You are browsing the archive for Oral history.

The Work is Far From Over

April 28, 2013 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Intellectual history, Oral history, Social history

The end of the semester has finally arrived and our final project on Audrey Grevious has been posted (http://www.kywcrh.org/projects/kchr-hall-of-fame/grevious). Without question, I thought rather pessimistically about our contributions to this project for most of the semester. Consistently, I thought in terms of quantity rather than quality in consideration of how much (or rather how little) information we were able to gather about Grevious. While our investigations and connections seemed less than successful at times, I have come to realize that our work has indeed been significant. I have learned SO much about Audrey Grevious and the movement in its entirety throughout this process and also hope that I have helped illuminate her life for others conducting similar research.

After utilizing the internet, texts, and most importantly, oral history interviews, I have observed the transformation of history and its record in just a period of 50 short years. The work my class has done this semester has been incredible – listening to the experiences of brave women, reading and analyzing literature about their lives, and even meeting them personally to record new history. I have never been more impressed with the success of a class.

Something I found very interesting from one of Audrey Grevious’ interviews that I studied closely was the following quote:

“And I feel like the generation now have lost out on that sort of thing. There’s not that closeness. There’s not that interweaving of cultures, of friendships, of anything.”

While this may be true from her perspective, from what I’ve gathered through all our research, today’s generation is better connected and more intertwined than ever. In examining the stories and backgrounds of students in our class alone, the sensitivity of our generation is ever increasing thus constantly embracing cultural difference and promoting friendships every day.

Nearing the End

April 22, 2013 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, Oral history, Primary source, Social history

Viola Davis Brown at graduation in 1959

As the semester winds down rapidly, I am working vigorously on two projects regarding amazing women of Kentucky. The first, my article on Viola Davis Brown, has been published to Wikipedia. Fortunately, unlike many of my classmates, I have had the wonderful opportunity to share my work with Mrs. Brown herself and request feedback from her. Mrs. Brown was extremely enthusiastic to review my article and was very appreciative of the work my class is doing. Mrs. Brown’s unique achievements in the field of medical education in Lexington, Kentucky deserve recognition and thus I was extremely proud to share her story with the Wikipedia community. Although members of the community will continue to review and edit my contribution, I am also working with Mrs. Brown to clarify any details crucial to her life and accomplishments. Mrs. Brown has sent me small facts to change or incorporate as additional information. Furthermore, Mrs. Brown gave me permission to add a photo to the article, which further strengthens its credibility and value in the Wikipedia community.

View the Wikipedia article I published on Viola Davis Brown here.

                My second project, a web project on the life and work of 2012 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame inductee Audrey Grevious, is progressing very well. My partner and I have been compiling the research we have gathered throughout the semester to provide a guide to the life and accomplishments of Audrey Grevious. Because we have not been able to gather significant amounts of new, original information about Grevious, we are organizing all the resources available on the web and in print that feature her. Many of these resources include oral history interviews which serve as perhaps the best resource for individuals looking to gain a perspective on the civil rights movement in Kentucky. While the resources are crucial, we are struggling to group the information appropriately on project pages because it is all very interrelated. We are building context around Grevious’ work via locations and events addressed in oral history interviews but also want to incorporate what already exists about her life.

Meeting Suzy Post

April 22, 2013 in Oral history, Primary source, Social history

Picture of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

For the project that I am doing for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, my partner and I wanted to do an oral history interview with Suzy Post, who are project is focused on. After contacting her, we set up a time to interview and began anticipating what to expect for the interview. However, my partner and I got much more than just an oral history interview. We ended up hanging out with Ms. Post and truly seeing how passionate she was about the issues that she is known so well for fighting for.

When we went to interview Ms. Post, she told us that she had several things to do and asked if we would like to come along with her. We agreed and were able to experience many things that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. We first went to a memorial service for Ruth Booker Bryant, a woman who worked with Ms. Post during the Civil Rights Movement. While at the service, we were able to meet many other people who worked during the Civil Rights Movement, see their enthusiasm towards the project that we are doing and the influence that the Movement had on so many people. It was amazing to be able to see how alive the movement still is and how involved so many people are in it.

