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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Work and family: low income and minority women talk about their lives

Repository: Harvard University. Radcliffe Institute. Schlesinger Library

Collection Description (Extant): A minister with United Campus Christian Ministry and a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Arizona, [Fran Leeper] Buss has been a community organizer since the late 1960s, when she herself was struggling to survive as an ill, divorced mother of three, dependent on welfare for support. FLB founded and directed the Women's Crisis and Information Center in Fort Collins, Col. (1971-1973), worked in community outreach in Denver and Las Vegas, and taught at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and the University of Arizona.

She is the author of four books. La Partera: Story of a Midwife (1980) and Dignity: Lower Income Women Tell of Their Lives and Struggles (1985) draw on these interviews FLB conducted over a number of years; she has also published Journey of the Sparrows (1991) and Forged under the Sun: The Life of Maria Elena Lucas (1993). Her photograph exhibit, 'Stepping from the Shadows: Portraits of Poor and Working-Class Women,' was shown in various locations, 1985-1989.

As part of a collaborative project of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women and the Schlesinger Library, this collection of interviews by FLB was transcribed, indexed, duplicated, and processed with funds from the Ford Foundation. Copies of the interview transcripts only were deposited at the New Mexico State University Library, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the University of Arizona Library, the General Library at the University of California, Davis, the Walter Royal Davis Library at the University of North Carolina, and the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.

The collection consists of audiocassettes and transcripts of fifty-six oral histories conducted by FLB with low-income and minority women of all ages from various geographic areas and racial/ethnic groups.

The interviews focus on the experience of being poor and female, on employment, and on family life, with particular attention paid to the issue of domestic violence. Also included are field notes, photographs, and other supplementary material. Transcripts and supplementary material are photocopies.

Date(s): ca.1930-1990

Digital Status: No

Existing IDs: MC 420

Extent: 9 file boxes, 2 half file boxes, 323 audiotapes

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Interviewees: Marie Allen, Elena Aragon, Jesusita Aragon, Stella Armijo, Lily Barker, Helen Berklich, Dr. Bower, Sophie Bowman, Gloria Ann Carmona, Daisy Cubias, Cynthia Dakota, Ella Davis, Jenny Deer, Betty Dixon, Rhonda Flatly, Opal Foster, Judith Franklin, Bonne Germain, Bonita Gonzalez, Doris Hanson, Josephine Hunter, Emma Jo Hustede, Nancy Jackson, Sarah Johnson, Wanda Jones, Dorothy Klitzkie, Darlene Leache, Mary Lopez, Ann Mathias, Mildred McEwen, Susan Meyer, Susan Meyer, Lucy Morgan, Maggie Muhar, Sopath Chin Ngeth, Ruth Parsons, Ruby Powers, Irene Pyawasit, Edith Rackley, Esperanza Ramon, Kasandra Rhymes, Lee Richards, Mary Robinson, Carolita Sanchez, Jo Schmidt, Viola Smith, Willa Mae Stokes, Helen Sullivan, Florence Swanson, Consuela Tafolla, Mary Tsukamoto, Marva Watkins, Cynthia Williams, Ka Yang, Sarita Young, Maria Elena Lucas Ortega

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American women
Discrimination in employment
Minority women
Race discrimination
Race relations


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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