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  • Film, Video
    Image 1 of 1 transcript Dr. Doris Derby Interview, 4-26-11 Page 1 of 17 Civil Rights History Project Interview completed by the Southern Oral History Program under contract to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture and the Library of Congress, 2011 Interviewee: Dr. Doris Derby Interview date: April 26, 2011 Location: Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia Interviewer: Joseph Mosnier, Ph.D. Videographer: John Bishop Length: ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 2 of 1 transcript Doris Derby: You’re quite welcome. JM: Um, let me start today with a - I’d love to have you talk a little bit about, um, your childhood, your parents - I know that your great aunts were also very influential figures as you kind of came into yourself as a - as a young adult. And just reflect a little bit about what seems ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 3 of 1 transcript DD: Well, uh, I grew up in a community in the Bronx called Williamsbridge, and, uh, it was an interesting community. It was diverse, and yet we had a, um - the black community was welded together through the four - three or four - churches in the area. I, uh - my father was Episcopalian, and so we went officially to the Episcopal ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 4 of 1 transcript I was very privileged to grow up in New York City, because in Manhattan we had something called the Schomburg Library [Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture]. And the Schomburg Library was a collection of African, African American heritage, Caribbean heritage books. Um, and one time when I was going to visit my aunt, who lived in that area, uh, and, uh, I ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 5 of 1 transcript There were a lot of things that, uh - even though I grew up in New York, the part of New York that I grew up in was really outside - it was in the, within the city limits, but it was right at the edge. And, uh, people used to say, “Oh, you live in the country.” In a way, we did, because ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 6 of 1 transcript Um, my uncle that was married to my mother’s oldest sister, he talked about his story. Uh, he was - he did training at Tufts University to be a dentist. And, um, he couldn’t really - he didn’t have anyone who would, a dentist who would take him in as a partner or an intern. Then he couldn’t get the money to, uh, to ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 7 of 1 transcript DD: No, not ’40s. ’30s. JM: Um-hmm. DD: No, wait a minute. It was after - it was after World War II. JM: Okay, so it was late ’40s? DD: I think it was after World War - so like middle ’40s, I would think. JM: Yeah, yeah. DD: Um-hmm. So, she did work there for a period of time and then she came ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
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    Image 8 of 1 transcript DD: Okay. Let me, uh, just say a few things before that. Uh, my grandparents believed in traveling. And, um, none of them were ever in the military, but they, uh, they, um, would take - were very active in the church. And my family, my father - I was very active in the church, in two churches, as I told you. And so, ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 9 of 1 transcript 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 ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 10 of 1 transcript And then, of course, I had been reading about Africa. I had been associating with people who were looking - who were exploring African culture. It was the AMSAC, the American Society of African Culture, and, uh, I started to go to their meetings in New York. They were looking at making connections, cultural connections, identifications and cultural connections between Africa and African Americans. ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 11 of 1 transcript DD: I always used to take pictures, but that was just, you know, family and friends. But then, later on, I wanted to document so that the things that I felt I was lacking when I grew up, that I had to really find out about, I had to look for, I wanted other people to have those, that, those visual images. And I ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 12 of 1 transcript And so, as it turned out, I was told, “Well, if you’re going to go to Albany, Georgia, you have to go to Atlanta first and meet up with, um, the SNCC folk, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee,” because I had already started working, um, to establish - there was, like, a New York SNCC office. JM: So, that work had already begun in New ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 13 of 1 transcript DD: Albany Movement office in Albany, and, uh, see what was on the agenda: what had transpired, what - you know, what the police were doing, what was - you know, what was Dr. King doing? And who was needed to do what? So, before I knew it, I was in that mode. But I have always been in a community acting, helping mode. ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 14 of 1 transcript DD: Well, there were so many things, so many activities going on, and there was excitement. There was the mass meetings, and people were planning things, and, um, uh, you know, there was the training, uh, in nonviolent techniques for demonstrations, which I did participate in some. And, um, so, it really wasn’t - I wasn’t thinking so much about something happening to me. ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 15 of 1 transcript And so, we - SNCC needed a New York office for fundraising, so there were a group of us who would - you know, went there in the afternoon or the evening, because I got out of school like at three o’clock and I’d sometimes go down there, uh, in the early evening. Um, so, there were people I was meeting through that group, ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 16 of 1 transcript DD: Well, I mentioned that I was - my charge from Charles Sherrod was: we need to, you know, get - we need funds and we need this, uh - we need to, uh - they needed a vehicle, so the school bus. So, I put, uh - I had my little committee and I was organizing a big fundraising event at a church ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 17 of 1 transcript JM: [Coughs] Okay. [Recording stops and then resumes] JB: We’re rolling. JM: We just took a little short break. Um, you just explained how, having seen so much of the, um, violence in media imagery and so forth in the spring of ’63, that you - that was the moment you resolved to go to Mississippi after the March on Washington. Let me ask ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 18 of 1 transcript DD: Well, I’ll start with, uh, that first year. When I arrived, uh, you know, I was given the title of a SNCC field secretary [1:00:00] and put on the payroll for ten dollars a week. That’s what SNCC field secretaries made. And, um, there were homes of people that - Jackson folks that we would be put up with. Um, you’d stay with ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 19 of 1 transcript JM: [Sneezes] How did you find your way forward most successfully, crossing that space between, um, your education and background outside the South and the conditions that you would find in rural black Mississippi in those years? DD: It wasn’t such a big - it just wasn’t such a big divide, you know. My parents and my grandparents, we used to go camping from ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 20 of 1 transcript Uh, we used to joke about that, but in reality, uh, the women, you know, were strong. In the struggle, the women were strong. Uh, when you see the young girls, teenagers that got arrested and what they had to go through when they were in jail in these small, these rural areas, these jails with two sides to it, you know, uh, no ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 21 of 1 transcript And then, um, so, my areas were art and dance, but I also had - I used to go to a lot of off-Broadway and Broadway plays - off-Broadway black theaters, theatrical groups in New York. The great thing about New York is all of the exposure to the arts that I had, and I was always looking for it, that quest for black ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 22 of 1 transcript JM: Yeah. Do you remember - I think the Theater’s first performance was, um, summer of ’64, Freedom Summer, I think in McComb, Mississippi. I don’t know if you maybe were there or not. DD: I was not there. [Someone coughs] But we had the first - the first plays were in the spring of ’64 at Tougaloo campus. JM: Okay. DD: We did ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 23 of 1 transcript JM: Right. DD: So I said, “I’m going back.” And there was a professor from the University of Michigan who was doing a research project on looking at achievement, uh, by black students in predominately white schools versus in predominately black schools. And they wanted - they needed one other person to help with the study for the spring of sixty - for the ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 24 of 1 transcript So I got, uh, tires, and we painted the tires and put them in different places and made designs. And, uh, horses that you use to build, um, you put - got pieces of wood and you had them put them over that horse and make it like a seesaw - a lot of different things, because I was familiar with horses, [someone coughs] ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 25 of 1 transcript DD: So, I enjoyed that. During that time, uh, Adam Gifford from England, uh, was hired to make a movie, a documentary film, about that Head Start. They chose that Head Start center, and then, I was the lead teacher in that. The movie was called Chance for a Change, and they had different versions of it that they used for different reasons. JM: ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 26 of 1 transcript DD: “If you think you can do that, call, you know, contact us, and we’ll come back up. And we will arrange to have someone come and teach you how to make a certain handcraft, some particular handcraft.” So, we would look at what was already being produced, and then who do we have around that can, that has been, would be willing to ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 27 of 1 transcript DD: Well, there was the “America I Am” exhibit that traveled across the country last year and the year before, and, um, they had a few of my items, including my SNCC blue jean dress, jumper dress. JM: Um-hmm. DD: That, you know, SNCC women had an outfit, and the guys had an outfit. The guys wore the blue jean overalls, uh, and the ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 28 of 1 transcript And I always was the experimenter, the one [1:40:00] that, um, “Okay, we have a project. Let’s do it. Okay, you do it.” [Laughs] And so, I said, “Okay,” you know, “I’d like to do it.” And so, they, uh - I helped recruit, as well as be part of it. So, that’s what we did. We would go to different, travel around to ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
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    Image 29 of 1 transcript DD: And I became a member of that. [microphone noise] And so, the main thing I had to do was get the photographs together, start to look at the negatives and contact sheets. But they would, or we would organize the exhibit. They would have a, uh, curator. You drop your pictures off, and if you had time, you could help put them up. ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
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    Image 30 of 1 transcript 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 ...
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26
  • Film, Video
    Image 31 of 1 transcript JB: Thanks. DD: Okay. [Recording ends at 1:51:05] END OF INTERVIEW
    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (U.S.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Derby, Doris Adelaide
    • Date: 2011-04-26