After the service, Ms. Post, my partner, and I all went out to dinner. Here we were able to talk to Ms. Post outside of the context of an oral history interview. We were able to see her views on current and past issues, how she was still involved in working to end these issues, her advice to younger activists, and able to simply just get to know her. It was incredible to see her point of view and how passionate she is about everything that she has and is fighting for. Finally we returned to her home and she showed us some newspaper clippings, letters, pamphlets, and brochures that she wrote or was mentioned in. It was extraordinary how involved she was in the community and how many people she was able to affect by her actions.

It was absolutely fantastic being able to get to know such an incredible woman, who has done so much for the community of Louisville and for all of the movements that she was involved in. She is a remarkable person who has so much to offer. I can definitely say that I learned far more than what I ever bargained for and wouldn’t change that experience for anything. Suzy Post is a truly outstanding woman who I had the honor of spending an entire day with.

**********************************

“Civil Rights Movement.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Apr. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.

“Hall of Fame 2007.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights –. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.

“Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights – Home.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights – Home. N.p., n.d.          Web. 22 Apr. 2013.

“Notable Kentucky African Americans Database.” Notable Kentucky African Americans. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.

“Suzy Post.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.

An Unsung Hero

April 22, 2013 in 1950s-1960s, Oral history, Social history

Recently, granestrella and I finished reading transcripts for two oral histories from Audrey Grevious. We have already found information about her on various websites, a few old newspaper articles from the Herald–Leader, and some books we have been reading for class. Thus far, we haven’t had much luck finding pictures of Ms. Grevious, but I was able to get in contact with the archivist for the old Dunbar High School, who gave me an old freshman year yearbook photo. Now, we are working on indexing her oral histories to make it easier to find specific topics and gathering our information to put on the webpage.

This whole semester, it has been a struggle to find more information from Audrey’s childhood. A lot of the information we found was more recent, talking about how the Herald-Leader apologized for not covering the civil rights movement while it was going on. I think this made it difficult to get details because there was little coverage of the civil rights in Lexington. Grevious did work for a local African American newspaper called the Town Crier, but we were unable to find old issues.

I believe that Audrey Grevious’s obscurity and the difficulty in finding information about her further deepens the need for her recognition. By creating this webpage, we hope to create a mechanism for which people desiring to learn more about civil rights in Lexington can use for further insight. It could also create a forum for those who did not have a place to talk about their experiences during the civil rights in Lexington. The webpage can help to create ties within the community, while providing knowledge about an unsung hero who deserves all the attention we can give her.

by emme23

A Southern Patriot

April 18, 2013 in 1950s-1960s, Oral history, Social history

In the past few weeks my partner and I have made great strides in researching for our project on Anne Braden. The hardest part about researching Anne is not finding information — in fact, there is so much information it is a little overwhelming — but rather figuring out what information is the most important to focus on. I just finished reading the book Subversive Southerner in depth, as well carefully watching the documentary Southern Patriot. We were especially privileged because this week Cate Fosl spoke to our class and we were able to learn some amazing things about Anne firsthand. We are very lucky she was able to talk to our class and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

The best part about researching an important person in history is that after a while you don’t feel like you are just reading about events, but you actually get to know the person. I think Anne is one of the most amazing people I’ve read about and it makes me sad that she isn’t mentioned more often on a national level in connection with the civil rights movement.

Carl and Anne Braden after his release from prison in July 1955.

A few notes on my favorite things about Anne: Her feminism in a time when feminism wasn’t as prevalent as it was in later decades. Even after having children, Anne did not give up her career to become a stay at home mom as many other women did. She found a way to balance her career and her home life. Second, her career in journalism. At the time female journalists weren’t very common, but that didn’t stop her from working for multiple newspapers. As a female student with an interest in journalism, I really enjoyed learning about how she approached writing for the paper and how she used it not only as a way to report on the news, but also as an oppertunity to record oral history. Third, her relationship with husband Carl Braden. Anne and Carl’s relationship is not your typical 50s love story, but that is what makes it so interesting. Its easy to tell how much they loved each other just by looking at looking at photos of them together. The fact that they were able to work so well together is part of the reason their efforts towards fair housing were so successful.

