manager Darhyl Boone fondly remembers his childhood in Madison County but worries that small-town values are being eroded by development.
Ralph Waldo Strickland grew up on an Alabama farm before joining the navy and later making a career with the Seaboard Railroad. He offers a range of recollections concerning his childhood in the rural South, his encounters with the Roosevelts following their relocation in 1921 to Hot Springs, Georgia, and life as a railroad worker and union member.
Millie Tripp describes her career at the White Furniture Factory, focusing on weathering a merger and a plant closing.
Edna Yandell Hargett describes life and work in North Charlotte, a mill village in Charlotte, North Carolina. Focusing primarily on the 1920s through the 1940s, Hargett discusses her work as a weaver in North Charlotte textile mills. In addition, she explains in detail how textile mill workers functioned like "one big family" both at work and in the community.
Ethel Marshall Faucette describes the working environment and social life of the Glencoe mill town in Burlington, North Carolina. Faucette worked at Glencoe Mill from 1915 to 1954 and she explains the changes to workers' lives over her decades of employment.
George Watts Hill was a prominent business leader in the Durham area during the twentieth century. He offers his perspective on the changing nature of business and its impact on the community. In particular, he describes his business endeavors in such areas as banking, insurance, land development, dairy farming, and public service.
Clyda Coward, joined by her daughter Debra and other family members, reflects on her childhood in rural North Carolina and the state of the small community of Tick Bite in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.
North Carolina doctor Carroll Lupton recalls his days practicing medicine in the mill town of Burlington, North Carolina. Focusing primarily on the 1930s, Lupton talks about providing medical care to poor mill workers. Lupton emphasizes medical treatment for pregnant women, treatment of venereal disease, and popular medical remedies of the day.
Nancy Palm was the chairperson of the Republican Party in Harris County, Texas, during the 1960s and 1970s. She describes her own transition from liberal to conservative in the 1950s, the importance of political organization to the evolution of the Republican Party in Texas, her perception of women's liberation, and the role of such politicians as John G. Tower, John Connally, George Bush, and Richard Nixon in the rise of southern conservatism.
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.
Bishop Paul Hardin helped bring about racial integration of the United Methodist denomination in the 1960s. He recalls several points in his long ministry career when white and black pastors opposed his efforts to move ministers to other districts, accept church members of other races, and dissolve the Black Methodist district. Supportive church members helped him withstand criticism of his personal stance, even when he faced pressure from conservative ministers on one side and Martin Luther King on the other.
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.
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.
In this second part of an extensive two-part interview series, Viola Turner discusses race relations in Durham and her experiences working for North Carolina Mutual. Turner offers vivid and detailed anecdotes that reveal the intricate social and professional network of Durham, primarily in the 1920s and 1930s.
John W. Snipes grew up in an agricultural family during the early twentieth century and worked on a farm, in a cotton mill, and in the timber industry. He offers a unique perspective on various industries, and he describes in vivid detail various aspects of workers' lives and culture.
John Harris, longtime cab driver and businessman in Greensboro, North Carolina, describes his community in the context of race and redevelopment.
Jean Fairfax first moved to the South in 1942, where she became involved with the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen for several years. Fairfax describes the goals and activities of the Fellowship, discusses the role of leadership in the Fellowship, and draws connections between her work with the Fellowship in the 1940s and her later involvement with the civil rights movement from the late 1950s on.
Leslie Thorbs describes growing up in a tenant farming family in eastern North Carolina, during the 1920s and 1930s. Thorbs describes his experiences with poverty, farming, factory work, race relations, and family life. He concludes the interview by discussing the devastating impact of Hurricane Floyd's flooding on his family and his community.
Strom Thurmond discusses his childhood and the people who inspired his long political career. As an attorney, judge, and governor, Thurmond advocated for states' rights and witnessed the desegregation of South Carolina. He recounts how he lived out his values in regard to the United States Constitution and race relations.
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."
Frank Durham discusses how his family first came to work in the mills and describes other people they got to know there. He describes the inner workings of the mill, the ways management negotiated labor complaints with the employees, the social structure of the mill village, and the commonalities of mill town life.
Southern labor organizer Eula McGill explains her views on leadership in the labor movement and the role of workers' education. After rising through the ranks of the labor movement during the Great Depression, McGill continued to work actively to organize workers from the 1940s to the 1970s. She describes in detail various labor campaigns and strikes in the South, as well as her work with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union and other labor organizations.
