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Oral History Interview with Anne Barnes, January 30, 1989. Interview C-0049. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    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 gives an overview of her childhood and early adulthood before explaining how those experiences motivated her to become involved in the political arena. Before running for election herself, she worked on a variety of campaigns, including Howard Lee's Chapel Hill mayoral bid, in which he became the first African American mayor in the United States elected by a predominantly white municipality. After exploring how her various campaign positions led to her eventual candidacy, she explains the reasons for her particular political foci and how she has seen the issues change over the past several decades. Much of the second half of the interview is devoted to the position of women in politics and the reasons Barnes believes women have struggled to find equality in that arena. After listing the sociological, psychological, economic, and political reasons for the gender imbalance, she proposes ways to level the playing field for a new generation of women.
  • Beginning her political career as a Democratic Party volunteer
  • Learning to negotiate politics from female mentors in Howard Lee's campaigns
  • Challenges facing the women's rights movement in the late 1980s
  • Barnes lists the issues that concern her most
  • Probing of reasons for the dearth of female politicians
  • Republican women in 1980s North Carolina rose to greater influence in their party than female Democrats
  • Mentoring relationships are crucial to the development of capable female politicians
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • North Carolina--Politics and government
  • Women political activists--North Carolina
  • Women's rights--North Carolina
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.