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0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: HT: Today is Monday, December 5, 2011.

Segment Synopsis: Interview introduction.

0:27 - Background and family

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Partial Transcript: HT: If we could get the interview started by, if you will tell me something about your early life; where and when you were born and your family life and that sort of thing.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her background as well as her family and their accomplishments.

3:33 - Greensboro in the early 1960s

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Partial Transcript: MR: It was a wonderful experience but we were also experiencing the same turmoil that Greensboro was going through during integration.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes living in Greensboro at Palmer Memorial Institute in the early 1960s.

5:01 - Palmer Institute (part 1)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now was Palmer Instutute [grades] one through-

MR: Seven through twelve.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes attending Palmer Memorial Institute for high school.

7:45 - Decision to attend UNCG

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Partial Transcript: MR: I went to a small college in Pennsylvania- Thiel College, T-H-I-E-L, Lutheran- for my freshman year because I was going to go into physical therapy and that was a small university.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her decision to attend UNCG.

8:54 - Activity in Civil Rights Movement

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Partial Transcript: HT: How did you participate in the Civil Rights Movement?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her participation in different aspects of the Civil Rights movement.

10:20 - Thiel College (part 1)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now let me ask you a question about Thiel; was that a historically black college?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes attending Thiel College for her first year of college.

13:36 - Traveling to Europe

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now you said you went to Europe after you graduated high school?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her travels through Europe after high school graduation.

17:49 - Thiel College (part 2)

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Partial Transcript: HT: And so after you got back, that's when you went to Pennsylvania to- it's pronounced Thiel?

Segment Synopsis: Raines continues to describe attending Thiel College.

20:08 - Transferring from Thiel College to UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: But that's good though; that is. Well, when you first came to UNCG, what made you decide to come here as opposed to going to, say, UNC-Charlotte or someplace in South Carolina?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her reasons for transferring to UNCG, and the process of transferring itself.

22:26 - Living on campus at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: And did you live on campus?

MR: Yes. I started at Guilford Hall and then I moved to- My next year I was in Reynolds [Residence Hall].

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes living on campus at UNCG, including when some of the dorms became coeducational.

23:57 - First impressions of UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what was your impression of UNCG when you first got here?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her early impressions of UNCG, including a relaxation of the strict atmosphere she had grown up in.

25:44 - Roommates

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Partial Transcript: MR: That wasn't us. The three of us were the three musketeers, me and my roommates.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her roommates, Yvonne Johnson and Myrtle Goore.

27:34 - Transitioning from high school to college

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, you mentioned something about your adjustment. What was your adjustment like; coming from Palmer and a very small school in Pennsylvania to a fairly large university that was predominantly white?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her experience transitioning from Palmer Institute to Thiel College and then to UNCG.

29:36 - Studying psychology and social work

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Partial Transcript: HT: What was your favorite subjects while you were here? Was it psychology?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her decisions to study psychology and social work.

30:43 - Social life at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, did you enjoy being at UNCG?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes the social life at UNCG, including meeting students from other universities and driving around the state with her fellow students.

32:26 - Palmer Institute (part 2)

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Partial Transcript: MR: I don't know what it would have been like- I figured I had already done the whole black school thing having gone to high school at [Palmer].

Segment Synopsis: Raines continues to describe attending Palmer Institute.

33:33 - Recreational activities

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Partial Transcript: HT: You mentioned earlier that some of the other students wanted to teach you how to play bridge and canasta, so what did you do for fun if you didn't play cards too much?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her recreational activities while at UNCG, including visiting Yum-Yums and Winston-Salem. Raines also mentions attending events basketball games and the Temptations.

35:39 - Dining Hall

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Partial Transcript: HT: What about the dining hall food; what do you recall about the dining hall food on campus in those days?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes the dining hall during her time at UNCG, including a weekly pancake night.

36:48 - Neo-Black Society (part 1)

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Partial Transcript: HT: What social and academic events stand out in your mind during your time here at UNCG? Anything in particular?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her involvement with the Neo-Black Society at UNCG.

37:31 - Academic events

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Partial Transcript: MR: But social- what was the other question? Academic?

HT: Or academic. Yes.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes attending concerts while at UNCG, as well as being a member of the Student Government Association.

