These interviews are now online in the Long Women’s Movement series in our database. They were conducted during summer 2013 as part of an undergraduate course combining internships throughout the community with oral history and other coursework, under the direction of Dr. Rachell Seidman and Joey Fink. For quick access, you can also search the database for interview numbers U-1002 through U-1010. For more about the Moxie Project, click here.
Field Notes (Our Blog)
By Layla Quran for the SOHP
I sat in the massive lobby of the UNC Friday Center on October 31, 2013 waiting for Donald Boulton to enter. At 3:30pm on the dot a friendly-looking, professional dressed man walked in with a friendly smile. “You were right!”, I said to the receptionist as he had assured me Boulton would be there soon. Boulton and I walked into a smaller office and began the task of unraveling 26 years of student affairs at UNC, focusing on the creation of the Carolina Gay Association.
Boulton grew up in a small town and won a fellowship to travel after he graduated from a small university in upstate New York. The fellowship was for him to study religion in Germany, where he eventually became fluent in German and then traveled to the Middle East to live there for 2 weeks and study the newly discovered Dead Sea Scrolls. Boulton says “I saw the world in many different cultures”. Upon returning to the US, he began his doctorate at Columbia where he would met gay and lesbian students kicked out of their families for their sexual orientation. I mention these experiences because they contributed to his understanding and approval of the Carolina Gay Association years later. As he studied different forms of love in an academic setting, he also began to ask others about their value systems, and if they had a basic spiritual love for all of human kind.
Boulton describes entering UNC was like entering a time warp as female students were just beginning to be accepted into the freshmen class, and there were separate deans from men and women(which he got rid of by creating deans of students). One of his responsibilities as Dean was to recognize student organizations, and when he mentioned this that began our discussion on the Carolina Gay Association.
He was called into the chancellor’s office after his recognition of the CGA, where the chancellor said to him, “Don, do you realize what you just did? This is Bible country”. Boulton responded to the chancellor as well as to the several letters he would eventually receive from alumni, parents, and some members of the Board of Trustees by saying that he did understand the Bible and he was responded to the ‘law of the land’. Several other universities, including University Virginia and University of New Hampshire would come to reject the recognition of gay associations and be appealed by federal courts for doing so.
Boulton describes the CGA as becoming more comfortable over the span of 15 years, from being a group that was understandingly defensive at first to having more students come out and be more open of their sexuality. Barry Nakel, who was the advisor for the CGA for 10 years, was a tremendous source of support and continuity.
Boulton also spoke on different forms of love today. He said that the problem with the decisions made by individuals is the dismissal of a value system where love is the main component.
He said, “It is the lack of love. And it has no place in a college campus. It has no place in society, but it shows you, as one of my professors said, there’s a cyclical view of history that we come to acceptance and then we revert, we tend to repeat. But then he said even though we repeat, we tend to make a little movement forward. Like people are saying racism is being to come back, well it never left. But it has moved forward.”
Come see the Southern Oral History Program interns at the Love House on December 5th, at 3pm to hear more stories on the Carolina Gay Association and the sexual revolution at UNC.
by Grace Tatter
Sherry Williamson cranked out much of Lambda, the newsletter for the Carolina Gay Association, from her Carrboro kitchen, brainstorming story ideas with fellow Carolina students and pounding articles out with a typewriter during the few spare hours she had after coursework for the journalism school.
Every month, she and fellow students in the Carolina Gay Association mailed the newsletter off in non-descript envelopes all over the Southeast; to other colleges, to underground gay bars in former milltowns, and, though Williamson would not meet her for years, to Williamson’s future wife, who was then a student at Radford College in Virginia.
Lambda was founded along with the CGA in 1974, and was the first publication geared toward sexual minorities in the state, and the only one for many years. Williamson spearheaded the newsletter from 1979 to 1980.
“It was really cool to know that the work that we were doing was affecting other people,” Williamson said when I sat down with her Nov. 7. “First of all, just to say that we’re here, and you’re not alone; there are other people here [...] There was a sense that we were doing something bigger than just being a newsletter or a calendar of events of what was happening on campus.”
A commitment to helping others imbued Williamson’s love of journalism and had informed decision to come to Carolina the semester before taking over Lambda.