 

 

Suzy Post Project

April 15, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Research methods, Social history

Picture of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

Suzy Post was a civil rights activist, worked towards gaining equality for women in all areas, joined the anti-war movement, held many positions in different organizations such as the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, and worked towards creating a better society for everyone. Post recently was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame and for one of my honors classes I am working with another girl in my class on creating a webpage on Post’s life and all of her accomplishments. This project allows for all of Post’s accomplishments and hard work to be recognized and appreciated by all.

For our project, my partner and I have found many different sources, one of the best being oral history interviews. Suzy Post has given a number of oral histories that highlight different movements that she was involved in, how she felt about society, and the influence she had during this time period. Through these oral history interviews, my partner and I have gained much deeper understanding of what Post was going through and how she was affected by it. We have gone through all of these interviews and are working on compiling the information and putting it into a format that is accessible to everyone else.

Not only have the oral history interviews been helpful but so have many other sources. By looking at the organizations that she was a part of and talking to those who knew her and have done extensive research on her, we have gained more of an insight into her life. We have contacted Dr. Catherine Fosl and some of Dr. Fos’l’s colleagues at the Anne Braden Institute at the University of Louisville to obtain more information about Post’s involvement in the Louisville civil rights movement. They have provided us with more sources and have been extremely helpful in our gaining a larger comprehension of what Post was like and how she was involved during this time period.

As we contacted these people, we were pointed to talking to Suzy Post herself. After contacting Post, she has agreed to do an interview with my partner and I. We believe that this will allow us to be able to ask the questions that we haven’t been able to find answers to and to be able to fully understand what this time period was like coming from Post herself.

Our project is going exceptionally well, and my partner and I are in the final stretch of putting all of the information together. We believe that we have researched the time period, the organizations, and Post, herself, very well. We are looking forward to seeing the finished project and being able to provide a great wealth of information on a truly wonderful person.

*************************************

“Suzy Post – Hall of Fame 2007.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights –. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10. 15 Apr. 2013.

“Suzy Post.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. 15 Apr. 2013.

“Catherine Fosl, Women’s and Gender Studies Department.” University of Louisville. https://louisville.edu/wgs/catherine-fosl.html. 15 Apr. 2013.

New Wikipedia Articles on Kentucky Women’s History

April 9, 2013 in Oral history, Political history, Religious history, Social history

With congratulations to the terrific UK Honors Program students who wrote them, I list the newest Wikipedia articles on Kentucky women’s history below:

I Shared The Dream: Georgia Davis Powers & Others

March 31, 2013 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Intellectual history, Oral history, Political history, Social history

After reading Georgia Davis Powers’ autobiography, I Shared the Dream: The Pride, Passion, and Politics of the First Black Woman Senator from Kentucky, my group led a book discussion on the most important themes and events addressed in the book. Most prominently, my group agreed that Georgia Davis Powers sought to portray herself as a real woman, someone who faces adversity and obstacles and makes conscious choices regarding her life which may not be seen in the public eye. In the book, Powers addresses her life and achievements but also her personal reflections on situations and relationships that had not been published until this book was written. My class has studied numerous influential women in Kentucky during the Civil Rights Movement and was able to draw important similarities between Senator Powers and other major figures.

The charts below represent a comparison of Georgia Davis Powers, Mae Street Kidd, and one other prominent figure of the student’s choosing. These diagrams intend to show relationships among the female leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky as well as highlight key differences in their tactics and methodology.

Scan0006 Scan0007 Scan0008  Scan0011 Scan0010

Scan0009

 

Suzanne Wolff Post

March 25, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Oral history

If I have found out anything about Suzy Post over the course of our research this semester, to be quite frank, it is that she has one hell of a spirit.  Up to this point, much of the information we have acquired has been through her oral history interviews. Despite her age in some of the interviews, her spunk remains strong.

