Gloria Hayes Richardson oral history interview conducted by Joseph Mosnier in New York, New York, 2011-07-19.
GR: Late ’61, running over into January, yes.
JM: Yeah, yeah. Um, you mentioned that you sort of began, uh, in that first phase as an observer, and students and younger folks, including your daughters, were -
GR: Oh, yes, they would have what they called adult observers so that they would have somebody that, if something went wrong, you know, that was seasoned enough, you know, to say what went on, right or wrong, and to, you know, to warn people. And then, once or twice, I went on the picketing line. I finally decided to do that. And my daughter had to put me off the picket line, because for whatever reason, as a grown woman, I thought I could, you know, walk some kind of way and trip these people that were spitting at you and stuff that’s going down. [Laughing] And so, she put me off!
JM: Because you were not -
GR: “Ma, get off!”
JM: [Laughs] Because she didn’t see you adhering perfectly to nonviolence?
GR: Oh, yeah! Yeah, yeah.
GR: So, I thought, “Well, I don’t think I’m cut out for this.” So.
JM: Yeah. Tell me a little bit about how you were drawn into a leadership role.
GR: Oh, yes, they were - they had, uh - my cousin, Frederick St. Clair, who had been providing with his father the bail as the Freedom Riders went up and down the Eastern Shore, said to one busload, “What you all really need to do, and the place that really needs to be fixed, is Cambridge, Maryland, so why don’t you all stop off there?” So, two of them did.
GR: And then, they talked - SNCC - yeah.
JM: SNCC folks, yeah.