As a child, Williamson had looked at airplanes flying over the tobacco fields of her native Columbus County, and promised herself she would go wherever those planes were going — far away. She loved her community and supportive family, but was inspired by the books she devoured, like Johnny Tremaine and Heidi, to travel beyond the rural tidelands. So, upon graduating from high school, Williamson headed across the state to Appalachian State University; the first person in her family to leave the Columbus-Robeson county area for school. One day, two reporters from the Charlotte Observer came to visit her English class in Boone.
“[Journalism] was certainly a way to do what I wanted to do, which was to write, which was to try to make a difference in the world,” she recalled. “And journalism can give you that opportunity, to put information in front of people, and with the hope that if people have information they can make, you know, good decisions.”
Her motivation to transfer to Chapel Hill was journalism, but she realized it was a chance to grow personally, too. She was sitting on her bed at Appalachian, flipping through the bulletin of activities at Chapel Hill, when she saw a listing for the Carolina Gay Association. The CGA was one of the only such organizations in the Southeast at the time, and Appalachian did not have a group for gay students. Besides, Williamson was not even sure if she was gay.
“I made a joke: ‘ I’m going to join the Carolina Gay Association!’ And everyone laughed, because you know, their own homophobia. And it was my own internalized homophobia, and I was just kind of testing the waters, to see a little bit how people would respond. But I knew internally that that was one of the things I was going to do, because I was starting a new life where no one knew me, and I was starting again.”
The Carolina Gay Association gave Williamson a community in which to grow, and an audience to hone her writing. But because she was concerned about the implications Lambda might have for her career outside of Chapel Hill, Williamson always used a pseudonym while on campus. Now she works at the Office of Communications at the Duke Divinity School, and can finally get the long overdue credit for hours spent on Lambda during her undergraduate career.
To hear more of Williamson’s story, and learn more about the early days of the Carolina Gay Association (now SAGA), come see the Southern Oral History Program interns perform at the Love House, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m.
By Corinne White
Basketball is as much of a symbol of UNC as the Old Well. Tied up in the school’s rich basketball legacy are a complicated history of integration, alumni and administrative pressure, and, of course, victory and defeat.
The Tar Heels play in their first regular season game against Oakland University this Friday. As players and fans prepare for tip off, we listened to Ann McColl’s 1991 interview with civil liberties lawyer — and key player in the integration of UNC basketball — Daniel Pollitt.
Pollitt, who was also the faculty advisor for the university’s NAACP chapter, recalled memories of Charlie Scott, UNC’s first black scholarship athlete in 1966.
“He broke the color bar,” Pollitt said.
Pollitt also pointed to the trouble the school had at the time with attracting black applicants. “The question was, ‘how do we encourage people to come here?’ We thought there should be role models, and that is sort of a maybe racist attitude, but we thought athletics is… We’d start there. It seemed like a logical thing to do, so maybe you should have a learned surgeon instead, but the reality of the world then at least, was that the role models were basketball players and football players.”
Davidson College was the first to recruit Scott, a top high school prospect, under Coach Lefty Driesell. But when Scott visited the school, a town restaurant refused to serve him.
“Charlie decided he didn’t want to go to a town where he couldn’t eat in the restaurants,” Pollitt said.
Pollitt accompanied 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Coach Dean Smith to Laurinburg, N.C. on UNC’s first attempt to recruit Scott, along with a UNC medical student because Scott had pre-med aspirations.
“Dean Smith wanted the best basketball players he could get, but he also wanted to break the color bar,” Pollitt said.
Scott endured hateful chants from opposing fans, but still remembers fondly lessons from Smith.
“What he did more than anything else was to give me someone to look at in a different skin color that I could accept and see that everyone was not like the bigots, or like the racists,” Scott said in an August 2013 interview with the Raleigh News and Observer.
“He could not take away the words of those individuals, or the way those individuals acted towards me. Those things were there. What he did was give me a barometer to look at outside of the racism and bigotry.”
This post was contributed by Adrienne Petty.
Three years ago, historians Mark Schultz and Adrienne Petty set out on an urgent mission to record the stories of African American farm owners. Time was of the essence. Land ownership among African Americans peaked during the early twentieth century and continues to decline. Fearful of losing their stories forever, Schultz, a professor at Lewis University, and Petty, a professor at the City College of New York, led a team of undergraduate and graduate students from universities throughout the South in collecting and preserving digitally recorded oral history interviews for their project, “Breaking New Ground: A History of African American Farm Owners Since the Civil War.” The fruits of their labor are now available on the Southern Oral History Program site. Funded by a $230,000 collaborative research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the collection includes more than 300 interviews with black farm owners and their descendants from Maryland to Oklahoma. The collection covers a range of topics related to farming, landownership and post Civil War U.S. history, including Reconstruction, the Great Depression, the world wars, the Civil Rights Movement, and the contemporary black farmers’ activism.
