In complete archive
Oral history.; Interview conducted March 22, 1998. Jim Abbott documents the struggle over approval for funding for a Vocational Technology Center in Indianola and the controversy that erupted between the community and the school board. Abbott was the publisher of a weekly newspaper in Indianola, the Enterprise-tocsin. It is likely that this oral history was collected as research for the interviewer's book, Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986.
22 March 1998
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Nancy Rie Barland in Port Gibson, Mississippi. Nancy Rie Disharoon Barland was born July 22, 1922 at Bowling Green Plantation, about eight miles east of Port Gibson, Mississippi. Her parents were Florine Levy and George Lindsay Disharoon. Mrs. Barland graduated from Port Gibson High School and attended Mississippi State College for Women in Columbus, Mississippi for two years. She married Charles Edward Barland on August 6, 1949. They have two children, Charles Edward Barland Jr., and Flo Ruth Barland. Mrs. Barland is a lifetime member of Port Gibson's First Presbyterian Church. She discusses memories of childhood, including games, friends, family, and household staff. Barland describes the family plantation and sharecropping arrangements with tenants. Discusses social life in Port Gibson, including dances. She also discusses her grandfather B. H. Levy who owned Levy's Produce, was on the original Board of Directors of the Port Gibson Bank, and also helped to establish the Synagogue in Port Gibson.
02 May 2002
Oral history.; Interview conducted on December 14, 1995 with Allie Jane Beck at her home in Lamar, Mississippi. Beck was born August 12, 1919. She discusses sharecropping, registering to vote in 1964, and seeking employment at the local shirt factory.
14 December 1995
Oral history.; Interview conducted January 16, 2003 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Alva Beck was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. After graduating high school, Beck attended Rust College and began volunteering for the advancement of civil rights in the area of voter registration. He met many of the major figures in the Civil Rights Movement, Stokely Carmichael among them. Beck was involved in protesting the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, Florida. After graduating from Rust College with a B.S. degree in business administration, Beck went to work as an investment analyst in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; he would later move to Cincinnati, Ohio and continue expanding his business ventures. Beck moved back to Holly Springs to care for his mother.
16 January 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted July 27, 2005. Victoria Webb Beck was born in Yazoo City, MS. This interview documents her career as a teacher faced with segregation and unequal rights. Ms. Beck taught at schools throughout Mississippi, in cities such as Picayune, Biloxi, Nichols, and Yazoo City. Much of the interview is devoted to her experiences as a teacher, with emphasis given to the differences in her work both pre and post-segregation. The interview concludes with details about her life after retirement and her family.
27 July 2005
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Lola Berry. Lola Wilson Durr Berry was born in 1926 near Mendenhall, MS to Charlie Walker and Roberta Wilson. Berry began sharecropping in cotton fields at the age of seven. Berry left school after fifth grade in order to work. In 1942 Berry married Clarence Durr, with whom she had thirteen children, ten of whom survived. Clarence was killed in a car accident in 1975; a year later she remarried to Oscar Berry. Ms. Berry has worked as a domestic employee in private homes in the Mendenhall area, at the Universal Plant for thirteen years, and as a cook at Genesis One School for twelve years.
14 September 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Sallie Blackburn in Port Gibson, Mississippi. She was born in 1910 in Russum, Mississippi. Blackburn recalls what it was like growing up in Mississippi and life, foodways, and society in Port Gibson throughout the twentieth century.
07 August 2001
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Carl Boren at the Boren residence on May 29, 2001. Boren discusses his family history, folkways, and conditions growing up in Claiborne County, Mississippi. From a family of sharecroppers, he describes what life was like both working and living in a society centered around this labor system.
29 May 2001
Oral history.; Interview conducted with Ruby Bradford at the Bradford Residence. Ruby Bradford was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She relocated to Mississippi in the fifth grade when her father, a Methodist minister, received a position in Laurel. Mrs. Bradford completed elementary school at Oak Park Vocational High School. With the help of the Ladies Aid organization at her church, she went on to attend Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi and Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia. Financial troubles eventually led her to attend Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas, where she completed her bachelor's degree in 1942. After college, she married and while expecting a child, was asked to assume a position at M.F. Nichols High School in Biloxi, Mississippi. After a productive career in education, Mrs. Bradford became employed by the United States Air Force where she served for 38 years. During her time working for the USAF, Mrs. Bradford applied the skills she learned as a teacher in her work as an Instructor, Personnel Clerk, and as an Assistant to the General. Mrs. Bradford retired in 1990.
30 November 2005
Oral history.; Interview conducted April 24, 2002 in Claiborne County. Brandon describes conditions of sharecropping, including the relationships that developed with local stores. He discusses foodways and describes the process of making syrup. An avid hunter, Brandon also talks about hunting practices he developed growing up. Brandon has worked in a variety of industries, and has held positions as a logger, welder, packer and general factory worker, as well as trailer park manager. In addition, he also served briefly in the US Army.