Christine Galliher describes life and work in Elizabethton, Tennessee, during the late 1920s through the 1940s. She also discusses their participation in the 1929 walk-out strike at the Bermberg and Glantzstoff textile mills; Christine's attendance of the Southern Summer School for women workers; life during the Great Depression; and balancing work and family.
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.
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.
Barbara Lorie describes her experiences and teaching philosophy as a teacher at newly integrated, racially charged schools in North Carolina.
Ethel Bowman Shockley and her daughter Hazel Shockley Cannon describe life and work in the mill town of Glen Raven, North Carolina. Shockley worked at the Plaid Mill from 1927 to 1964; she describes how working conditions changed through the Depression, World War II, and the postwar years.
Thomas Henderson was born in Brookneal, Virginia, a small, tobacco farming community. He later became a tobacco buyer in Greenville, North Carolina. Focusing on the tobacco industry in the 1930s and 1940s, Henderson explains the establishment of gradation policies for the tobacco industry as a New Deal reform measure, the process of buying and selling tobacco at auction, and changes in tobacco farming.
In this interview, Jonathan Daniels discusses his father's role as a newspaper editor and Secretary of the Navy, as well as his father's racial and religious views. Daniels also describes how race and the University of North Carolina shaped his own life.
Former North Carolina Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott recalls his early life and describes his ascent from the lieutenant governorship to the governor's mansion.
Ebson V. Dacons recounts his career as a black administrator of segregated and desegregated public high schools in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
State representative Edith Warren describes the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd in Pitt County, North Carolina.
Asa T. Spaulding, the first African American actuary in North Carolina and former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, recalls his early life and weighs his contributions to the insurance business and society at large.
Nancy Kester Neale remembers her father, Howard "Buck" Kester, who founded the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and held leadership positions in the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen and the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice.
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.
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.
In this interview, Richard Lee Hoffman Jr., a real estate broker in Mars Hill, North Carolina, describes his response to the growth ushered in by the construction of the I-26 corridor.
Taylor Barnhill, an environmental activist concerned about the effects of development on communities, describes his rural childhood and its impact on his adult life.
Roy Ham tells stories and sings his way through an interview that reveals more about Ham the character than it does about the industrializing South.
Lifelong textile worker Eula McGill shares her thoughts on the benefits of Alabama textile unions.
Lloyd and Betty Parker Davidson grew up in Danville, Virginia, during the 1910s and 1920s. After establishing themselves as weavers in Danville, they moved to Burlington, North Carolina, in 1932 to work at the Plaid Mill. In this interview, they describe their experiences as weavers, focusing especially on working conditions in the 1930s and 1940s.
I. Beverly Lake Sr. reflects on his long career as a teacher, attorney, and judge. He counsels white political unity as a means to stem racial integration.
Arthur Little describes glove making from his perspective as the owner of a glove mill in Newton, North Carolina.
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.
Mary Robertson offers an insider's view of the organized labor movement in western North Carolina.
Thomas Jackson White Jr. describes his leadership on the State Art Museum Building Commission and his career as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry in North Carolina.
Kay Tillow discusses her career as a labor activist, describing her early work in social justice movements of the 1960s and with Local 1199 in Pennsylvania during the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1980s, Tillow returned to her home state of Kentucky, where she worked closely with the Nurses Professional Organization (NPO) as a representative of the Association of Machinists, who sponsored the NPO in their initial effort to organize Louisville nurses. She continued her work with the NPO towards achieving bargaining power into the early twenty-first century.
Wilbur Hobby describes growing up impoverished in Durham, North Carolina, during the Great Depression and his eventual involvement in the labor movement. Employed by the American Tobacco Company after World War II, he became an active member of the union and eventually became a leader in such organizations as the Voters for Better Government and the Committee on Political Education.
Roy Lee Auton reflects on a string of jobs and a string of wives in this engaging interview.
Dock Hall recalls his laboring life, focusing on his years as a miner.
Johnnie Jones remembers his fifty-year career at the Pomona Terra Cotta Factory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
This is the third interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt discusses changes in the faculty of the UNC School of Law and the student body, paying particular attention to issues of race, gender, and student involvement in community affairs.
Icy Norman recalls her long working life, most of which was spent at a textile mill in Burlington, North Carolina.
Pediatrician James Slade and his wife, Catherine, discuss their experience of race and medicine in Edenton, North Carolina.
Harriet Herring, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, recalls her efforts to study labor at North Carolina mill towns in the first half of the twentieth century.
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.
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.
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.