The goal of “Breaking New Ground” is to explore how rural black families “made a way out of no way” and became farm owners against considerable odds, how land ownership affected their experience of the Jim Crow era, and how their privileged positions shaped the destinies of their descendants. We want to ask, How did some black farmers acquire land? Did land ownership empower African Americans in the racially segregated South? How did African American land ownership differ in different parts of the region? What was their legacy? Answers to these questions and others will deepen our understanding of an essential, but overlooked, element of southern history.
Adrienne Petty is a descendant of black farm owners and is currently working on a book entitled, Standing Their Ground: Small Farm Owners in the South. Mark Schultz, author of The Rural Face of White Supremacy: Beyond Jim Crow, has recorded hundreds of interviews with Georgians, many of which are already in the SOHP collection at the Southern Historical Collection in Carolina’s Wilson Library.
We hope that the oral histories we collect as part of this project will not only lay the foundation for a history monograph that fills a glaring gap in the scholarship, but also creates a rich resource for historians, students, teachers, and researchers of all kinds.
You can access the 300+ interviews from this project in the SOHP database here.
by Grace Tatter for the SOHP
Despite not having its own Major League Baseball team until the second half of the twentieth century, the South has produced many of the game’s finest players. Perhaps the most famous of which is Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play Major League baseball.
Robinson might be a saint to devotees of America’s great pastime, but even he had a temper.
To mark the end of baseball season (Go Sox!) and honor Robinson (who died 41 years ago today), we listened to Elizabeth Gritter’s 2006 interview with James K. Polk. An African-American trailblazer himself, Polk headed the Charlotte Bureau on Training and Placement and was a community leader in Charlotte.
But before that, Polk was a ballplayer. His neighborhood, Grier Heights, churned out many professional athletes, and sports was one of the few points of interaction between white and black residents of the community. In 1948, Polk played for a Charlotte team that faced off against Robinson, who was travelling with Larry Doby, another MLB pioneer, on a barnstorming team.
“[…] I played second base that day. Jackie Robinson had not received a hit all the way down the line. So he hit a ball over second base. I went back and threw him out. When we changed innings he cussed me out. He cussed me.”
To learn more about the importance of sports to racial integration in Charlotte and in Polk’s Grier Heights neighborhood, check out the interview here:
150 women from all over the state of North Carolina rose from their seats to applaud six UNC undergraduates, the first cohort of Moxie Scholars. The Moxies, as they are affectionately known, had just finished their original performance, “Every Time I Move, I Make a Women’s Movement.” Based on the oral histories they had collected as part of the Moxie Project: Women and Leadership for Social Change, the performance represents a collective reflection on feminist history and activism. The students’ passion, creativity and talent brought the entire audience of the First Annual North Carolina Women’s Summit to their feet—and tears to many of their eyes.
The Moxie Scholars performance was just one highlight among many at the summit, titled “Ms. Behaving: How North Carolina Women Make History. Rachel Seidman, Southern Oral History Program Associate Director, originally conceived of the summit and planned it in cooperation with Women AdvaNCe. The goal of the summit was to translate knowledge into action by putting oral history and other types of academic research in dialogue with practitioners. This dialogue educated, empowered and inspired the North Carolina women in the audience to take specific steps to address the challenges facing them and their families. Three panels addressed major questions that formed the basis for an overarching call to action: “How Do We Ensure Women’s Health?” “How Can We Protect Public Education?” and “How Do We Create a Fair Economy for Women?”
Drawing on historical evidence, panelists discussed striking changes in the role of women in North Carolina. Panelists explained how, dating back to the early 20th century, the state was once a national leader in protecting citizens’ health, providing public education, and investing in the public good. But over the last three decades, state-level policy changes have eroded the prospects of women and children. We now rank 47th in the country in key indicators of women’s health; teachers’ salaries have dropped from 24th in the nation to 48th; and currently half of single mothers in North Carolina live in poverty.