24 April 2002
Oral history.; Interview conducted March 27, 2002 in Claiborne County. Marjorie Williams Brandon was born June 8, 1931 in Russum, Mississippi. She attended Alcorn University and obtained a B.A. degree. Brandon has held a variety of jobs, including social worker, counselor for Claiborne County Schools, working for Head Start, and serving as a Justice Court Judge. She received several honors and awards, including NAACP Mother of the Year and several school awards.
27 March 2002
Oral history.; Frank Bridges was born in 1923 in Biloxi, Mississippi. He served during World War II in Guadalcanal and Guam. After returning from the war, he worked a few odd jobs before moving to Chicago. After a brief stay, he returned to his native Biloxi. He became involved with the civil rights movement and Dr. Gilbert Mason's Biloxi Beach wade-ins.
21 March 2000
Oral history.; Interview conducted October 17, 2001 with Chude Pamela Allen in San Francisco, California. Chude Pamela Allen was born into an Episcopal family in eastern Pennsylvania. Though her parents were republicans, their Christian ideology contributed to AllenΓÇÖs liberal foundation, as did exposure to children from more progressive families in school. Allen went to Spellman College, where she became politically active in her freshman year, and was recruited to volunteer for Freedom Summer by SNCC. She trained in Oxford, OH before being sent to Holly Springs, MS in 1964, where Allen became a teacher at the Freedom school in Holly Springs. During the summer, Allen encountered both racial violence and sexism. After Freedom Summer, Allen continued her political activism as part of the secular Left. She became active in the womenΓÇÖs liberation movement in the mid-1960s and moved to San Francisco, CA in 1968 where she would organize womenΓÇÖs liberation groups. Allen worked for The Guardian and continued her activism throughout the 1970s. Despite a decline in her political activity in the early 80s, Allen began writing about her experiences as a volunteer during Civil Rights Movement. She helped organize the 25th anniversary reunion for Freedom Summer in 1989, as well as the 30th anniversary reunion in 1994. Allen has since then worked to help volunteers of the Movement cope with any trauma they may have endured.
17 October 2001
Oral history.; Reuben V. Anderson was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1942. As a student Anderson excelled academically and athletically, ultimately earning an athletic scholarship to Tougaloo College. At Tougaloo, Anderson met many people who influenced his life and career, including professor Ernst Borinski, and civil rights leader, Ed King. He was involved with the desegregation of the Jackson Public Library. He was the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi Law School. After graduation, he began practicing civil rights law. He was successful at overseeing the integration of the schools in Mississippi. Anderson was drafted during the conflict in Vietnam, but his service to the Legal Defense Fund helped him to earn a draft deferment to stay in the United States and practice law. Mayor Russell C. Davis appointed Anderson to serve as the first African American municipal court judge, and he was later appointed to Hinds County Court (by Gov. Cliff Finch) and 7th Circuit Court (by Gov. William Winter). He eventually came to the Mississippi Supreme Court, where he served from 1985-1990. After retiring from the Court, Anderson returned to private practice and resumed his involvement with the business sector. Judge Anderson is married to Phyllis Wright Anderson, and has three children.
04 March 2003
Oral history.; Interview conducted on March 25, 2003 with Judge Fred L. Banks, Jr. (born 1942). In the late 1960s, Judge Banks began his law career by serving for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. He was elected three times to the House of Representatives and served alternately as chair of the House Ethics committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the Legislative Black Caucus. In February 1985, he was appointed judge of the Seventh Circuit Court District (Hinds and Yazoo Counties) and is projected to continue to serve until 2004 when his term is over.
25 March 2003
Oral history.; Born in Clinton, Mississippi in 1917, both of William Joel Blass' parents were teachers and his father was also a Baptist minister. Blass attended East Mississippi Junior College and Pearl River Junior College. He earned his AB and LLB degrees from Louisiana State University. As a lawyer in 1952, he successfully prosecuted the Boyce Holleman case by proving that voter fraud had kept Holleman from winning. Beginning in 1953, he served two terms in Stone County's legislative seat, retiring from that position in 1960. While in office, most considered him an extreme liberal on racial issues and he endured vigorous, hostile attacks on his reputation by both private citizens and state legislators. Former Gov. Ray Mabus appointed Blass to a vacancy on the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1989. He served through December 1990. He was defeated in his election bid by Justice Chuck McRae.
07 September 2002; 08 September 2002
Oral history.; Interview conducted December 5, 2006 in West Point, Mississippi. She discusses race relations in Clay County, Mississippi, and how she came to be involved in civil rights activism, particularly voter registration. She talks about Victoria Gray Adams and the construction of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
05 December 2006
Oral history.; Interview conducted June 17, 2007 in West Point, Mississippi. Brown was born August 3, 1948 in Maben, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi. He discusses living and growing up in West Point, Mississippi. He discusses how he came to be involved in the civil rights movement and includes being imprisoned, working Freedom Summer, voter registration, and integration at local facilities.
17 June 2007