Doris Adelaide Derby oral history interview conducted by Joseph Mosnier in Atlanta, Georgia, 2011-04-26.
And so the other group that I was active with was the Christian, um, Hunter College Christian Human Relations Group. So, yes, uh, we had a mixed group, blacks and whites. Uh, Hunter College was, um - Hunter College in the Bronx was a smaller school than Hunter College in Manhattan, which was the main school. And, um, so, we had a nice group of about - what - ten, twelve, fourteen students that went. And our purpose was to, uh, talk with some of the student leaders and the community leaders about, um, segregation and the sit-ins and the Freedom Rides and so on and to find out what we could do - we wanted to learn more about what was going on and to see what we could do to support them.
And so, when we came back, there was a group, uh, that had started, uh, or maybe it was continuing - it had already started, but we worked with them, the Northern Student Support Movement. Um, and so we wanted to publicize, inform people about what was going on, have some speakers to come. Uh, Ethel Kennedy came to Hunter College. Malcolm X actually came, um, and some other people. So, that was a very informative time.
JM: [Clears throat] Do you remember - yeah, excuse me. Do you remember your Durham visit? And as your sensibility about these things was widening - you’d been to New Mexico, you’d thought about your experiences in Durham, and - did you have a - what kinds of, what kinds of things were unfolding in your mind in these years as you were now sort of looking towards your last year of college? And, and did you anticipate at that point becoming so deeply involved in the southern freedom movement?
DD: Well, I, I was, you know, being involved. Uh, don’t forget the African countries were, um, becoming, moving towards independence. Nigeria, for example, when I went there in the summer of 1960, they were not yet independent. They became independent that October. Um, while - actually, when we went to Nigeria, on the way, we also stopped in France, in Paris, in Rome, Italy - um, Paris and Rome. So, again, my eyes are being opened. I’m looking at - seeing, you know, achievement and non-achievement and so on. So, these things were happening, and they were not foreign to me because they fit in with what I had heard through my oral history of my relatives: the struggles.
When I went to the Navajo Indian Reservation and I saw what had, what was happening with the Indians, the Navajo Indians - and as a person who was a cultural anthropologist, I believed in - believe in - living in the community and finding out what kind of life the people have. And it was interesting that, um, there were, uh - there was a black community, migrant community, in, uh, [30:00] the city, the town of Farmington, New Mexico, and then there were the reservations, the Navajo Indian reservations. And I went to all of that. I mean, I - I love to be a part of other cultures. So, I could see economic inequality in a lot of different places and, uh, sort of semi-segregation in those - you know, in that respect, in New Mexico.