Panelists and moderators, including SOHP Founding Director Jacquelyn Hall and Field Scholars Joey Fink and Brittany Chavez, also provided specific recommendations for making progress. When asked who in the state was representing the interests of Latinas, Brittany directed the audience to the exciting and important work being done by youth-led organizations including Southerners on New Ground. She also encouraged the audience to explore the work being done by SOHP partner Hannah Gill, Director of the Latino Migration Project at UNC, and the program she oversees called Building Integrated Communities, a statewide initiative whose mission is to help “North Carolina local governments successfully engage with immigrants and refugee populations in order to improve public safety, promote economic development, enhance communication, and improve relationships.“ Audience members were encouraged to write letters to the editor, register voters, and volunteer for organizations. When a single mother of three children, struggling to make ends meet, asked how she could get involved with only two hours a week to spare, she was encouraged to realize what “a gift” two hours per week would be to organizations that desperately need her help.
Audience members came from around the state, including Charlotte, Robeson County, and Greensboro, and many said they got just what they were looking for from the event. Joey Fink reported, “From what I saw, the day served many, many of the women present so well, and will be an important first step in new networks and organizing efforts.” Danielle Koonce from Raleigh tweeted: “WomenAdvaNCe’s Summit has me pumped up. Going to use my pen as my sword. Ignorance is killing us.” Deborah Locklear posted on Women Advance’s Facebook page, “Thank You for the opportunity to attend such an empowering event. The knowledge and friendships will be utilized and cherished! Awesome group of Women!!!”
Current SOHP staff Rachel Seidman, Jaycie Vos, Seth Kotch, and Malinda Lowery made their way to Oklahoma City, formerly known as Indian Territory, for the annual meeting of the Oral History Association (OHA), Oct. 9-13, 2013. There we met recent SOHP staff Della Pollack, Beth Millwood, and Jacquelyn Hall and a host of SOHP friends and alums, including current on-campus collaborators Josh Davis, Liz Lundeen, Jessie Wilkerson, Pam Lach, and Laura Clark Brown. Beth was Co-chair of the OHA program committee, and about 75 people honored her and Jacquelyn at a fête Wednesday night, which was organized with the help of OHA’s Executive Director, Cliff Kuhn (who is also an SOHP alum).
Oral history is a multivalent field of inquiry about the past, one which is uniquely committed to rigorous analysis, ongoing examination of core principles, interdisciplinary inquiry, and community engagement. Accomplishing all of these things at once, which oral history actually manages to do, is a complex enterprise that requires collaboration, resources, and a facility with both quantitative and qualitative reasoning.
Unlike scholars in some other fields of research, oral historians do not accept their limitations and are continually pushing their assumptions into new territory. This was most apparent to Malinda in the roundtable she co-facilitated, “Oral History and Social Change,” with the leaders of Columbia University’s oral history program. Rachel proposed questioning the assumptions of the field when she commented on the panel “Women Facing Barriers in Institutional Spaces: The Military, Corporations, and Universities.” She pointed out that while oral history can be used to make a real difference in these important arenas, such a goal sometimes requires asking slightly different questions or presenting our evidence in slightly different ways–we must always question the operating principles of our field even as we remain committed to a reciprocal relationship with our stakeholders.
Jaycie’s paper received more applause than any of us can remember at an academic conference. In a panel chaired by UNC Library’s Laura Clark Brown, Jaycie presented groundbreaking research on the status of content metadata in oral history collections across the country, proving the need for a new metadata standard for archival practice in oral history. Her presentation instantly established her as a leader in oral history research and archival practice, a status which she is using to actively collaborate with researchers from other universities to establish standards the field so desperately needs. Jaycie also attended many panels and participated in roundtable discussions on various legal and ethical issues as well as access and preservation concerns for oral histories once they enter the archive.
After presenting at the popular “So What Do You Do?” workshop and leading the Digital Humanities Interest Group, Seth presented in two panels organized around his major projects. The first combined presentation of research conducted with Josh Davis, on the National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored project, “Media and the Movement” and a proposed reframing of oral history fieldwork around the playful archival principle of “more product less process.” This model emphasizes public engagement with a variety of online tools, keeping contact between interviewees and interviewers alive after the conclusion of the formal interview. He joined Liz Lundeen, Jessie Wilkerson, and Pam Lach to present the “Mapping the Long Women’s Movement” project, a groundbreaking digital presentation, teaching, and research tool developed with UNC’s new Digital Innovation Lab which the audience received with much curiosity and excitement. Both panels demonstrated the large and small ways, all significant, that digital resources are changing oral history practice, on no small account because of the SOHP’s leadership.