Post spent a life dedicated to activism. She was a prominent figure in the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union.  She was a strong supporter of school desegregation in Louisville and open housing. She was also strongly involved in the anti-war movement.

She was raised in the Louisville Jewish community. From an early age, she was exposed to the horrors of World War II.   In a 2009 interview she describes seeing a connection in the genocide and the treatment of African Americans in the U.S.*

Her feminist ideology stems from the treatment she experienced throughout her life because of her gender.  She describes in detail a situation in which she realized how blatantly men expected her to remain silent, and how dramatically that encouraged her to do the absolute opposite.**

Overall, research on Post has gone well, and we have been almost swamped with good information to use and organize.  Even more exciting in regard to our research is that Post has agreed to meet with us!!! Needless to say we are thrilled about the opportunity to speak with this remarkable woman.

~~~

* Timothy, Patrick McCarthy. 2009. Interview with Suzy Post. Journal for the Study of Radicalism 3, (1): 145-173. http://ezproxy.uky.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/213913050?accountid=11836 (accessed March 3, 2013).

**”20B1 Suzy Post.” Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. Kentucky Historical Society. 205.204.134.47/civil_rights_mvt/util.aspx?p=1&pid=14969 (accessed January 30, 2013).

See also:
“Suzy Post,” Wikipedia. January 13, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. Accessed March 27, 2013.

“Hall of Fame 2007 – Suzy Post.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10 (accessed January 30, 2013).

Suzy Post Research

March 25, 2013 in 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Primary source, Social history

Suzy Post is an activist, who has worked tirelessly her entire life to gain equal rights for all people. A few of the many causes that she has devoted her life to are opening housing, desegregating schools based on both race and gender, and fighting against the Vietnam War. Each of these causes has greatly impacted Post and pushed her to fight for equal rights for all. All of these organizations and campaigns have several different resources that have helped to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of what Post’s involvement in each of these organizations. However, one resource that combines all of these resources and many more into one is an oral history interview by Sarah Thuesen for the Southern Oral History Program Collection. This oral history puts all of Post’s

Picture of Suzy Post

Suzy Post

achievements and activities into one place that allows for great research to be done on Post’s life.

This oral history is extremely useful first of all because Post talks about all that she has done in her life. This allows for overviews on each organization and cause that she was a part of. She goes through what she did for each of the organizations and the positions that she held. This shows a step by step process of the movements that she was a part of throughout her life. By using this oral history interview, a lot can be seen about her life. Not only are the actual steps that she took shown but the importance of each of these steps is also shown.

By listening to or reading through the transcript of this interview, a lot can be gained about what Post saw to be the most important causes she was involved in during her life. The interview is Post talking, which is extremely important. This lets her stress certain topics by talking about them more and in more detail as well as talking about what she wants to talk about. A lot of the questions that are asked during this interview are open-ended which permit Post to talk about what she feels is of greater significance. This shows what Post was truly passionate about and which jobs and causes she dedicated more time and energy into. This also demonstrates which ones she enjoyed working for.

Post isn’t afraid to let her voice be heard. She says what she wants and how she feels about certain people and topics, which is extremely useful. This illustrates a greater understanding of who Post is and what she enjoys, dislikes, infuriates her, pleases her, and what she thinks should and need to be changed. This, among the other things that were expressed above about the usefulness of this interview, add up to this interview being the most useful resource that I have found so far on Suzy Post’s life, accomplishments, and causes that she has been a part of. This interview is one of the best research materials that I have found that incorporates Posts past and present actions, her feelings on what she has done, and how she believes society has and should change to better benefit equality in all areas.

*****************************************************************

“Hall of Fame 2007 – Suzy Post.” Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. http://kchr.ky.gov/hof/halloffame2007.htm?&pageOrder=0&selectedPic=10. 25 March 2013.

“Suzy Post.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzy_Post. Accessed 25 March 2013.

“Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006.” Interview by Sarah Thuesen. Documenting the American South: Oral Histories of the American South. http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/playback.html?base_file=U-0178. 25 March 2013.

Skip to toolbar