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Special Collections and Archives: Gender and Sexuality Oral History Project: B

Ballance. Charles

Interviewee: Charles Ballance
Interviewer: Hillery Rink
Date of Interview: May 28, 2014

Berston, Hugo

Interviewee: Hugo Berston
Interviewer: Andy Reisinger
Date of Interview: September 17, 2014

Bird, Terry

Interviewee: Terry Bird
Interviewer: Stephen Zietz
Date of Interview: March 26, 2014

Interviewee: Terry Bird
Interviewer: Stephen Zietz
Date of Interview: May 20, 2014



Bird, Terry / Jimmy Gray

Interviewee: Terry Bird, talking about Jimmy Gray
Interviewer: Dave Hayward
Date of Interview:

Biography, Terry Bird:

Biography, Jimmy Gray:


Bryant, Linda

Interviewee: Linda Bryant
Interviewer: Janet Paulk
Date of Interview: September 29, 2005
Extent: 1 audio cassette; 1 compact disc; 35 page transcript
Note: Bryant was originally interviewed for the Activist Women Oral History Project

Interviewer: Janet Paulk
Date of Interview: November 3, 2005
Extent: 2 audio cassettes; 2 compact discs; 63 page transcript
Note: Bryant was originally interviewed for the Activist Women Oral History Project

Excerpt: Linda Bryant talks about opening Charis bookstore.

In 1974 Linda Bryant opened Charis Books and later, in the mid 1990s, established the community organization, Charis Circle. According to Bryant, “What we are and want to be is a bookstore and a non-profit that exists to promote and honor and celebrate feminist values of mutuality, independence, and compassion.”

September 29, 2005 interview
Linda Bryant begins her interview by discussing her childhood. She was born in Paducah, Kentucky, but her father was in the Army, and as a result, they moved around a lot. She had a religious upbringing, and eventually attended Oklahoma Baptist College. She later transferred to the University of Florida, in part, to become involved with the Christian youth group, Young Life. She speaks about the influence that Young Life had upon her, and the many important friendships that she developed in that organization. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia to continue working with Young Life, and she talks about the work she did with students. She enrolled in graduate programs at both Emory and Georgia State Universities, and she discusses her reasons for doing so. At the same time, she and two other women opened a non-profit bookstore called Charis Books in the Little Five Points neighborhood. Bryant talks about the original focus of the store, which was to specialize in children’s, women’s, and spirituality books. She speaks about their non-profit status, which was supported by an education reform group called Exodus Incorporated. Not long after starting Charis, Bryant was asked to take in a three month old baby. Despite being single, in graduate school, and running a bookstore, Bryant accepted the baby, and she talks about some of the challenges she faced as an adoptive mother. After a few years, Charis shifted into more of a feminist/lesbian focused bookstore, though they continued to grow in the genres that they carried. Bryant discusses how falling in love with a woman caused a tension with her fellow church members and some of her Christian friends.

November 3, 2005 interview
Linda Bryant begins the second interview by talking about programming and political activism that came out of Charis Books. She mentions anti-nuclear protests at the Savannah River Plant as being any early catalyst for activism. Charis became a meeting place for many groups, and in turn, those group members were often valuable resources for fundraising and support for the store. Bryant talks about the many financial challenges the store has faced over the years, and the various strategies that were implemented to survive when so many other independent bookstores have closed. She discusses changes in the Little Five Points neighborhood, and a move into a new space, as well as a planned move to Decatur, Georgia that did not happen. She talks about the bookselling and publishing businesses, particularly as they pertain to feminism. She continues to discuss organizations that Charis was involved with and events at which they sold books; WAND in particular. Bryant talks about Kay Hagen’s work with Charis, and a book club that has affected many women. Charis was an early supporter of the Feminist Bookstore Network and its publication, Feminist Bookstore News played an important role in Charis’ history. Bryant ends by discussing some of her favorite groups that met at the store including the High School Women Writers Group, Gaia Collective, Sister Girls, and Girls Speaking Out.

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives

Oral Histories at GSU

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