Henry Frye grew up in a segregated farming community in North Carolina during the 1930s and 1940s before becoming a lawyer. He went on to become the first African American elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and to serve on the state supreme court. In this interview, he describes race relations, his career as a lawyer, and his experiences in politics.
Alester G. Furman Jr. describes his family's involvement in the founding of Furman University in the early 1800s, his father's role in the establishment of the textile industry in Greenville, South Carolina, and the evolution of the textile industry over the course of the early twentieth century.
Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch remembers her childhood in an African American neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida, and her experiences with segregation and development.
Flake and Nellie Meyers describe what it was like to live and work in and around Conover, North Carolina, during the early to mid-twentieth century. As a worker in various furniture companies and as the foreman at the Southern Desk Company, Flake Meyers describes in vivid detail the various kinds of skills involved in furniture making, the role of machinery in the industry, and workplace relationships. Nellie Meyers similarly describes the kinds of family labor systems and social customs that shaped their lives.
Elizabeth Brown, a white teacher who taught at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Alabama, describes desegregation and its legacies in her city.
Activist and politician Eva Clayton describes her years of service in and out of politics in Warren County, North Carolina.
Albert Gore Sr. reviews the history leading up to his senatorial career, concentrating on his rural upbringing and his early political experiences. He also reflects on his impressions of other important politicians he knew, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, Estes Kefauver, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Gordon Berkstresser III shares the fruits of his study of the textile industry.
James Atwater discusses life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1950s. He describes the black community, the impact of segregation on schools and neighborhoods, and experiences of African American staff at the university.
Paul Cline remembers mill work as a violent, unhealthy profession.
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's governor from 1973 to 1977, reflects on his term, the Republican Party, and North Carolina politics.
Margaret Carter, the "grand dame of liberal Texas politics," reflects on how she and her husband became interested in politics, what she learned through her political experiences, the ways the state's political structure changed from the New Deal era through the late 1950s, and the character of various state politicians.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
Joseph Pedigo was an active participant and leader in the labor movement among textile workers in the South during the 1930s and 1940s. In this interview, he describes his role in the formation of a local union at American Viscose in Roanoke, Virginia, and his work with the Textile Workers Union of America towards organizing textile workers throughout the South.
J. Carlyle Sitterson discusses his tenure as University of North Carolina chancellor during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the difficult balance he struck between the Board of Trustees and the student body on issues of student rights.
Emma Whitesell recalls a lifetime of work in North Carolina textile mills.
A black sharecropper's daughter discusses her difficult upbringing on the farm and the many stories of slavery on which she was raised.
Lawrence Ridgle describes his childhood in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1930s and his belief that urban renewal of the 1960s and 1970s ultimately worked to the detriment of African Americans. In this interview—the first of two—he emphasizes the changing nature of the African American community in Durham during his lifetime.
This is the first interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt discusses his family history, his early legal career, his work in defending liberals against the House Un-American Activities Committee during the early McCarthy years, and his brief tenure as a law professor at the University of Arkansas.
Ella Baker was an instrumental figure in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In this interview, she offers a candid analysis of the formation of those organizations and an insider's perspective on the role of and interactions between various civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr.
A two-term member of the Texas state legislature, Frances Farenthold describes reform efforts in Texas politics during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition, Farenthold talks about what she perceives as a decline in overt racism during the post-World War II years, the role of women, and other demographic and sociocultural changes in Texas politics.
Samuel and Leonia Farrar remember a lifetime of hard work in rural and urban North Carolina.
Jerry Plemmons, a lifetime Madison County resident and energy conservation consultant, discusses the influence of development, particularly highway construction, on the town of Marshall, North Carolina.
Reverend William W. Finlator speaks about his Christian devotion to racial and economic justice and his fear that the modern-day mingling of religion and politics is polluting both.
Viola Turner, who served as treasurer of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, describes her childhood in Macon, Georgia, and her experiences in Durham, North Carolina. In remembering her life experiences in the early twentieth century, she focuses particularly on education, race relations, the importance of skin color, and segregation in business and leisure activities in the South.
Lyman Johnson traces his lifelong pursuit of racial equality through his father's rejection of racial hierarchies, his experiences as an educated black Navy solder, his observations of racial violence, and his efforts to get equal pay and union representation for Louisville teachers.
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.
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.
Frank Gilbert recalls his laboring life in and around Conover, North Carolina.
Naomi Sizemore Trammel recalls her life as a textile mill worker in Greer, South Carolina.
