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Special Collections and Archives: Georgia Women's Movement Oral History Project: H

A guide to the Georgia Women's Movement Oral History Project collection.

Hannon, Sharron

Interviewee: Sharron Hannon
Interviewer: Vickie Graves
Date of interview: October 23, 1998
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs; 30 page transcript

Excerpts:
Hannon talks about the struggle to balance home and work life

Hannon talks about becoming involved in ERA activities in Athens, GA

Hannon talks about sexual discrimination at CBS in New York

Biography
Sharron Hannon was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her BA from Purdue University. After graduating from college, she went to work for a daily newspaper in northern Indiana, as a general assignment reporter -- the first in the newspaper’s history. Once married, Hannon lived in Chicago and New York before moving to Athens, Georgia in 1979. In 1981 Hannon became involved with efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, starting the ERA Athens group. She also joined the National Organization for Women. After efforts to pass the ERA failed, Hannon continued to work for NOW, starting a local chapter, and going on to run the Georgia NOW Project -- an initiative to organize local chapters around the state. In 1984 Hannon launched a women’s rights newspaper, the Southern Feminist, which ran until 1988. Hannon is currently the Director of Public Relations in Academic Affairs at the University of Georgia.
 
Abstract
Hannon states that from an early age, she knew that she wanted to be a writer, and was editor of her school newspapers from the fourth grade through University. A college student during the Vietnam War era, she recalls writing about contentious issues, and subsequently being threatened with closure by the campus administration. After stints in Chicago and New York, and after the birth of her second child, Hannon describes her and her husband’s decision to move to Athens, Georgia, where her father was a faculty member at University of Georgia. She describes how, in 1981, she went to Atlanta to hear Sonya Johnson speak, and how inspiring the experience was. After attending an ERA lobby day at the Capitol, she began discussing the possibility of starting an ERA group in Athens. She describes her first awareness-raising event, a Susan B. Anthony birthday party, which 200 people attended. Hannon talks about anti-ERA activities in Georgia, and in particular an event at which Beverley LeHay (president of Concerned Women of America) and her husband came to speak. Hannon discusses the work she did as a member of NOW and as director of the Georgia NOW Project. She goes on to talk about her decision in 1984, to establish the feminist newsletter, Southern Feminist. She says that financial pressures led to its closure in 1988. Today, she lists her main concerns for women as being workplace-centered; that employers need to define their best workers not by their willingness to give all of their time to their jobs, but by their ability to lead a balanced life, and be productive.

Hlass, Cynthia

Interviewee: Cynthia W. Hlass
Interviewer: Joyce Durand
Date of interview: April 30, 1997
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs; 45 page transcript

Excerpts:
Hlass talks about working with Mary Hartman

Hlass talks about problems recruiting black women

Biography
Cynthia Welch Hlass, a real estate broker and former Atlanta NOW president, was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1944. She attended Northwestern University (Chicago, Illinois) for two years during the early 1960s, then left to become an airline attendant. Hlass graduated from Mercer University (Atlanta, Georgia) in 1977 with a dual major in psychology and sociology. It was while she was finishing her degree at Mercer that she served as Atlanta NOW president (1973-1974) and as legislative coordinator (1974-1975) for Georgia NOW. Hlass was a real estate broker for over 20 years. She died in 2003.

Abstract
Hlass describes her childhood in great detail, including her parents’ expectations for her. She talks about attending Northwestern University for two years, and then training to be an airline attendant with Trans World (TWA). Hlass eventually received a degree in sociology and psychology from Mercer University in Atlanta in 1977. She discusses her personal life, her children, her parents, and interestingly weaves that in with a discussion about her parents’ inability to understand why she was involved in the Women’s Movement or her affiliation with NOW. Hlass explains that after she became a member of NOW in Atlanta, she immersed herself within the movement -- eventually becoming the president of her local chapter. Hlass describes how, in 1975, she was nominated to travel to the Soviet Union to represent NOW and to personify the women’s liberation movement. She says that in order to raise money for the trip she had to avoid using terms like “feminist,” or “Women’s Movement,” or “Women’s Liberation.” She recalls that during her tenure as president of Atlanta NOW, the organization filed suit against Atlanta Magazine for unequal pay amongst their women employees. Spending many hours at the state Capitol lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment and for rape-related issues, particularly “spousal rape,”  Hlass repeatedly utilized the media to help transmit the NOW’s message to the public. She discusses her encounters with powerful Georgian politicians, the issues that are still a concern for her, and the legacy of the Women’s Movement.

Holmes, Dorris

Interviewee: Dorris Dutel Holmes
Interviewer: Janet Paulk
Date of interview: October 23, 2000
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs; 42 page transcript

Excerpt:
Holmes talks about opposition to the ERA

Biography
Dorris [Dotsie] Dutel Holmes was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1924. She attended Loyola University with a major in sociology and a minor in history, and worked as a social worker and pre-school teacher. When she and her husband moved to Georgia, Holmes became increasingly interested in community property and the kinds of discrimination women faced in terms of home ownership and equal pay issues. Holmes joined the League of Women Voters, and has served as vice president of the Atlanta chapter, as well as treasurer of the Atlanta chapter of the American Association of University Women. Holmes was a Georgia delegate at the National Women’s Conference in Houston during International Women’s Year (1977), and participated in lobbying efforts for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Georgia. From 1988 to 1996 Holmes was on the DeKalb Library’s Board of Trustees, and from 1997 to 2000, was treasurer of the Chamblee Library Friends association. She continues to be a member of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women.

Abstract
The daughter of a grocery store owner, Holmes talks about her childhood and education in New Orleans, Louisiana. She describes her mother as “a feminist long before the word became popular.” After marrying and eventually moving to Atlanta, Holmes says that she became aware of sexual discrimination when she and her husband bought a house, and she was informed that “in Georgia the husbands own the houses.” She joined the Atlanta chapter of the League of Women Voters, and through them became involved with the study on the status of women in Georgia. She describes the day to day business of lobbying legislators in efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, and the split over the ERA Georgia Inc. presidential election. She feels that although the Equal Rights Amendment did not pass, that progress has been made, and she cites the professions and sports that are now open to women.

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives

Oral Histories at GSU

Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women's Movement Archives

Lucy Hargrett Draper Collections on Women's Rights, Advocacy, and the Law

Archives for Research on Women and Gender

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