Rachel and Malinda both participated in different OHA workshops, half-day sessions run by experts in a particular field of oral history. Rachel attended a workshop on Oral History and the Law, which focused on best practices in ethics and current trends in legal considerations (including copyright, institutional review boards, deeds of gift, and archival restrictions). Malinda’s workshop covered the ongoing concerns of digital preservation for both oral history archivists and researchers.
SOHP alums were presenting research in every time slot, and they were present at every level of OHA leadership. Rachel herself will be on the program committee next year and the education committee for the next three years. The association’s journal editor, as well as nearly a dozen of the leading oral historians and program directors in the country, are SOHP alums – and that’s just the people who were there this year. The authors are hard-pressed to think of any single research unit or department anywhere that had positioned so many people for such prominent careers in a field of history, within this relatively short period of 40 years. We came away re-committed to training undergraduate and graduate students as a top priority; these alums are passionate about oral history because of the transformation they experienced at SOHP, and SOHP’s greatest gift is those alums.
Our interdisciplinary research interests in epistemologies, subject matter, and best practices converged in the many meetings we held throughout the conference, meetings that included representatives of OHA, the Oxford University Press, Palgrave, oral historians from the Ngati Porou people of Aotearoa (aka New Zealand) and the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi, archivists from the Queens Memory Project, and the Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. These meetings solidified our subject-matter commitments to all aspects of social history, U.S. Southern culture, and questions of community-building. We discussed book projects, film projects, and future collaborations to present research at OHA and other venues (including a workshop we are conducting for the Organization of American Historians meeting in Atlanta in April 2014, and a symposium held at UNC with Kings College-London’s digital humanities program).
The response to the “Media and the Movement” and “Mapping the Long Women’s Movement” panels reminded us that SOHP has been and remains on the forefront of digital humanities practice and analysis, and that respected scholars and publishers are deeply interested in learning from us and working with us to develop models for learning, teaching, and researching using oral history in a digital world. We also dialogued with other scholars about models and experiments in engaged scholarship, an area that many people gave SOHP credit for defining. Finally, these networking opportunities resulted in some concrete plans for writing collaborative grant proposals about teaching, multimedia engagement using existing collections, and library cataloging, description, and preservation practices. Our unique and very strong relationship with UNC Libraries remains a standout element of SOHP’s reputation because it presents a model of collaboration over issues, such as preservation and access, that can so easily limit institutions and scholars who engage in oral history.
At #OHA2013, SOHP witnessed our labors bearing fruit and sowed many new seeds for years to come. Follow this link to a Storify timeline of the conference that Jaycie created, which gives more context to our experience: http://storify.com/jaycie_v/oha-2013
By Corinne White for the SOHP Field Notes Blog
He still has a bright blue Vote Against Amendment 1 yard sign on the front porch of his crumbling split level, and a tiny rainbow pinwheel flag adorns the top of his driveway.
Inside, from where I sat on the leather La-Z-Boy couch, I could see a bookshelf full of psychological and medical literature about homosexuality, embroidered Bible verses on the walls and a kitschy collection of mugs.
A few sunny Fridays ago, I interviewed Dan Leonard, founder of the Carolina Gay Association, Carrboro resident and registered nurse. During his time at UNC-Chapel Hill, Leonard also worked as a counselor in the Human Sexuality Information and Counseling Services.
When my fellow interns and I decided we would tackle sexuality at UNC in the 1970s as our research topic, I was hesitant to take on such a sensitive topic. But as I dug deeper into the archives in Wilson Library, uncovering letters from alumni angry about the CGA, finding old Lambda newsletters and learning more generally about the LGBT rights movement I became more excited to tackle an under-documented part of history.
As a lifelong North Carolinian, Leonard had extremely valuable insights to share regarding southern identity, discrimination and especially gay life in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.
Growing up in rural Davidson County, he remembered feeling like an outsider: “I just didn’t fit in. I talked – since my parents were college-educated – I talked like my parents and not country southern people talked. So that got me being odd right off. So being odd or different from such an early age was sort of normative for me, that I never really fit the mainstream anyway. As I say negative statements about homosexuality were not made because it wasn’t discussed.”
Before coming to Chapel Hill for medical school, he had quite an interesting impression of the town: “I had heard from the time I was in junior high or high school that ‘Now, in Chapel Hill there is a queer and a Communist behind every tree.” So you know, when I came here in 1965, I found that indeed there was a homosexual behind every tree – well, every other tree – the Communists were behind every other tree.”