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.
Septima Clark describes the work of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the late 1950s to mid 1960s, especially the community education programs that she directed for the SCLC and the Highlander Folk School. She rejoices in the new voters and civil rights legislation that resulted from their work but noticed drawbacks arising from prejudice against female leaders, disdain for the poor, and clashes in leadership styles.
Horace Kornegay was born and raised in North Carolina. He practiced law and became involved in local and state politics during the 1950s. In 1960, Kornegay was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives, where he worked closely with North Carolina Senator B. Everett Jordan to promote the interests of North Carolina textiles, tobacco, and furniture industries.
Gladys Harris grew up in a farming family during the 1910s and 1920s. In 1940, she went to work as an inspector and as a sewer in Gastonia, North Carolina, hosiery mills. Because her husband was unable to work, Harris was the chief earner for her family. She describes her experiences at work over the course of several decades.
Renee and Ashley Lee reminisce about life in White Stocking, North Carolina, and express frustration with the government's sluggish and bureaucracy-laden relief effort after Hurricane Floyd.
J. D. Thomas and his wife, Lela Rigsby Thomas, remember the Madison County, North Carolina, of their youth and describe the changes that have transformed the area since then.
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.
Daniel Duke was born in Palmetto, Georgia, in 1915 and became a lawyer during the 1930s. As the solicitor general of Fulton County in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Duke presided over a case against the Ku Klux Klan and their use of flogging as a terror tactic against both African Americans and whites.
Junior Johnson became a stock car racer during the early 1950s and participated in the exponential growth of that industry. He describes growing up in Wilkes County, North Carolina, his role in the evolution of NASCAR, and his business endeavors in poultry farming.
Anne Queen, director of the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina, discusses leftist student political groups at Chapel Hill during the 1950s and 1960s and the evolution of student activism into the 1970s. Additionally, she speaks more broadly about the role of radical politics in the South and offers her thoughts on the state of national politics at the time of the interview.
Cambodian-American Kong Phok describes his experiences at Guilford Mills in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Former Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott discusses his time in office, reflecting on subjects like the power of the governorship, his accomplishments and disappointments, and the effect of the job on his family.
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.
Junie Edna Kaylor Aaron remembers her long working life in the clothing industry in North Carolina.
Charles Adams was a teacher and coach in Wake County, North Carolina, during the 1960s before becoming the assistant director (and later the director) of the North Carolina High School Athletics Association. In addition, Adams's father was a leader in the effort to desegregate Wake County schools. Consequently, Adams offers an insider's perspective on the process of school desegregation, focusing specifically on Cary, North Carolina, as a pioneer and model for other local schools.
David R. Hayworth describes the history and business model of his family business, Hayworth Roll and Panel Company.
Clark Foreman worked in the Atlanta Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the Roosevelt Administration, and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare from the 1920s through the 1940s. This interview traces his efforts to provide equal social services and political rights for African Americans through these organizations and explains how he developed these goals. He also discusses his travels in Europe, his work with Black Mountain College and organized labor, and his criticism of the Red Scare.
Elizabeth Pearsall reflects on the role of her husband, Thomas Pearsall, in the North Carolina school desegregation plan. She also discusses her own efforts at fostering racial cooperation.
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.
Clarke Reed became the state chairman of the Republican Party in Mississippi during the mid-1960s, thus overseeing the growing prominence of the Republican Party in the South and the burgeoning importance of the South in national politics into the mid-1970s. In this interview, he describes his own political philosophy in relationship to southern conservatism and his perception of various Republican political leaders.
Alice Evitt describes her rural childhood and life as a millworker and mother in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century.
Lawrence Ridgle, a near-lifelong resident of Durham, North Carolina, discusses his family's work at the American Tobacco Company and his role of leadership in the newly integrated United States Army during the early 1950s. In addition, he discusses the changing nature of the African American community, focusing on perceived threats to its solidarity, and the impact of demographic changes, primarily the rapidly growing Latino community.
Gladys Irene Moser Hollar and her husband, Glenn Hollar, share recollections about work and rural life in the early twentieth century.
Raymond and Eunice English, along with their son and nephew, worry that Hurricane Floyd may have irreparably crippled the aging Duplin County, North Carolina, farming community.
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.
Ernest Seeman offers a critical assessment of life in Durham, North Carolina, during the late nineteenth century. Seeman spent his early career as a printer, first as his father's apprentice and later as sole proprietor of the Seeman Printery, and he discusses interactions between his family and the Duke family. In addition, Seeman explains his increasing radicalization as head of the Duke Press from 1925 to 1934, and briefly discusses his decision to become a writer in later years.