38:35 - Student government and GUTS

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Partial Transcript: HT: What part did you play in the student government? Were you just a member of student government at large?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes being a member of the student government at UNCG as well as working with GUTS (Greensboro United Tutorial Service).

39:10 - 1968 United States Presidential Election

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Partial Transcript: MR: And something else that year was also - Well, let's see; '68, I don't think it's on here but socially I was involved- It's not on here.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes campaigning during the 1968 presidential election while supporting Hubert Humphrey.

40:02 - Classmates

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now you mentioned the Neo-Black Society already and you were a charter member so you probably knew Yvonne- the Cheek sisters, Betty and Yvonne.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes some of her classmates, including Betty and Yvonne Cheek, as well as Ada Fisher.

41:24 - Neo-Black Society (part 2)

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Partial Transcript: HT: How did the Neo-Black Society come about? Was it students just talking or-

MR: I think they were disgruntled.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes the foundation of the Neo-Black Society.

43:17 - Early black men on campus

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Partial Transcript: HT: When I talked to the lady on Friday, she thought there were probably a hundred black students on campus in the late sixties and early seventies, roughly.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her memories of the few black men on campus during the early co-educational days of UNCG.

44:31 - Reactions to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassination

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Partial Transcript: HT: I think maybe you've already touched on this a little bit but tell me about your political involvement in the late sixties on campus. Martin Luther King had died- was killed rather- in April of '68. What was that like?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes the reactions to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

47:50 - Discrimination by faculty at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Did you ever feel discriminated against while you were at UNCG by students or faculty members?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes and instance where she was discriminated against by one of her teachers at UNCG.

50:14 - ARA Slater strike

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Partial Transcript: HT: Do you have any recollection of the chancellor at that time, James Ferguson?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her involvement with the ARA Slater dining hall and housekeeping strike.

52:29 - Discrimination from Bennett College students

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Partial Transcript: HT: Did any students from Bennett College participate?

MR: A few. But they didn't like us. That's the discrimination I ran into.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes the animosity between students at Bennett College and UNCG.

55:23 - Memories of administrators at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Do you have any recollection of Vice Chancellor Mereb Mossman who was a big- She was sort of second-in-charge on campus.

Segment Synopsis: Raines briefly describes Vice Chancellor Mereb Mossman

55:48 - UNCG becoming coeducational

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Partial Transcript: MR: I know there was a big push in part of my senior year about- There was a question about whether having an all-girls university, and all-female university, was a better idea back in the day than it was to have the integrated, male-female university.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes the debate between becoming a coeducational college, or remaining a women's college.

57:02 - Memories of professors and buildings at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Tell me about the professors who made and impression on you while you were here at UNCG, either positive or negative. You already mentioned Mr. Ladd and apparently that was a very negative impression.

Segment Synopsis: Raines briefly describes her professors, and describes some of the buildings that she had classes in.

58:32 - Affects of having attended UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: How did attending UNCG change your life?

MR: Oh, dramatic. Dramatic.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes how she thought her life was influenced by attending UNCG as opposed to Vassar, Wellseley or Barnard Colleges.

62:46 - Life after graduation

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well were were talking about how UNCG changed your life and what have you done since you graduated from UNCG; what line of work have you gone into?

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her career in social work.

69:00 - Interactions with UNCG after graduation

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Partial Transcript: HT: Have you attended any reunions or anything like that?

MR: No, I've thought about it. They send me stuff.

Segment Synopsis: Raines describes her limited interactions with UNCG after she graduated.

70:50 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, I don't have any more formal questions.

Segment Synopsis: Interview conclusion.

0:00

HT: Today is Monday, December 5, 2011. My name is Hermann Trojanowski and I'm in Jackson Library with Marilyn Moorer Raines, class of 1969. We're here to conduct an oral history interview for the African American Institutional Memory Project, which is part of the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection. Marilyn, thank you so much for driving all the way from Charlotte this morning to talk with me. It's just great. I really appreciate that.

MR: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.

HT: You're so welcome. If we could get the interview started by, if you will tell me something about your early life; where and when you were born and your family life and that sort of thing.

