Doris Adelaide Derby oral history interview conducted by Joseph Mosnier in Atlanta, Georgia, 2011-04-26.
DD: Well, you know, Alice Walker, um, she described it briefly. I mean I don’t really go into long philosophical discussion about it. Um, I thought that what - how, uh, she, uh, defined it was good, you know. It was a black woman working alongside of and in conjunction with her family and her community to develop the community, to bring our people forward. And, um, it’s not to say, “Well, the women need to be doing this, and forget about the men. We’re going to do it,” and so on. No, it’s a group thing. It’s a holistic approach, I think. And that’s basically how I feel about it.
Uh, age wise, you know, all the ages together. You’ve got to influence the children. You’ve got to take the children with you to expose them from an early age - when I think about the things that my father exposed me to, my mother, um, the family seeing each other, relatives, all the time, on the holidays, having those discussions - those are the same things. You see they had those discussions before I was in the picture.
That’s what I realize, that even though that I didn’t know that my grandmother and my oldest uncle on my mother’s side were charter members of the NAACP, I know now that they discussed those things. So, when my Aunt Julia went - was recruited and agreed to go to Washington, it was because that atmosphere, that growing up, those discussions and the not hiding things from them. Some people today, they want - or even back some years ago - don’t let the kids hear what’s happening, keep them away from that, um, but we discussed things, the political. Now, I never knew what my father - how he voted. He didn’t discuss that. But, um, we talked about the issues. We read about them; we were encouraged to read about them. We got - we had Ebony and other magazines that [1:50:00] keep you informed, uh, to a certain extent, and we were encouraged to go read and research for ourselves. So, that - that’s really what I’m about. I’m not following any, like, any doctrine. It’s really a reflection of how I grew up.
JM: John, can we pause for just a sec?
[Recording stops and then resumes]
JM: [Microphone noise] Dr. Derby, I want to just say a special note of thanks for, um, your energy and, uh, seriousness and all the time this afternoon and early evening here to contribute, as you have, to the series. Thank you very much.
DD: Well, thank you. I’ve enjoyed doing it and I look forward to, uh, hearing - getting a copy of the tape and a transcript if you do one.
JM: Absolutely. That’s definitely something we’ll do. Thank you, again, so much.
DD: All right. Thank you.