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Oral History Interview with Anne Queen, April 30, 1976. Interview G-0049-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Anne Queen was born into a working family in Canton, North Carolina. She graduated from high school in 1930 and accepted a job at the Champion Paper and Fibre Company, where she worked for ten years. During this time she grew to identify herself as a New Deal Democrat. Queen became increasingly interested in the labor movement during the 1930s and sought to reconcile its ideals with her religious faith. By 1940, she became determined to act on her lifelong desire to receive a college education and enrolled at Berea College in Kentucky. While a student at Berea, Queen was able to interact with African Americans for the first time in her life and became increasingly drawn to issues of social justice. Following her graduation in 1944, she participated in the first interracial workshop at Fisk University before studying for a year at the Missionary Training School in Louisville, Kentucky. From there, Queen continued her graduate education at Yale Divinity School. In so doing, she disproved her own earlier belief that "poor people couldn't go to Yale." Queen describes her educational experiences at Berea and Yale in great detail, focusing on her academic inspirations and the influence of teachers such as Liston Pope and H. Richard Niebuhr. After finishing her doctoral work in 1948, Queen returned to the South to work as an assistant chaplain at the University of Georgia (1948-1951), for the Friends Service Committee in Greensboro, North Carolina (1951-1956), and as the director of the YWCA-YMCA at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1956-1975). Because of her long tenure working as an advocate of social justice, particularly for the labor movement and the civil rights movement, Queen is able to offer a comprehensive assessment of the changing social landscape of the South during the middle of the twentieth century. In so doing, she offers insight into the leadership abilities of southern women such as Dorothy Tillman and Jessie Daniel Ames, the process of integration at two major southern universities, and the nature of politics in North Carolina.
  • Growing interest in social justice while working for Champion Paper and Fiber Company
  • Company paternalism and growing awareness of workers' rights
  • Decision to return to school and experiences at Berea College
  • Participation in interracial workshop at Fisk University
  • Class tensions among social activists
  • Leadership of southern women
  • Working for the Friends Service Committee as a "messenger"
  • Working with the YWCA at UNC to offer a welcoming environment for newly integrated African American students
  • Thoughts on North Carolina's political reputation
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--Students--Political activity
  • Young Women's Christian associations
  • 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.