Gloria Hayes Richardson oral history interview conducted by Joseph Mosnier in New York, New York, 2011-07-19.
JM: Yeah. Uh, and that all puts me in mind of, uh, how rooted the Movement was in Cambridge and how, how thoroughly well organized the community was in support of the movement in Cambridge. And I’ve read that you’ve written, um, that there were probably ten, a dozen, fourteen core members -
JM: Uh, who helped throughout the community that had come together as the heart of CNAC [Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee].
GR: That’s right. It was probably on my grandfather’s model, every - whoever the leader was in every neighborhood, or who exactly, you know, people we looked up to.
JM: Yeah, so you -
GR: Whether it was a man or a woman.
JM: Right. And I wanted to ask about that point in particular.
GR: And in the county.
JM: Yeah. Right. So, you found the people in all these different neighborhoods, across the black community and county -
GR: I don’t know whether “found” is a good word. I think I knew - because Cambridge is small, I knew they were always there.
JM: Right. I’m very interested in your experience at the head of the Movement, um, as a woman in relation to, in relation to your fellow Movement, uh, leaders, in relation to communities, the press.
GR: Uh, I actually - I think, in the first place, I was the only grandchild for a long time. Black folks had to use whatever they had. So, within my family, there was no sense of “you can’t do this because you’re a woman, you can’t,” you know, even the relationships with my grandmother and mother with the men in the family. After that, um - I think that was the basis of it. But even people in SNCC tell me when they - and I think it, I think it was very silly of me, but they say when they would mention things about, “well, men aren’t going, the men aren’t going to want us to do that,” that I had no concept of how that would affect your behavior. Somebody just said that to me this year, and I can’t even remember it.