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Georgia Government Documentation Project: J

A guide to the Georgia Government Documentation Project oral history collection.

Series J. Black and White Women in Atlanta Public Life

Series J.  Black and White Women in Atlanta Public Life (P2000-12)

Interviews by Kathryn Nasstrom

Material from these interviews conducted by Kathryn Nasstrom were used by her in her dissertation, "Women, the Civil Rights Movement and the Politics of Historical Memory in Atlanta, 1946-1973," for her doctorate at the University of North Carolina in 1993.

For Availability Information, see the Finding Aid.

Series J Oral Histories

Crank, Sujette (P1993-02)

Interviewed by: Kathryn Nasstrom

April 12, 1993

68 pp.


Sujette Crank is an educator, served as the Director of the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA and the Equal Opportunities Administration.

Among topics discussed: Early family life; Morris Brown College; early schooling; Northwestern University; Evanston, Illinois; black life at Northwestern; Alpha Kappa Alpha; local community service; sororities role in Evanston; fundraisers; mother's role; teaching at Washington High School. Jane Boyd; community house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago YWCA; segregation at the Y; workshops at the Y; operating a day camp; Metropolitan Education Group; Phyllis Wheatley YWCA; Mamie Kay Taylor; struggles to promote desegregation at the Wheatley Y; the Chicago Y and unionism; Helen Vanderweslein; forming a union at the Y; AFL‑CIO. Forming a union at the Chicago Y; AFL and CIO competition; Mamie Taylor; highlights of tenure at YWCA; raising money; membership drives; Dr. Harry B. Richardson; YMCA and YWCA differences; prominent contributors to the Y; building a stronger base for the Y; Harvest Tea; leaving the Y; the Employment Opportunities Atlanta; Robert Thompson. EOA; Frankie Adams; animosity toward the EOA; EOA spending; poverty; Ku Klux Klan; Calvin Craig; Model Cities program; instinctive politics in the black community; John Calhoun; mass conventions in the 1960s; Q. V. Williamson; 1965 riots; Ivan Allen Jr.; community's reaction to the building of Atlanta‑Fulton County Stadium; Deacon Peters; Edward Moody; Mattie Ansley; Ethel Matthews; highlights of EOA career.


Dove, Pearlie (P1992-03)

Interviewed by: Kathryn Nasstrom

April 9, 1992

73 pp.


Pearlie Dove (b. 1921) was an educator at Clark College (later changed to Clark‑Atlanta University).

Among topics discussed: Career in education; Dr. A. A. MacPheeters; Dr. Reese Hughes and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); Clark University; Association of Student Teachers; American Association of Colleges; 1970 statement on multicultural education; Phi Delta Kappa; chronology of career at Clark; educational background; Dr. Vivian Wilson Henderson; career opportunities for students; open admissions; cultural activities at the university; school desegregation in Atlanta; preparing student teachers for desegregation; student teaching as an opportunity for new experiences; de facto segregation; the Atlanta Project; teaching associations and the NAACP; Dove's work with Phyllis Wheatley YWCA; black organizations/institutions involvement in politics; June Cofer; Atlanta Journal‑Constitution; Atlanta University Center; Ruby Blackburn; Hattie Rainwater; Georgia League of Women Voters; Negro Cultural League; Myrtle Davis.


Harris, Narvie (P1992-10)

Interviewed by: Kathryn Nasstrom

June 11, 1992

61 pp.


Narvie Harris was a supervisor/instructional coordinator for DeKalb County schools 1944‑1983.

Among topics discussed: Family and educational background; Robert L. Cousins; Harris' father; desegregation of the Atlanta police force; Harris as Jeanes Supervisor; education and social work in Harris's job; health education; utilizing county services; organizing PTA Council; networking with whites; Frances Pauley, Eleanor Richardson and Head Start; 1967 Harris begins work with all county schools (not just black); Jim Cherry; Henry Nelson, Superintendent of DeKalb Schools; Harris testifies before DeKalb Grand Jury to receive supplies for black classrooms; Atlanta Urban League; C. L. Harper; DeKalb Black PTA Council; Harris became PTA Atlanta District President in 1953; Our Georgia Family; voter registration; science fair; mores, customs, values; PTA finances; PTA handbook; school desegregation; reason NAACP not invited to speak at DeKalb black PTA meetings; Harris' support for NAACP; goal of PTA.


McPheeters, Annie L. (P1992-09)

Interviewed by: Kathryn Nasstrom

June 8, 1992

49 pp.


Annie McPheeters was the Head librarian at the Auburn Branch Library 1930's and '40's.

Among topics discussed: Why McPheeters became a librarian; library's 1930 adult education program; John Wesley Dobbs; black libraries provide information for political, civic and voter leagues; Dr. C. A. Bacote; Reverend William Holmes Borders; Warren Cochran of the YMCA; libraries' role at Voter League meetings; Negro Women's Voters League and Ruby Blackburn; League of Women Voters; women's groups and voter education; the Hungry Club; Hallie Beecham Brooks; voter registration efforts in 1946; All Citizens Group; library desegregation; Friends of the Library; Atlanta Council on Human Relations; Whitney Young; Am Vets; John C. Settelmayer; Mayor Hartsfield; "Freedom Riders"; Julian Bond; Auburn Library black history collection; SNCC; Utopian Literary Club; school desegregation; McPheeters' attitude toward political participation away from the library;  Sibley Commission; Mrs. Mexico Mickleberry and Margaret Davis Bowen; the cultural and intellectual role played by black libraries before desegregation; origins of the Metropolitan Atlanta Association for the Blind; Martin Luther King, Jr. and Maynard Jackson as youths at the library; black women move out into the community; Nina King; Chautauqua Literary Club; Atlanta Life Insurance Company; the Atlanta Daily World; Atlanta Housing Authority; McPheeters's reaction to feminism; McPheeters compiles indexes of/for black community.


