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Oral History Interview with Eva Clayton, July 18, 1989. Interview C-0084. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Activist and politician Eva Clayton grew up as the daughter of a successful insurance executive in Savannah, Georgia. She came with her husband to North Carolina, and while raising four children and working toward advanced degrees, she became a leading figure in the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Her activism experience drew her to service, and she spent years working with economic and social development organizations in and out of North Carolina government, including the Soul City Foundation and the Warren County Board of Commissioners, on which she was serving at the time of this interview. Three years later, in 1992, she would win a seat in the United States House of Representatives, where she would serve until 2003. In this interview, Clayton remembers a career spent in community development. In addition to helping lead the effort to establish Soul City—an attempt to create a new kind of rural community—she served as assistant secretary at the state Department of Natural Resources and Community Development. This interview follows the career of a successful black woman who sought to share her vision of economic possibility and social progress with her community.
  • Parents shape their daughter's work ethic and ambition
  • Role of women in the civil rights movement
  • Significant moments in civil rights in Warren County, North Carolina
  • Running for office with hopes to reshape the South
  • Trying to establish Soul City in Warren County, North Carolina
  • Seeking financial success to show that it is possible
  • Pride in past accomplishments tempered by remaining issues
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Civil rights movements--North Carolina
  • Women in politics--North Carolina
  • African American women in politics--North Carolina
  • Soul City (N.C.)
  • North Carolina--Biography
  • 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.