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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.
Pharmacist William Fonvielle mourns the passing of black economic autonomy and communal unity in Savannah, Georgia.
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.
Taylor Barnhill, an environmental activist concerned about the effects of development on communities, describes his rural childhood and its impact on his adult life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
Icy Norman recalls her long working life, most of which was spent at a textile mill in Burlington, North 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.
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.
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.