Results (most relevant first)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President of the University of North Carolina System, William Friday, discusses the Speaker Ban controversy. The ban, enforced from 1963 to 1968, forbade any communist—or anyone who refused during a formal hearing to disavow allegiance to communism—to speak on campus. Throughout the interview, Friday focuses on issues of academic freedom, his efforts to have the law overturned, and the broader social unrest that characterized campus politics during that era.
Martha Cooley describes her childhood in rural Granville County, North Carolina, during the early part of the twentieth century.
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.
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.
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.
This is the second interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt discusses his decision to join the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1957 as well as the history and faculty of the law school.
This is the seventh interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes the Speaker Ban controversy at the University of North Carolina during the mid-1960s, paying special attention to student, faculty, and administrative reactions to the ban.
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.
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.
This is the fourth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes his role as the faculty advisor to the student NAACP in the recruitment of pioneering African American athletes at UNC. In addition, he discusses his involvement in student activism as a leader of the student YMCA-YWCA.
This is the fifth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes his work the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) during the 1960s and 1970s, paying particular attention to his involvement in the cases of Michael Paull, a graduate student and teaching assistant in the English Department, and Moye Freymann, the founding director of the Carolina Population Center.
Jessie Streater describes Mormon belief and practice and shares her thoughts on the place of African Americans in the Mormon religion.
Virginia Grantham discusses her thoughts on the Fellowship of Southern Churchman and her participation in it, primarily during the 1950s. In the interview, she focuses on such topics as leadership, socialism, and connections to the civil rights movement.
Former president of the University of North Carolina System William Friday describes his relationship with and perception of his predecessors Frank Porter Graham and Gordon Gray. In addition, he describes various aspects of his own presidency, including his approach to desegregation and his relationships with a variety of individuals and organizations.
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.
President of the University of North Carolina System William Friday discusses his interaction with American presidents from Herbert Hoover to George H. W. Bush. The bulk of the interview revolves around descriptions of Friday's work with Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter on issues of higher education.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elva Templeton remembers her childhood in historic Cary, North Carolina.
Steve Cherry describes desegregation from the perspective of a coach and a principal in Lincoln County, North Carolina.
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.
Clyde Smith recalls the tensions that integration introduced to athletics at North Carolina's Lincolnton High School.
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.
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.
James M. Lawson was a key ally of Martin Luther King Jr. and also an important theoretician and practitioner of nonviolent protest. In this interview, he speaks about his relationship with some of the civil rights figures of the time, including Will Campbell, Kelly Miller Smith, Nelle Morton, Myles Horton, James Dombrowski, and James Holloway.
Johnnie and Kathleen Bratten describe the extent to which church groups and other volunteers helped them after their home was destroyed in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd.
This is the sixth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt offers a vivid retelling of the events that led up to the UNC food workers' strike of 1969, the unfolding of the strike itself, and the reactions of UNC students and faculty.
Former Governor Robert W. Scott discusses the consolidation of the University system during his administration, focusing on the leadership of William Friday and Cameron West and the political maneuvering that characterized the process. In addition, he reflects on his accomplishments as governor, expressing pride in his ability to significantly reduce racial unrest during a tumultuous era.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Blyden Jackson devoted his life to education. Beginning as a teacher for the WPA during the Great Depression, Jackson eventually taught at Fisk University and Southern University, before becoming the first African American professor at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, he discusses the trajectory of his academic career, paying particular attention to issues of race and education.
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.
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.
Leroy Magness describes his belief in avoiding conflict, and how that belief shaped his response to the civil rights movement.
Julius Chambers served on the UNC Board of Governors from 1972 to 1977. He recalls the tensions between the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's federal objectives and the University of North Carolina Board officials' control over the desegregation process at post-secondary educational institutions.
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.
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.
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.
Herman Norton Truitt describes running a grocery store from the 1920s to the 1940s. The store was patronized primarily by mill workers in Burlington, North Carolina.
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.
John Wesley Snipes recalls his childhood in rural Chatham County, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century.
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.
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.
Activist, leftist, poet, and ordained minister Don West remembers a lifetime of union and civil rights activism.
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.
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.
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.
Longtime Chapel Hill, North Carolina, city councilman Joseph A. Herzenberg describes his experiences as a gay man in a southern town.
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.
Sam and Vesta Finley describe their roles in the North Carolina factory strike that led to the "Marion Massacre."
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.
