Film, Video Dorothy Zellner oral history interview conducted by Emilye Crosby in Baltimore, Maryland, 2015 December 08.
About this Item
- Dorothy Zellner oral history interview conducted by Emilye Crosby in Baltimore, Maryland, 2015 December 08.
- Dorothy Zellner reflects on her experience as one of the early organizers in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Offering a unique perspective as a white woman in a black-led organization, she sheds light on the dynamics of race and gender in the Civil Rights Movement. Detailing the efforts of her and her then husband Bob Zellner, she discusses her involvement in organizing civil liberties workshops, forming a Northeast Regional Office of SNCC, and her role in recruiting Northern volunteers for the 1964 Freedom Summer Project. She discusses SNCC's decision to exclude white workers by the late 1960s and reflects on the complexities of this consensus. Emphasizing how SNCC was dynamic in its ability to function as a non-racial community, she considers its deterioration an endured loss for American society. She continues to pride SNCC as her life's work, to this day.
- Contributor Names
- Zellner, Dorothy, interviewee.
- Crosby, Emilye, interviewer.
- Bishop, John Melville, videographer.
- Civil Rights History Project (U.S.)
- Created / Published
- Subject Headings
- - Zellner, Dorothy--Interviews
- - Bond, Julian,--1940-2015
- - Carmichael, Stokely,--1941-1998
- - Forman, James,--1928-2005
- - Moses, Robert Parris
- - Robinson, Ruby Doris Smith,--1941-1967
- - Zellner, Bob
- - Congress of Racial Equality
- - Mississippi Freedom Project
- - Southern Regional Council
- - Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
- - Anti-communist movements--United States
- - Civil rights movements--Mississippi
- - Civil rights movements--United States
- - Folk music festivals--Mississippi--Greenwood
- - Greensboro Sit-ins, Greensboro, N.C., 1960
- - Nonviolence--United States
- - Women civil rights workers--United States--Interviews
- Personal narratives
- Filmed interviews
- Oral histories
- Video recordings
- - Recorded in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 8, 2015.
- - Civil Rights History Project collection (AFC 2010/039: 0125), Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
- - Copies of items are also held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.).
- - Dorothy "Dottie" Zellner was born on January 14th, 1938 in New York City. She joined the NAACP in high school, and later went to Miami, Florida to enroll in a CORE workshop, training in non-violent organizing. Under CORE, she moved to New Orleans and was involved with "casing" sites for sit-ins and outreach to the white community. Dotty left CORE and was hired by the Southern Regional Council and moved to Atlanta in June of 1961. Later that year, she became involved with SNCC, organizing a Civil Liberties Workshop in the spring of 1963, and later marrying her husband Bob Zellner the following August. In 1964 she moved to Boston with her husband forming a Northeast Regional Office of SNCC while recruiting and interviewing prospective volunteers for the Freedom Summer Project. In 1965, Dottie had a daughter, and moved back to Atlanta with her new child and husband. She and her husband wrote a Grassroots Organizing Work (GROW) proposal to SNCC, to stay a part of the organization. She later moved to New Orleans to work with Anne and Carl Braden of the Southern Conference Education Fund (SCEF) for five years. Zellner worked as a nurse for several years before joining the Center for Constitutional Rights in 1984. In 1998, she became director of publications and development for the Queens College School of Law. She lectures and writes frequently about the civil rights movement and co-edited Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC. As of 2014, she is involved in advocacy work on behalf of Palestinians
- - The Civil Rights History Project is a joint project of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture to collect video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of individuals who participated in the Civil Rights movement.
- - In English.
- - Finding aid http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/eadafc.af013005
- 21 video files (Apple ProRes 422 HQ, QuickTime wrapper) (3:03:01) : digital, sound, color.
- transcript 1 item (.pdf) : text files.
- Source Collection
- Civil Rights History Project collection AFC 2010/039: 0125
- Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, DC USA 20540-4610 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/folklife.home
- Digital Id
- Library of Congress Control Number
- Rights Advisory
- Duplication of collection materials may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.
- Access Advisory
- Collection is open for research. To request materials, please contact the Folklife Reading Room at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/folklife.contact
- Online Format
- LCCN Permalink
- Additional Metadata Formats
- MARCXML Record
- MODS Record
- Dublin Core Record
- Anti-Communist Movements
- Bond, Julian
- Carmichael, Stokely
- Civil Rights Movements
- Congress of Racial Equality
- Filmed Interviews
- Folk Music Festivals
- Forman, James
- Greensboro Sit-Ins, Greensboro, N.C.
- Mississippi Freedom Project
- Moses, Robert Parris
- Oral Histories
- Personal Narratives
- Robinson, Ruby Doris Smith
- Southern Regional Council
- Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
- United States
- Video Recordings
- Women Civil Rights Workers
- Zellner, Bob
- Zellner, Dorothy
Rights & Access
The individuals documented in these collection items retain copyright and related rights to the use of their recorded and written testimonies and memories. They have granted the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution permission to provide access to their interviews and related materials for purposes that are consistent with each agency’s educational mission, such as publication and transmission, in whole or in part, on the Web. Their written permission is required for commercial, profit-making distribution, reproduction, or other use beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.
The American Folklife Center, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.
Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.
Civil Rights History Project collection (AFC 2010/039), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Cite This Item
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Zellner, Dorothy, Interviewee, Emilye Crosby, John Melville Bishop, and U.S Civil Rights History Project. Dorothy Zellner oral history interview conducted by Emilye Crosby in Baltimore, Maryland. 2015. Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/2016655416/.
APA citation style:
Zellner, D., Crosby, E., Bishop, J. M. & Civil Rights History Project, U. S. (2015) Dorothy Zellner oral history interview conducted by Emilye Crosby in Baltimore, Maryland. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2016655416/.
MLA citation style:
Zellner, Dorothy, Interviewee, et al. Dorothy Zellner oral history interview conducted by Emilye Crosby in Baltimore, Maryland. 2015. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2016655416/>.
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