MR: Okay. I was born in a small town in South Carolina; Union, South Carolina. It's near Spartanburg/Greenville area and my parents were both educators-as were my grandparents-and they focused on upward mobility with education. My grandfather was also a Baptist preacher so I had a real spiritual foundation in 1:00my background as well. [I am] The oldest of four children. I went to public schools there. Actually my grandfather founded the [black] school system in Union County, my grandfather did. And my father was-My grandfather was the principal and then later on my father became the principal; also the high school coach. That's significant because football-I grew up on the football field. My dad, [James Moorer] was the football coach and he was successful in his football career there that he is now in the South Carolina State Sports Hall of Fame for his winning record; ten straight years of undefeated football [at Sims High School].

HT: That is fantastic.

MR: Yes. I have a very distinguished family. So that was kind of my background; it was to excel and win and go forward. In my ninth grade year at home-in the 2:00public schools-you can imagine it was difficult during that time because integration was just starting in the South and my dad, being the principal, recognized that my education probably was going to be stilted in a couple of ways; one being he was a-very strict and I remember in my ninth grade year my dad stood up and said in chapel in front of all the students that his daughter would not date until she was twenty-one. And of course my life was over. I could just see myself so my mom was wise enough to say, "Well, we probably need to give her a better opportunity." Because she had gone through the same thing with her dad. And at any rate, my father's mother died-It was my maternal grandparents that we grew up with-and my father's mother, my paternal 3:00grandmother, died that same year and she left money so they decided that with integration, they wanted to give me a leg up. So I ended up going to boarding school, which was in Greensboro. I went to Palmer Memorial Institute, which is in Sedalia. It is now on the National Historic Register and I spent my tenth-three years-tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade there. Graduated there; I graduated salutatorian in my class. It was a wonderful experience but we were also experiencing the same turmoil that Greensboro was going through during integration. So I was there between '63 and'65. So early on I was impressed with Greensboro. I always had loved the state university system. My mom was a Bennett 4:00Belle; she graduated from Bennett so she thought that was great that I would be in and around the Greensboro area and A&T. And there was a lot going on at campus. We were outside of the area. Sedalia is probably-what-about twelve miles outside but we were impacted because the whole of Greensboro was shut down because of the Sit-ins and we used to come into the city and do shopping. Well, when that happened we couldn't come into the city anymore. We had to go to Gibsonville to go shopping. And it ended up, just so you know, Hermann, we had a cross that was burned on our campus.

HT: Wow, that must have been frightening-

MR: Very frightening.

HT: -for the students.

MR: Right outside my dorm. Yes, it was very frightening so we knew we were really part of the whole integration scene that was going on in Greensboro even though we, you know, were a high school. So that was-

5:00

HT: Now was Palmer Institute [grades] one through-

MR: Seven through twelve.

HT: Oh, seven through twelve. Okay, so sort of a junior high and high school.

MR: Yes. Junior high and high school. It was a wonderful experience for me this early on because I met students from all over the United States. There were a lot of Palmer-I don't know if you know much about Palmer.

HT: I've been by it.

MR: Oh yes, it was an elite school. It was founded back in the early 1900s. Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown, who was a national-

HT: Did you know her, by any chance?

MR: No, she died before I came to the campus. She died the year before I came. But she is buried on that campus; that's why it's on the Historical Register. And early-in the early days I mean-Well, what happened was she had been trained and went to school up North in Massachusetts and the wealthy families up there helped her to found the school down here in the South for, you know, students to 6:00have an education back in 1902. She was one of the premier women of color in the state of North Carolina, it has been recognized. I went to a workshop in Charlotte not too long ago. Anyway it talked about her but no, she had died but her influence was very prevalent. She believed in excellence. And they used to have things like equestrian-you know, we had horses, riding. It was a very elite school, especially back in the '40s and then into the '50s and of course it took root in the '60s because of integration. A lot of parents didn't want their kids to go through the integration so they ended up sending their kids to boarding schools.

HT: How many students were able to attend?

