skip navigation  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
AFC Logo
The American Folklife Center
Connect with us:   Blog Blog  |  Facebook Facebook  |  Podcasts Podcasts   RSS RSS  | Video Webcasts
 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Black women oral history project interviews

Repository: Harvard University. Radcliffe Institute. Schlesinger Library

Collection Description (CRHP): Subjects of this collection include: NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, Urban League, YWCA, Tuskegee, Actresses, Women--Education, Women--Employment, civil rights, Greek letter societies, race relations, women artisans, women artists, women authors, women clergy, women clerks, women domestics, women educators, women journalists, women lawyers, women librarians, women musicians, women social workers, women volunteers in social service, women in business, women in the civil service, women in community development, women in medicine, women in politics, and women in trade unions.

Interviewees that particularly address the civil rights movement include Christia Daniels Adair, an activist who addresses civil rights, discrimination, and politics; Frances Albrier, an activist who addresses civil rights, California, discrimination, politics, and labor; Margaret Walker Alexander, a professor who addresses civil rights; Melnea Jones Cass, a civic leader who addresses civil rights and the integration of Boston schools; Juanita Jewel Craft, a civic leader who addresses civil rights, politics, race relations, racial discrimination, and Sweatt v. Painter; Alice Allison Dunnigan, a journalist who addresses race relations, racial discrimination, and sex discrimination; Dr. Lena Edwards, a physician who addresses health care, migrant workers, race relations, and racial discrimination; Anna Arnold Hedgeman, a consultant on education, African American studies, urban affairs who addresses civil rights; Dorothy Irene Height, the famed civil rights activist who discusses civil rights, race relations, racial discrimination, and sex discrimination; Ellen S. Jackson, dean and director of affirmative action at Northeastern University who addresses affirmative action, education, race relations, and racial discrimination; Audley Moore, an activist who addresses baseball, civil rights, communism, and the Scottsboro trial; Rosa Parks who addresses civil rights, integration of public accommodations, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Montgomery bus boycott; and Muriel Sutherland Snowden, cofounder and codirector of Freedom House who addresses civil rights and integration of housing and schools.

Collection Description (Extant): Under the auspices of the Schlesinger Library, the Black Women Oral History Project interviewed 72 African-American women between 1976 and 1981. The project sought a cross section of women who had made significant contributions to American society in the first half of the twentieth century. Many interviewees had professional careers in such fields as education, government, the arts, business, medicine, law, and social work. Others combined care for their families with volunteer work at the local, regional, or national level.

Summary: Collection consists of tapes and transcripts of the oral histories. The interviews discuss family background, childhood, education, significant influences affecting their choice of primary career or activity, professional and voluntary accomplishments, the ways in which being black and a woman had affected their options and the choices made.

Access Copy Note: Ruth Edmonds Hill and Patricia Miller King edited the "Guide to the Transcripts of the Black Women Oral History Project" (Westport, CT : Meckler, 1990).

The transcripts were also published as a 10 volume series as "The Black Women Oral History Project: From the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College," edited by Ruth Edmonds Hill (Westport, CT : Meckler, 1991).

Both of these published works are available at many libraries.

Collection URL:|library/m/aleph|000605376 External Link

Date(s): 1976-1981

Digital Status: No

Extent: 72 interview transcripts; 353 reels of audiotape.

Language: English

Related Archival Items: This archive also has the Black Women Oral History Project records, 1976-1997. Extent: 5 linear feet. It includes research material collected by the project consisting of printed and manuscript material and photographs.

Interviewees: Jessie Abbott, Christia V. Adair, Frankie V. Adams, Kathleen Redding Adams, Lucy Rucker Aiken, Neddi Rucker Harper, Hazel Rucker, Frances Mary Albrier, Margaret Walker Alexander, Sadie T. M. Alexander, Elizabeth Cardozo Barker, Etta Moten Barnett, Norma Boyd, Melnea A. Cass, May Edward Chinn, Juanita Jewel Craft, Clara Dickson, Alice A. Dunnigan, Alfreda Barnett Duster, Eva B. Dykes, Mae Massie Eberhardt, Florence Jacob Edmonds, Lena Edwards-Madison, Virginia Clark Gayton, Zelma George, Frances Grant, Ardie Clark Halyard, Neddie Rucker Harper, Pleasant Harrison, Dorothy I. Height, Beulah S. Hester, May Edwards Hill, Margaret Cardozo Holmes, Clementine Hunter, Ellen Jackson, Fidelia Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones, Susie W. Jones, Virginia Lacy Jones, Hattie Simmons Kelly, Maida Springer Kemp, Flemmie P. Kittrell, Abna Lancaster, Eunice Rivers Laurie, Catherine Cardozo Lewis, Inabel Burns Lindsay, Eliza Champ McCabe, Miriam Matthews, Lucy Miller Mitchell, Audley Moore, Annie M. Nipson, Rosa Parks, Hazel Rucker, Esther May Scott, Julia Hamilton Smith, Olivia Pearl Stokes, Ann Tanneyhill, Merze Tate, Ruth Janetta Temple, Constance Pitter Thomas, Era Bell Thompson, Mary Crutchfield Thompson, Bazoline Estelle Usher, Dorothy West, Addie Luck Williams, Frances H. Williams, Ozeline Wise, Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe, Arline Stewart Yarborough

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American civic leaders
African American women
African American women civil rights workers
African American women--Political activity
African American women--Societies and clubs
African Americans--Civil rights
National Council of Negro Women
Race discrimination
Race relations


Sound recordings


  Back to Top


 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

  The Library of Congress >> Research Centers
   May 15, 2015
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:
Ask a Librarian