Rebecca Clayton became a teacher in the wake of the
Brown v. Board decision during the early 1960s, and in 1970 she went to work in the newly integrated Durham, North Carolina, school district. In this interview, Clayton describes her experiences as a teacher during the height of school desegregation. The interview concludes with her observations on the impact of the growing Latino population on Durham schools.
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.
Two-time mayor and newspaper publisher Floyd Adams Jr. describes urban renewal past and present in Savannah, Georgia, and its impact on the black community.
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.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
Gladys Irene Moser Hollar and her husband, Glenn Hollar, share recollections about work and rural life in the early twentieth century.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Serena Henderson Parker, born in 1923, remembers the rural North Carolina of her childhood.
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.
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.
John Harris, longtime cab driver and businessman in Greensboro, North Carolina, describes his community in the context of race and redevelopment.
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.
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.
African American photojournalist Alexander M. Rivera describes the civil rights movement and its aftermath. In particular, he describes some of his photographs, as well as the impact of the
Brown decision (and the demise of legal segregation) on African American businesses and African American schools, including North Carolina Central College.
George Miller describes his career as a black administrator in desegregated schools.
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.
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.
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.
Thomas Burt, a journeyman worker, recalls a variety of jobs he took in and around Durham, North Carolina, with a focus on his employment in a tobacco factory.
Kenneth Norton remembers being a student at the segregated Ada Jenkins School in Davidson, North Carolina, in the 1930s.
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.
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.
Alice Evitt describes her rural childhood and life as a millworker and mother in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century.
William E. White Jr. describes his encounters with religion, race, and sexuality.
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.
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.
Samuel and Leonia Farrar remember a lifetime of hard work in rural and urban North Carolina.
Southern lawyer and activist Clifford Durr describes his work with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the 1940s. In particular, he focuses on federal efforts to regulate broadcast radio. He also discusses the impact of the burgeoning Red Scare on his work and his life. The House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoenaed him and his wife, Virginia Foster Durr, during the early 1950s.
Icy Norman recalls her long working life, most of which was spent at a textile mill in Burlington, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Robert Coles is a child psychiatrist and writer at Harvard who was a pioneer in the emerging field of academic oral history during the 1960s and 1970s. In this interview, Coles discusses the purposes of oral history, his thoughts on academia and writing, and methodologies of oral history, especially in reference to the use of tape recorders.
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.
James Pharis reflects on his forty years the textile industry, most of which he spent as a supervisor.
John Lewis served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966. In this interview, Lewis outlines his role within the civil rights movement through his participation in the sit-in movement of 1960 in Nashville, the Freedom Rides through Alabama and Mississippi in 1961, the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, the Selma voter registration drive in 1965, and the shift towards the politics of black power within SNCC by 1966. Throughout the interview, he situates the activities of SNCC within the civil rights movement more broadly, focusing on issues of leadership, religion, and politics.
Kathryn Killian and her sister Blanche Bolick recall their upbringing near Conover, North Carolina, and their careers making gloves.
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.
Leroy Beavers despairs of the effects of integration on Savannah, Georgia.
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.
Mill owner Caesar Cone reflects on the textile industry and what he views as the pernicious influence of government in business and society.
Mill workers Carl and Mary Thompson describe their experiences as skilled employees and active members of their local communities.
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.
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.
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.
Alice Grogan Hardin remembers her early years in the rural Greenville County, South Carolina, on the farm and at the mill.
Pharmacist Robert Sampson describes how urban renewal efforts dispersed a thriving black business community in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Frank Daniels Jr., publisher of the
News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, shares some tidbits about his experience at the paper and his involvement in hospital administration as the chairman of the board of directors of Rex Hospital in Raleigh.
Edwin Caldwell recalls a lifetime of political organization and advocacy.
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.
Stan Gryskiewicz worked as a psychologist for the Center for Creative Leadership from its inception in 1970. In this interview (the first of two), Gryskiewicz describes his background in psychology, his initial duties with the Center during the 1970s, the Center's 1973 managerial reorganization, his perception of various leaders within the Center, and his research in creative leadership development.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Brown, a white teacher who taught at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Alabama, describes desegregation and its legacies in her city.
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.
Pentecostal pastor Bert Pickett provides a compelling description of the despair that accompanied Hurricane Floyd's devastation.
Phyllis Tyler first moved to North Carolina during the 1940s in order to join the Blessed Community of Quakers in Celo. In the 1950s, she moved with her family to Raleigh, where she became increasingly involved in the civil rights movement. Throughout the interview, she emphasizes the changing nature of race relations from the 1950s into the 1980s.