MR: Let's see, I think it was probably a campus of maybe a hundred. We were maybe forty guys and sixty girls each because my senior class was like sixteen. 7:00Yes, they were small. But we went on to scholarships and going to schools all around the country. But a lot of students came from Washington, D.C. Their parents were ambassadors and diplomats so we got students from all parts of the world. We had African students; we had Asian students. My roommate was Pakistani. Christian. So that was the kind of exposure I had early on so it was very, I guess, global in its focus. We had professors from all over the world. So, at any rate, that was early on and so I finished school. I went to a small college in Pennsylvania-Thiel College, T-H-I-E-L, Lutheran-for my freshman year because I was going to go into physical therapy and that was a small university. I got there and did okay but I did not like the weather. In Western Pennsylvania 8:00near Erie, it was awful and I was a Southern girl and I couldn't get any home cooking; there were no collard greens, no grits. Plus my mom was [unclear] wasn't too thrilled about me being that far away. So I think she kind of influenced me toward coming back to UNCG because I think her goal in life was for one of her children to go to Woman's College. When she was at Bennett there was no integration over there. At any rate-

HT: Did you ever consider going to Bennett?

MR: I-No, no, I had been totally convinced that I needed to be part of that generation that integrated. You know, I felt like my parents had done a lot to-and I was into the movement; I mean, I was gung-ho. And that's sort of where I was in my [unclear, both talking]

HT: How did you participate in the Civil Rights Movement?

MR: Well, honestly when I was in high school, there was nothing. We had to stay on campus; that was in high school because we were minors. And when I was at 9:00Thiel, there wasn't anything going on up there. I mean, I think just being part of integration was part of the whole idea. But once I got here, I was in student government; I was in UNCG and I was part of the Neo-Black Society, I think is what they called it. We were very involved. We did demonstrations. I was part of the demonstrations on campus. They had a problem with the-We marched for the employees because there were unfair labor practices.

HT: This was the ARA strike-ARA Slater [campus food service company], right?

MR: Yes, part of that. So I was pretty much involved with that and then, I guess, just trying to survive at UNCG was part of the integration. There were some personal stories there that maybe we'll get to later. But at any rate, 10:00having come out of a fiery Baptist grandparent-grandfather background, we were into being community-involved and doing-helping others and standing up for justice. So that was kind of my upbringing.

HT: Now let me ask you a question about Thiel; was that a historically black college?

MR: No. No. It's a small Lutheran school. Don't ask me how I got there. My guidance counselor was very nice; she would kind of suggest that I might want to go to a smaller school, having come out of a smaller high school. But I wanted to go into physical therapy and that was the top school in the country to go-you know-for undergrads to go into physical therapy and then they had a connection with the University of [Pittsburgh in] Pennsylvania-one of their physical therapy programs-so that was going to be my step toward that direction. I didn't 11:00like it; too far away and too small.

HT: And too cold.

MR: Too cold. Oh, I hated it. I'm not a big cold-weather person. I have gravitated back and forth toward cold and you will hear about that as time goes on. But it was the first time I had ever seen snow in the first of October and it stayed on the ground. And my roommate was just wonderful-I guess I personally was involved, you know, with integration and the fact that they had not had too many black students on campus and it ended up I met family there. I met some folks who were from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and they were [descendants of] family from Union County. Interesting, small world. But my roommate was from Buffalo and she was a Russian major. She had been to Russia and we kind of melded and blended right together because I was [from] a small school; had gone to a private college-a private high school rather-and then she had gone to 12:00Russia to travel and I had been to Europe to travel when I graduated from high school so we just were just bonded, great friends. And I ended up going home with her for winter break in February in Buffalo, you know. Thiel was about an hour and a half from Buffalo-Erie-and I had never seen so much snow in my life, Hermann. And cold. And then she told me, "Oh, you don't need your boots." I'm like, "duh" I needed my boots. They had snow up to the picture window. You couldn't see out and we had to tunnel outside. I had never seen tunneling before. But she came from a very elite family. Her grandmother was a descendant of Priscilla Aldridge. And it's interesting because they were all about "What happens with the Freedom Riders?" in Maryland and I said, "I'm just this one little small person from South Carolina," and her grandmother didn't mean any harm but she said, "I've never seen any black people before. Does it come off 13:00[rubbing my arm]?" That was my personal experience and my roommate was Patty. She was like-She was so embarrassed.

HT: What was Patty's last name?

