Gloria Hayes Richardson oral history interview conducted by Joseph Mosnier in New York, New York, 2011-07-19.
John Bishop: Okay, we’re going.
Joe Mosnier: Okay, let me start with just this announcement. My name is Joe Mosnier of the Southern - am I miked up? - Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am in New York City in Midtown, or I guess Lower Midtown, or West Chelsea. [Laughs]
Gloria Richardson: Yes, this is - yes, West Side.
JM: Flatiron District?
GR: No, the Flatiron District, I think, is further - is on the East Side.
JM: Technically, a little east of us, okay. Um, with - I’m with videographer John Bishop, and we are here to do an oral history interview for the Civil Rights History Project, which is a joint undertaking of the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. And we’re just delighted and very honored today to be with Ms. Gloria Hayes Dandridge [Richardson] to talk about all of the work, Ms. Dandridge, that you did and have done over the years, uh, in the Movement. So, thank you very much for coming to sit down with us today. We appreciate it.
Let me, uh - I think in our hour, hour and a half that we can spend together today in conversation, I thought I would start just having you talk a little bit about your experience at Howard [University], where you, uh, enrolled in 1938, I think and -
GR: Um, I went to Howard. My cousins had been there before me, and so it was kind of like - I was young. I think I was, like, barely sixteen. And, um, and for me, it was comfortable knowing my cousins, you know, I had grown up with, were there. But I went to Howard and I think that first year - they said I was shy, but I think it was just a lot going on, and I had come from a small town, my first time away from home. But it worked out well, in terms of friendships, and my family knew people in Washington. They had children there.
Um, I happened to have gone there when they had some really great minds, um, and I don’t - I have no sense of what they would be now, but then were considered very radical. And, um, you know, they published - E. Franklin Frazier and, uh, who was a trip in class, because he thought I was too shy and naïve and he was always explaining his raunchier comments [laughing] to me and embarrassing me in front of the class, but, anyhow, and Rayford Logan.