SOHP Series G. Southern Women

Interviews in this series focus on women's participation in movements for social change. The idea for a series of interviews with southern women originated with Jacquelyn Hall's study, Revolt Against Chivalry: Jessie Daniel Ames and the Women's Campaign Against Lynching (Columbia University Press, 1979), which looks at the role of women in the anti-lynching movement of the Depression decade. Other interviews, financed by a 1974 Rockefeller Foundation grant to the Southern Oral History Program, expanded this focus to include labor relations, race relations, and reform movements. Many of the earlier interviews in this series deal with the experience of southern women in the critical period between the women's suffrage movement of the 1920s and the feminist movement of the 1960s. The individuals interviewed were active participants in many reform movements during this period. The interviews particularly explore the interaction between the women's private lives and their public activities. Many of the women interviewed were born between 1890 and 1910. Thus, they matured politically during the 1930s, the era of the Great Depression, labor organization, and New Deal reform. They are from various social classes and are of different races. Many of the women can be grouped into three categories: women involved in labor and workers' education movements either as students or as teachers; black and white women active in the civil rights movement; and women who, in addition to their contributions to these reform movements, also pursued professional careers. A great number of them were affiliated with the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, the Women's Division of the Southern Methodist Church, the Young Women's Christian Association, or the Southern Summer School for Women Workers.

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