MR: Zeigler, Z-E-I-G-L-E-R. Yes. Her mother had remarried; her stepfather was a vice-president with the federal bank there. But her father had been a test pilot for the Air Force and he had gotten killed [flying] one of those [test] planes over Lake Huron. Interesting. Now that's a true story. I'm like, "Hmm, I've had an interesting life." But anyway that was just before-that was just college.

HT: Now you said you went to Europe after you graduated from high school?

MR: Yes.

HT: Tell me about that.

MR: It was wonderful. They had one of those group tours where students from colleges could go. I think it was the American Federation of Students or something. And so we went to Europe for the whole summer. We studied in Reims, R-E-I. I think it's R-E-I-M-

14:00

HT: In France?

MR: Yes, we studied in France. My French teacher was French so he was our [guide]. He and his wife were our chaperones. So the majority of the students were from Palmer and then we met in New York at the airport and met other students. So there was a large group of us it ended up. We stayed on the campus there at the University of Reims.

HT: That's a wonderful experience. Three months?

MR: Yes, three months. And then we travelled on the weekends and did stuff. So we went to Paris; and we went to Bern, Switzerland; we went to Lucerne; we went to Switzerland; then to Germany; we went to Brussels; we went to Luxembourg. We didn't get to London, which was one of our stops we were supposed to make, but we didn't get to go there. And I was never so glad to get back to the United States. That was in the summer of '65 and that's when all the riots were kicking in so people in Europe were asking us about what's going on. We were like this 15:00handful of little black students among this bigger group of students from around the country. And so that was interesting, but I was never so glad to get back home. We flew back to New York and they were having the riots. I was scared to death, but I had my aunt-my mother's sister lived in New York so she picked me up and we drove out to her place and so we managed to get through that-Hallelujah. And I was scared at that time but I had a great time in Europe.

HT: Is that so?

MR: Yes, I had wonderful [food]-gained weight eating-

HT: That good French food.

MR: Yes, French bread and [hot] chocolate in the morning, you know. You dip it in the steamed cocoa and it was really cool.

HT: Now, what did you study?

MR: We studied French.

HT: French. Sort of an intensive French course?

MR: Yes, right because that's what you did, you know. We studied during the day and-I mean, we had classes during the day. It wasn't so intense. And then on the weekends they'd go on trips. I'd never seen, you know-Of course, if you're-My 16:00French professor was also a World War II veteran so we had to go on all the trips; to go to Normandy-I mean we had-Oh, yes. We went down to the coast. Where did we go; what city? Somewhere on the water. But anyway we got to see a lot of cemeteries and you know in Europe how that's a big deal. But we had a good time. We went to Paris on Bastille Day and I got-Okay, I just got my bottom pinched a couple of times because that's what Frenchmen do. Rode the subway and I thought "never do that again". We're just carefree and I thought I'll never do that again.

HT: So you had quite an experience at a very young age. That's quite an undertaking.

MR: Yes, yes. I really-I guess it was preparing me. I guess the Lord wanted me to have all my good times in my early years. But that was fun. That was neat. I came back and I met a lot of-had a lot of, you know, French students and they 17:00were with us to help us. I got-I stayed pen pals for a long time with one of the students. But we went to a lot of places while we were there and studied. And I think I remember the people were very nice. We met students from Africa, which was really interesting. And we went into the city-Paris-so we got to see the sections, you know. I never thought of the cities being segregated but they were. They'd have folks from Africa and folks from the Caribbean and they had everybody else. We met students from Algeria and they were very nice. They looked like us. They'd say, "You part of us!" and I'd say okay. That was earlier.

HT: And so after you got back, that's when you went to Pennsylvania to-it's pronounced Thiel?

MR: T-H-I-E-L. It's amazing; I've run into people who actually know where Thiel is.

HT: So it's still in existence?