Pendergrast, Nan (P1992-11)

Interviewed by: Kathryn Nasstrom and Cliff Kuhn

June 24, 1992

101 pp.


Nan Pendergrast (b. 1920) has been involved in civil rights and social justice activities in Atlanta since the 1940s. She was a leader of HOPE (Help Our Public Education) during Georgia's desegregation crisis.

Among topics discussed: Family background; social consciousness; education; Walter White; 1906 Atlanta race riot; Leo Frank lynching; Ralph McGill; Barry Goldwater; met Britt Pendergrast; Britt Pendergrast's educational and career background; pacifist reaction to WW II; Atlanta's American Friends Service Committee in 1940s; YWCA and race issue; Dorothy Tilly; Josephine Wilkins; League of Women Voters; Republican Party; Jewish women and the League; Bea Haas; Jo Heyman; Rebecca Gershon; Judge Elbert Tuttle; state Republican Party and desegregation; John Calhoun; the Atlanta Daily World; Dean Josephine Murphy of Atlanta University; Council on Human Relations; lack of black/white relationships in Atlanta; Whitney Young; mid‑1940s registration drive; Morris Abram; Georgia Republican delegation split in 1952; Judge Tuttle; Dwight Eisenhower as Pendergrast political idol; family attitude toward Franklin D. Roosevelt; strike at Southern Spring Bed Company; desegregation; the Urban League; 1956 desegregation crisis of League of Women Voters; George Goodwin; how liberals interacted with Atlanta power structure; Pendergrast articles; HOPE; the Tower Theater desegregationist meeting; people who inspired Pendergrast; Sibley Commission hearings; John Sibley; HOPE; Maxine Freedman and Judy Nieman; Muriel Lokey; Lanier Randall; Harry Boyte controversy; Hamilton Lokey and HOPE's pragmatic approach to desegregation; Friends Meeting House; business community and desegregation; Helen Bullard; Ivan Allen; Muggsy Smith; Lester Maddox; restaurant desegregation; Partners for Progress; Dick Rich and Rich's Department Store; Bob Coles and black transfer students; Grace Hamilton and the Urban League; Sadie Mays; Jessie Hill; Journal and Constitution quote from Pendergrast, October 1961.


Washington, Alice Holmes (P1993-03)

Interviewed by: Kathryn Nasstrom

April 15, 1993

57 pp.


Alice Homes Washington was an educator and leader in the Atlanta black community during the 1950s and 1960s.

Among topics discussed: Family background; move to Spelman; education of brothers; family name sources; Alice Duggett Carrie; Mrs. Carrie as first black librarian in Atlanta; visiting the library; background of parents; settling in Atlanta; father's medical practice; memories of mother; National Association of Black Professional Nurses; father celebrates Christmas; mother's sewing circle; YWCA; Donna Greene. Involvement with YWCA; becoming a teacher; moving through Georgia; teaching career; work in media; college courses; high school counselor; South Fulton High School; teachers as professionals; PTA at South Fulton High School; Colored Congress of PTA; Haightville High School; evolution of PTA. Impression of the media; student protests; personal activism; memories of parents; neighborhood youth corps; desegregation of golf courses lawsuit; desegregation of University of Georgia; working in Fulton County schools; neighborhood youth corps and the War on Poverty; counselor at South Fulton High School; challenges of the War on Poverty. Neighborhood youth corps programs; health services for students; opposing the patronage system; relations with school board; the War on Poverty program.


Watkins, Lottie (P1992-12)

Interviewed by:  Kathryn Nasstrom

June 25, 1992

53 pp.


Lottie Watkins is a property management specialist.

Among topics discussed: Family background; education; early working career; 1960 Watkins starts own property management business; Geneva Hauga brooks as role model; fundraising for Butler Street Y; Bill Lucas, scout for Atlanta Braves; United Way and the Y; financial accountability of Y; Hungry Club and prominent attendees; whites at the Hungry Club; social workers important to Watkins's civic work; Grace Hamilton; Eunice Cooper; the Urban League;  student sit‑in movement; Jesse Hill; black boycott of downtown Atlanta; Watkins joins lunch counter sit‑in; leaders and participants in sit‑ins; how Watkins business and civic activities related; Watkins's family participates in political activities; Atlanta Summit Leadership Conference; West Hunter Library discussions on education; police brutality and scholarship funds; All Citizens Registration Drive; Watkins becomes registrar; NAACP Freedom Fund Banquets; Aaron Henry; Eunice Cooper and women as officers in the NAACP; fundraising; Grace Hamilton in the Urban League; Butler Street Y; various political campaign involvements by Watkins; Lyndon Johnson; interracial meetings among Democrats; Ella Mae Brayboy.

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Fax: (404) 413-2881

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Special Collections & Archives
Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur Street, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3202

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