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.
Billy E. Barnes is a photographer who is known for his documentary work on racial and economic justice issues in the 1950s and 1960s. In this interview, Barnes discusses his work with the North Carolina Fund and the organization's efforts at breaking the cycle of poverty in North Carolina. He also offers descriptions of his photography of impoverished people in North Carolina.
The Hudsons explain that although God used the Floyd flood to warn against materialism, He helped many escape the floodwaters and oversaw astonishing generosity afterward.
George LeMaistre remembers Alabama politics from the 1920s to the 1970s, a story troubled by violent racism and the struggle over integration.
Barbara Lorie describes her experiences and teaching philosophy as a teacher at newly integrated, racially charged schools in North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
African American photojournalist Alexander M. Rivera describes the civil rights movement from his perspective as a reporter for the
Pittsburgh Courier. He focuses on the nature of race relations and racial violence and describes the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education decision on the changing social landscape.
David Burgess discusses how his religious faith fused into his life work of social activism. In particular, he explains his involvement in labor organizing in the South.
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.
Murphy Yomen Sigmon reflects on a working life, most of which he spent in a cotton mill in Hickory, North Carolina.
Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch remembers her childhood in an African American neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida, and her experiences with segregation and development.
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.
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.
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.
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.
George Elmore discusses a life that took him from farm labor to mill management in rural North Carolina.
Andy K. Foley lost his job when the White Furniture Company closed, but he lost friendships and a playful work atmosphere as well. In this interview he recalls the fun he had on the job and laments the factory's closing.
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.
This is the second interview in a two-part series with southern lawyer Ted Fillette of the Legal Aid Society of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. In this interview, Fillette focuses on his work as a legal advocate of tenant and welfare rights from the 1970s into the early twenty-first century. Throughout, he discusses the legal and political measures taken to ameliorate housing conditions for low-income tenants and to ensure that low-income people have access to social welfare services.
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.
Thomas Ellington, a longtime employee of the Sellers Manufacturing Company, describes employee interactions in the mill and how the owner, Everett Jordan, treated his employees.
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.
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.
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.
This is the last in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt describes his work with a variety of organizations that shared his vision of protecting civil liberties.
Martin Gerry recalls his efforts, as the director of the Office of Civil Rights, to accelerate desegregation in North Carolina.
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.
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.
Physician Andrew Best recalls his encounters with racial segregation inside and outside Pitt County Memorial Hospital in in North Carolina during the civil rights era.
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.
Pharmacist William Fonvielle mourns the passing of black economic autonomy and communal unity in Savannah, Georgia.
Durham, North Carolina, resident Josephine Turner reflects on her struggle to leave behind a life of poverty.
Civil rights activist Floyd McKissick was the first African American student to enroll in the law school at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, he discusses that integration effort, along with subsequent integration battles he faced as a student and as an advocate for civil rights.
Presbyterian minister Charles Jones recounts his civil rights activism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Kathrine Robinson Everett recalls a career as a trailblazing female lawyer and women's rights activist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Naomi Sizemore Trammel recalls her life as a textile mill worker in Greer, South Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mack Pearsall recalls his father's role in the Pearsall Plan, a school desegregation strategy in post-
Brown North Carolina that allowed parents to move their children to non-integrated schools. He expresses faith that economic progress will positively affect the state's race relations.
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.
Maggie Ray, teacher at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
Taylor Barnhill, an environmental activist concerned about the effects of development on communities, describes his rural childhood and its impact on his adult life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frank Gilbert recalls his laboring life in and around Conover, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Johnnie Jones remembers his fifty-year career at the Pomona Terra Cotta Factory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's governor from 1973 to 1977, reflects on his term, the Republican Party, and North Carolina politics.
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.
Terry Sanford—former state senator, governor, president of Duke University, and member of the United States Senate—describes Democratic politics in North Carolina.
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.
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.
Pediatrician James Slade and his wife, Catherine, discuss their experience of race and medicine in Edenton, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
James E. Holshouser Jr., North Carolina's first Republican governor since 1896, reflects on the office and the challenges it presents.
Aaron and Jenny Cavenaugh, long-time Duplin County, North Carolina, residents, lost their antiques business and turkey farm in the flooding that accompanied Hurricane Floyd.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bill Hull describes the social environment for gay men in Chapel Hill from the 1960s to the beginning of the twenty-first 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.