Documenting the American South Logo
Loading
Oral Histories Header
interview in the field

Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


Browse Collection by Theme

  Southern Women
    WOMEN AND WORK
      Discrimination and Bias

Results (most relevant first)

Oral History Interview with Gemma Ziegler, June 22, 2006. Interview U-0181. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Jane Squires, September 21, 2002. Interview R-0192. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Jane Squires describes building a career as a tobacco auctioneer, a male-dominated profession.

Oral History Interview with Guion Griffis Johnson, May 28, 1974. Interview G-0029-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Frances Hogan, May 23, 1991, and June 3, 1991. Interview L-0044. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Margaret Anne O'Connor, July 1, 1987. Interview L-0031. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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

Oral History Interview with Marguerite Tolbert, June 14, 1974. Interview G-0062. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Guion Griffis Johnson, August 19, 1974. Interview G-0029-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Isabella Cannon, Spring 1993. Interview G-0188. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Grace Jemison Rohrer, March 16, 1989. Interview C-0069. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Ellen W. Gerber, February 18 and March 24, 1992. Interview C-0092. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Sandra Kay Yow, June 22, 2005. Interview G-0244. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with William W. Finlator, April 19, 1985. Interview C-0007. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Arthur Little, December 14, 1979. Interview H-0132. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Arthur Little describes glove making from his perspective as the owner of a glove mill in Newton, North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Margaret Kennedy Goodwin, September 26, 1997. Interview R-0113. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Letha Ann Sloan Osteen, June 8, 1979. Interview H-0254. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Barbara Greenlief, April 27, 1996. Interview R-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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 Bonnie E. Cone, January 7, 1986. Interview C-0048. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Eulalie Salley, September 15, 1973. Interview G-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Mary Robertson, August 13, 1979. Interview H-0288. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mary Robertson offers an insider's view of the organized labor movement in western North Carolina.

Oral History Interview with Mary Turner Lane, September 9 and 16, 1986; May 21, 1987; October 1 and 28, 1987. Interview L-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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 Harriet Herring, February 5, 1976. Interview G-0027. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, August 4, 1974. Interview G-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Rosamonde R. Boyd, October 29, 1973. Interview G-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Rosamonde R. Boyd shares her observations on women's activism in the early twentieth century.

Oral History Interview with Ella Baker, September 4, 1974. Interview G-0007. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Viola Turner, April 17, 1979. Interview C-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Julia Virginia Jones, October 6, 1997. Interview J-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Guy B. Johnson, December 16, 1974. Interview B-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Annie Mack Barbee, May 28, 1979. Interview H-0190. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Edna Y. Hargett, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0163. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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 Lucy Somerville Howorth, June 20, 22, and 23, 1975. Interview G-0028. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Septima Poinsette Clark, July 25, 1976. Interview G-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

Oral History Interview with Ralph Waldo Strickland, April 18, 1980. Interview H-0180. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
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.

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.