MR: Oh, yes, it's still there. They even have a football team. Shocking. They 18:00didn't have-Most of the black students on campus were football players and there were a couple-There were just a handful of us females. It was a very different experience; it was a different culture because it was Western Pennsylvania. So I met folks: Pennsylvania Dutch people and a strong German community there and I remember-I'll just tell you this to make you laugh-I remember going downtown and I had run out of my stockings and I needed to wear those for school and for church and everything. And this must have been about-December and I knew I was going to go home and I said well, I probably need to get some-you know they had a Christmas even. I was running totally out of stockings so I went downtown and I was looking at all the little shops because mom always sent me a care package but it was in between. And so I went downtown to shop for some pantyhose, okay. I went to every store and the ladies said, "No, we don't have any." And I finally asked somebody, "Well, when do you think you'll get some?" She said, 19:00"Well, honey. We don't carry your shade, but if we do it'll be in the summer. So you need to come back in April." "Okay, well thanks." So I knew then I had to come back South. But the people were very nice up there in Western Pennsylvania. Yes, they were very nice. They'd never seen anything like me. I remember my parents drove us up there. My mom and dad drove us and we ended up on the Pennsylvania turnpike and I forget what the name of the city was that we ended up in. At any rate, we were just on the Pennsylvania-Ohio line and we stopped in this little restaurant, this little diner, and my dad said, "Well, I think I'll have some grits and eggs." And the waitress said, "Well, honey, you're too far North for grits. You'll have to take hash browns or nothing." I thought, "Oh, daddy, you're embarrassing me." That was funny. It's a cultural thing. I've been 20:00exposed to a lot of different cultures. I'll keep it that way.

HT: But that's good though; that is. Well, when you first came to UNCG, what made you decide to come here as opposed to going to, say, UNC-Charlotte or someplace in South Carolina?

MR: There wasn't any UNC-Charlotte, you know. You think about it. [Charlotte had not been established.] That was in '66. Well, I had my roots here, you know. I'm sure it's my mother's influence; she'd always wanted me to come. And since I was going to transfer, why not go where she wanted me to go? I wanted to be where I was involved with more of my culture and I knew A&T was there and had a strong cultural pull and I had roots, you know, being in Sedalia. And I changed my major to psychology, which was part of the-also the thing that brought me here. 21:00And I wasn't that far from home, but I didn't want to be too close. [Parents] can't just pop in on me. So that's-I'm sure that's it.

HT: Was there a process of transferring from Thiel to UNCG, paperwork and that sort of thing?

MR: Oh, yes. I had to do a lot of-You know, I had to sort of apply and then they had to send the paperwork and then they had to get my transcript transferred. I lost some hours because all of them didn't transfer. I ended up going to summer school that summer; the summer between my sophomore and junior year. The negative of being a transfer student was all of the classes nobody else wanted, I ended up taking, which included: I had to take PE at eight o'clock in the morning and I had to rush around to be over at my nine o'clock class and, you know, soaking wet most of the time. It was quite an experience but I made it, 22:00you know. And the only class that was left was Scottish dancing so I was taking Scottish dancing at eight o'clock in the morning for my PE and you know, we had to take two semesters. And so that was part of the "okay, this is what you do as a transfer student. You just have to bite the bullet and go for it." And so I had all eight o'clock classes. Yes, by my junior year, I was more into things. I knew how to swing with the flow.

HT: And did you live on campus?

MR: Yes. I started at Guilford Hall and then I moved to-My next year I was in Reynolds [Residence Hall]. My last year-I can't remember if I was in Guilford one year or two. Seems like it was two, and my senior year it was Reynolds. Yes. But the interesting thing was that they had started having males and females in the same dorm by the time I got-

HT: That's right because you came in-the guys came for the first time in 1964 so by the time you got here.

MR: By the time of my senior year there were guys in, I think, Reynolds. No. I 23:00never chose. My summer school I had a choice for getting in a dorm. I can't remember what part of campus. There were guys on one floor and girls on the other and my dad said, "No, you're not doing that." So that was that. But by my senior year, it was, you know, kind of more wide open; even at Reynolds.

HT: Did you have a choice of which dorm you wanted to be in or were they assigned?

MR: They were assigned.

HT: How about your roommates; did you have a choice there?

MR: No, they assigned roommates as well so my roommates were black. I had African American roommates, which I was real excited about. But, you know gave me a more sense of-But we were-We were just like this-At Guilford there were only five of us and three of us were together and the other two were on another floor.

HT: So you had-there were three per room?

MR: Yes.

HT: Wow. Well, what was your impression of UNCG when you first got here? Had you 24:00come for a visit prior to applying and that sort of thing?

