The well-known–notorious?–South Carolina politician gave this interview in 1978. In it, he discusses his personal background and the development of his states’ rights political philosophy. And of course he talks about race. In this clip, he describes his admiration for Pitchfork Ben Tillman, who whipped crowds into frenzies of racial hatred by summoning up imagery of black men assaulting white women. Thurmond says he admired Tillman’s effectiveness without admiring the content of his words and offers some thoughts of his own on the Brown v. Board of Education decision and slavery.
Anne Queen was wrong. She had always thought that “poor people couldn’t go to Yale,” but there she was, earning a divinity degree in the late 1940s. Queen, who worked for a decade at the Champion Paper and Fibre Company in her home town of Canton, North Carolina, would take leadership of the University of North Carolina’s YMCA in the 1960s. She steered what would come to be called the Campus Y to the forefront of campus activism, from anti-war protests of the Vietnam era to the university’s foodworkers’ strike. Queen’s long tenure working as an advocate of social justice, particularly for the labor movement and the civil rights movement, Queen is able to offer a comprehensive assessment of the changing social landscape of the South during the middle of the twentieth century. In so doing, she offers insight into the leadership abilities of southern women, the process of integration at two major southern universities, and the nature of politics in North Carolina.
In this excerpt, Queen considers North Carolina’s carefully cultivated–but not entirely accurate–reputation as progressive. Read and listen to the whole interview here.