In the third of three interviews, four-term Democratic North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt assesses his leadership and the changes that occurred in the Democratic Party during his tenure.
Willie Mae Crews, the daughter of a sharecropper, was a teacher at Hayes High School, an African American school in Birmingham, Alabama, during the 1960s and 1970s. Crews describes Hayes as an excellent segregated school that did not benefit from the desegregation that began during the 1970-1971 school year.
Flossie Moore Durham fondly remembers mill work, the mill community, and her long life as a wife and mother in Bynum, North Carolina.
Margaret Skinner Parker recalls life in the mill town of Cooleemee, North Carolina, in the first half of the twentieth century, sharing recollections of fun and financial struggle.
Pentecostal pastor Bert Pickett provides a compelling description of the despair that accompanied Hurricane Floyd's devastation.
George Perkel evaluates the failure of unions in the post-World War II South.
Activist, leftist, poet, and ordained minister Don West remembers a lifetime of union and civil rights activism.
Diane English recalls her job experiences and quest for homeownership in Charlotte, North Carolina, beginning in the late 1960s. She also discusses her role as an activist for neighborhood safety and her fight to save her neighborhood from gentrification.
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.
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.
Nancy Holt, raised in North Carolina's Cane Creek community and a member of the Cane Creek Conservation Authority, discusses the reaction of the community when UNC and the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority attempted to build a reservoir in Cane Creek.
Earl and Mattie Bell Cavenaugh, both over 80, express concern with the erosion of moral values and discuss their frustrations with the government after Hurricane Floyd.
Investigative reporter John Seigenthaler discusses his early career as a journalist at
The Tennessean of Nashville during the 1950s, his work with Robert F. Kennedy during the 1960s, and his role as the editor of The Tennessean into the mid-1960s. Seigenthaler focuses on the unique nature of southern journalism and the homogenization of southern culture during the 1960s and 1970s.
Larry Kelley shares the details of a lifetime of farming and other rural work while discussing the hardships he and others faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.
Carolyn Farrar Rogers discusses how growing up in rural North Carolina sheltered her from racism and taught her the values of hard work and racial self-worth. These values served her well as a teacher during the early desegregation period.
Rita Jackson Samuels, coordinator of the Governor's Council on Human Relations in Atlanta, Georgia, describes her role in expanding the presence of African Americans in Georgia's state government.
Charles Jones led the First Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill as pastor in the late 1940s. He describes his education and ministry in this interview, the controversies during his time at the church, and his eventual expulsion.
Conrad Odell Pearson grew up in Durham, North Carolina. After obtaining his law degree at Howard School of Law in the early 1930s, Pearson returned to Durham, where he became actively involved in legal struggles against segregation in higher education. In this interview, he describes his participation in various civil rights activities, his perception of African American leaders James Shepard and C. C. Spaulding, and race relations in Durham.
Richard Bowman reflects on growing up in segregated Asheville, North Carolina, and facing racism during his employment with the army and the Los Angeles Department of Motor Vehicles. He also discusses his work to improve the current Asheville school district and rebuild his old high school. He lived in Los Angeles for four decades and experienced two major riots.
Sherwood Smith, chairman of the board of Carolina Power and Light, reflects on the energy business, and business in general, in North Carolina from the 1960s to the late 1990s.
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.
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.
Stan Hyatt, the North Carolina Department of Transportation's resident engineer on the I-26 project, misses the past but sees the corridor as a cure for Madison County's economic ills.
Barbara Hanks remembers her career at the White Furniture Company and the effects of the company's closing on her community in Mebane, North Carolina.
Robert Sidney Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, discusses the hosiery industry in North Carolina and the United States.
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.
David DeVries, who spent fifteen years at the Center for Creative Leadership, reflects on the organization's history and its contributions to leadership training.
Salter and Doris Cochran reflect on the many challenges that faced them in their efforts to desegregate medical care and public education in Weldon, North Carolina.
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.
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.
Virginius Dabney recounts his early experiences as a reporter for the
Richmond News Leader as well as his later stint as the editor of that newspaper. He also discusses his attitudes about the role of reporters in the political and social arenas, and his work with the Southern Regional Council.
Terry Sanford was a North Carolina governor and Democratic United States senator. This interview describes his political career since 1960, including his unsuccessful presidential runs and his term as president of Duke University.
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.