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    Gloria Hayes Richardson Interview, 7-19-11 Page 1 of 23 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: Ms. Gloria Hayes Richardson Interview Date: July 19, 2011 Location: Midtown, Manhattan, New York City Interviewer: Joseph Mosnier, Ph.D. Videographer: John Bishop ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    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 ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    So, it was a good time, and we did - um, my first demonstrations, really, were there, first against the university because of curfews and things. And secondly, um, there - and I’m a little confused about what organization started that, but we did some demonstrations, I think against Woolworth’s in, uh, probably in my junior year. So, I went through that and came ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JM: Sure, yeah. Let me ask - I want to ask about your family, um, and if you could situate your family in Cambridge. I know that’s a long story, but - GR: [Laughing] No, that’s not a long story, but I - um, well, I guess, actually, although I wasn’t raised that way, um, I guess they were the, in terms of the ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JM: Because he was not allowed to join them. GR: To join them, that’s right. So, in that respect, I was - and that’s true of Washington, too, so that was true my life. However, within that framework, and because, I guess, we were restricted to one ward, then your daily life was within the confines of that. People that had to go outside ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Um-hmm. JM: And at that time, I wonder if you’d recall, um - one of the aspects of segregation in Cambridge that would be so, uh, terribly consequential for your family was that health care and opportunities for health care workers were segregated by race. GR: Oh, yes, I think so. And the doctors did not have privileges, black doctors did not have ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JM: Right. GR: And the soda fountain. JM: Yeah. You - in 1960, you were running the store. GR: Yes. He had died, and we were looking - I don’t remember during that time, but at times we had problems, uh, finding a black pharmacist that wanted to come into a small town. Uh, and in the meantime, Craig’s Drugstore, the white drugstore, filled ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    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 ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Yeah, Bill Hansen and Reginald Robinson. So, they did and stayed at my uncle’s house and they started having, calling in community people, and, uh, who - I wasn’t part of that either [laughs] - that, you know, supported the young people and whatnot. And then, uh, Donna was involved. She claims this isn’t - she doesn’t remember this, but anyhow. JM: You’re ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JM: We’re back after a short break. Please. GR: Oh, okay. JM: You were saying? GR: Uhh - JM: Well, let me ask this, if I could. GR: Oh, our first thing was on voter registration, but I didn’t really believe in that. I just thought people had to be shown that it - because we’d been voting still since 18 - for one ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Yeah, I don’t think I real - quite - I mean, looking back now, I can see that. JM: Yeah. GR: We supported them, but we had moved away from the, the, uh, public accommodations. People would say to me, which was true, “Those are sleazy restaurants!” I don’t care what level, economic level the person was on, “That sleazy restaurant! What do ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JM: So, you really did a, in a sense, a basic solid systematic survey of conditions in - GR: I know. And then after they, after they, uh, wrote it up and did the correlations at Swarthmore - actually, I think that’s what, I think that’s what changed Robert Kennedy’s mind, was it was perfectly clear that it was just abysmally poor people, that ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Oh, yes. Yes. Well, for some, it’s that today. JM: Well, right. Yeah. GR: When you disaggregate the figures, it’s high. But, no, and that was even with seasonal work, and, and because the City Council, except for one guy, uh, and the aristocrats in town, you know, had very low opinion of black folks. And it was, it was Granville Hooper who ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Which I was - state senator, which I was not interested in in the first place. And, and a variety of things - JM: Yeah, all these efforts to deflect you from your leadership role in Cambridge. GR: Yes, and I think misjudged the Cambridge movement. JM: Right, right. Let’s pause for just a sec. [Recording stops and then resumes] JB: And we’re ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Yes. 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 - GR: Um-hmm. JM: Uh, who helped throughout the community ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    I remember at some point some lady called me from out in the Midwest and asked, “Well, how are they treating you?” And I asked her, I can remember asking her, “What do you mean ‘as a woman’?” Because by that time, I think, in Cambridge itself the, the - there, there was - they may have been before, they may have been afterwards ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Yes, in Den - I think they were from Denver - anyhow, yeah. JM: Who had come through, shooting up the black community - GR: Yes, they had! JM: One night. And they were fired - black men and others in the community fired back. GR: Oh, yeah, I was in the street - [Laughs] JM: Can you describe that? GR: Yes. I ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: Yes. JM: And I - there’s one irony, and you’ve touched on this in things you’ve written, that, um, you were both aware, separately, that your phones were being tapped. GR: Yes, he told me. When I went back there after the Rap Brown incident, he told me, yes, and that that’s why he used to send his Number 2 guy back and ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: But then, yeah, because what - if you’re born here and been here and you know what. JM: Let me ask, the Kennedys invited - well, the Kennedys - Robert Kennedy invited you to the White House. GR: [Laughs] Yes. I think that was because I was in - I think I was having - we were having a conference with the governor ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JB: Ugh. JM: Did you - what were your strategies and mechanisms for dealing with all that pressure and fear - well, pressure? GR: I don’t know. I think - I mean, I’m not saying that I was never afraid. I don’t know. I always depended - I always thought, “Well, if they get me, those people in Cambridge will get them.” And then ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    And then, the whole town poured out, I think, about twelve o’clock. And we kept thinking, “What is this roar?” It’s this big roar. And we peeped, got on our toes and peeped out through the jail cells. And I said, “I think that’s people!” And it was, in their nightgowns and everything, just pouring. This was way, way away. We used to say, ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    GR: [Chuckles] Yes. Almost everybody up and down the East Coast, black, white, priest, whatever, came into Cambridge. Um, some of the SNCC people didn’t want to march. But Wallace had been all over the state of Maryland, and with some people in Cambridge backing him - I’m not sure that all the articles about the fire department - but not only was it ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JM: But that night you were earlier alluding to the fact that an elderly, one elderly man and an infant died. GR: Yes. Yes. JM: And it was believed that their conditions had been so seriously affected by the gas. GR: Yes. Yes. JM: Yeah. Um - GR: And they said people were crawling on the ground. They had taken some of us out. ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    JM: And then on the day of the March on Washington, you, uh, you had to think very carefully about what you would wear, what you would say - GR: Oh, yes, because they called me and told me not to wear jeans. So, then I went all across the Eastern Shore of Maryland - well, we weren’t shopping in Cambridge; we shopped in ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19
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    So, I said, “Well, forget about it.” And I saw Robert Ming from Chicago, and there was some legal thing that we had going on in Cambridge, and I wanted to talk to him about. So, I said, “No, let me go in the back of these people here, because I want to talk to this guy.” And that’s what I did. So then, ...

    • Contributor: Civil Rights History Project (u.s.) - Mosnier, Joseph - Richardson, Gloria
    • Date: 2011-07-19