He decided to establish the Carolina Gay Association to give gay students a safe space to meet each other, and most importantly to take part in consciousness-raising groups. The CGA first met at the Newman Catholic Student Center. To increase visibility on campus, the organization posted on the cube in front of the student union, and, in one humorous occasion, on the pillars of Wilson Library: “You know when rush in the fall and all those fraternities and sororities put up rush notices. So one year, someone designed and made a poster that had ‘Lambda Lambda Lambda’ on it and it said ‘Rush the CGA!’”
Leonard continues his work as an advocate for LGBT rights today, as a member of a group for LGBT seniors at Carrboro Town Center.
Listen to other Southern Oral History Program interviews on the history of gay men in the south here.
This year, the SOHP is continuing its internship program with a new batch of four undergraduate students at UNC. The topic for our oral histories this semester is the Carolina Gay Association (CGA), LGBTQ rights, and the sexual revolution at UNC. As someone who worked on the Gender non-Specific housing campaign last year, I was very excited to research what techniques the LGBTQ community
used in order to receive recognition and equal rights at UNC and in the Triangle area. Listening through interviews with past gay Carolina students and Chapel Hill community members, I was inspired by the amount of community support received in Chapel hill for the CGA and LGBTQ community whether it was a church allowing gay and lesbian individuals/allies to meet in their building or a local bar which hosted ‘Gay nights’ for the LGBTQ community to socialize and meet one another.
As much support the gay and lesbian community received, there was also backlash from the administration and other student groups on campus. I can speak for all of the interns here in saying we hope to share with UNC and the Chapel Hill community both sides of the issue. There is certainly no single Truth in oral history or life, but rather a multitude a narratives from individuals based on personal experience. We will share the interviews, and allow you to decide.
Below are quotes on the topic and particular research interests by each of our student interns and Graduate student Intern Coordinator, Evan Faulkenbury
“Oral history provides a powerful opportunity to capture unheard narratives from our past. Never is this more true than with the case of the Carolina Gay Association and the sexual revolution at UNC. I look forward to exploring how figures of authority-including city council members, professors, and university administration (both those identifying as LGBTQ and not) fit into the emerging sexual revolution at UNC, integrated into the gay community, and challenged opposing forces at the time. I am curious as to how these individuals, commonly thrust into the limelight, understood their identities as both gay and powerful in the city or state of North Carolina as a whole.”
“I am interested in gay student activism at UNC because the student body is currently grappling with the role of student activism a s a counter to oppressive politics and social norms. Our interviewees will give us a yardstick for how far we have come on issues of sexuality and sexual health, as well as shed light on the roots of our contemporary quandaries — and have some really good stories to boot!”
“The focus of my interviews for our project on the Sexual Revolution of the 1970s will be on student and faculty activism to promote sexual education during this time. My interests include a new and popular class at the time, Health 33, the only class that offered a comprehensive education on sexuality; the pamphlet and weekly Daily Tar Heel column, “Elephants and Butterflies,” which answered student questions about sex; The Human Sexuality Information and Counseling Services, a student-run counseling department that helped answer students’ questions about themselves; and the evolution of the campus’s perceptions on sexuality as more information became available. ”
“I was excited to learn more about the LGBTQ movement in Chapel Hill because I feel a lot of people, including myself, have a nonexistent or limited awareness of this topic. I think people have a tendency to forget how much progress the LGBTQ movement has made in a relatively short time compared to other marginalized groups. I wanted to not only uncover personal stories of the LGBTQ community, but also gain a more systemic understanding of the LGBTQ community, backlash to the movement and consciousness raising on campus.”
“I’m interested in our topic on gay and lesbian activism because it is an underrepresented movement within the historical literature. Oral history is particularly suited to uncover this fascinating social movement, and I look forward to seeing the interns’ research as they connect the history of gay and lesbian activism at UNC Chapel Hill to wider themes such as feminism, student militancy, and the South since the 1960s.”
The most oppressed narratives are certainly the ones which deserve the most attention. Next year is the 40th anniversary of the Carolina Gay Association, and we cannot wait to see what kind of stories we can share with the CGA and the Carolina community as a whole. We hope to put on the pedestal of human conscious the untold stories of the CGA and the sexual revolution at UNC, so that those looking both in the past and searching forward can have guidance in endeavors for equal rights for all human beings.