MR: Yes. I had visited. I had visited before. I visited-even when I was at Palmer, I had gone through the campus. I mean-I was just, you know, wide-eyed and a brand new situation. It was very exciting for me. It was a big campus then, to me. And they had all the facilities: the library, everything was just so new. It was exciting. But I was on a mission. I was here to get my education. I was here to prove that black students could achieve. I was like-

HT: You were very focused.

MR: I was very focused. Yes, I was very focused when I first came on board. And I mean I was here to get an education. But that changed; because from my junior year I had befriended all of the girls who were saying, "Girl, you need to get you a husband." And I was-I mean, I was just amazed. It was all the strictness 25:00that I had come out of. You know, Palmer was very strict. And then coming to a predominantly white school-It was a whole other world for me. I mean people [were] laid back; they were playing cards. "Let's go-We're going to play-We're going to teach you how to play bridge and canasta." Now, I'll tell you what. And so I said, "No, I'm here to study." I never did learn how to play bridge and canasta. But then a lot of my classmates they were like, "You need to go to Chapel Hill. You need to go to all the events down there, meet you a nice guy and that's your goal." And that's what a lot of the girls were doing in my dorm. That wasn't us. The three of us were the three musketeers, me and my roommates.

HT: And who were your roommates?

MR: Yvonne Johnson and Myrtle Goore, G-O-O-R-E. They were my roommates.

HT: J-O-H-N-S-T-O-N or O-N?

26:00

MR: Johnson, O-N.

HT: Did you have the same roommates throughout your time here or did it change from year-to-year?

MR: No, They-Well, they changed my senior year. My senior year it was just Yvonne and I. And another good friend of ours, Sondra-or Roberta Davis. She's Burford-well, she's B-U-R-F-O-R-D. She was a good friend. She lived downstairs so there were like four of us. Yvonne and Myrtle were from Winston-Salem and Sondra was from-we called her Robbie-from Maxton. She and I have more small-town stuff in common. It's been a while. She transferred and went to UNC-Chapel Hill and got her accounting degree. And Myrtle's a doctor.

27:00

HT: A medical doctor?

MR: Yes. Last time I heard, she was in Alabama. She married a lawyer down there. I went to her wedding and-

HT: What was her last name, do you recall?

MR: I don't remember Myrtle's last name. I know she goes by Goore. She's still Dr. Goore. Her father was a professor at Winston-Salem State and her mother. Her parents used to go to church with my husband-my husband's from Winston, [Joseph]. I don't know where Yvonne is now. I kind of lost track of her. She's still in Winston as far as I know.

HT: Well, you mentioned something about your adjustment. What was your adjustment like; coming from Palmer and a very small school in Pennsylvania to a fairly large university that was predominantly white?

MR: Oh, yes.

HT: That must have been a hard adjustment.

MR: Yes, well fortunately I think Thiel was a good place for me to make a transition from because I had been in a smaller school and it was a lot more open; people were very friendly. It's a Lutheran school and so I think the 28:00adjustment was the fast pace of a large university. You know, more students and bigger classes.

HT: You don't have that one-on-one with the professors that you had, probably, in a smaller school.

MR: Yes, although, you know, I can say if you went to a professor, they would help you. But you had to learn how to get to your guidance counselor, your person, and I think that the autonomy-that you're responsible to make sure that you get everything that you need. So we were pretty-we cloistered ourselves, you know the friends. [The] five of us, four of us that were just real good buddies. And so we would always, you know, study together, go to class together if we could, walk together to the buildings, meet each other for lunch, that kind of thing or whatever. So, that probably carried me right on through to my senior 29:00year. By the time I was a senior, I was, you know- I'm involved with all this other stuff.

HT: Sure.

MR: We branched out and we made friends. We were-I mean, all of us were, you know, focused on-You know the mentality behind integration was that black students could not achieve and so I think all of us had come from a background where, you know, you will be successful; you will achieve; you will rise; you will show people that you can; that you have brains and you can do it. So I think we all had that same tie.

HT: What was your favorite subjects while you were here? Was it psychology?

MR: Yes, psychology. I enjoyed psychology. They were more experimental and research in their underpinnings at the time. And that was fine but I knew by my senior year that I was going more into a clinical field. And my [aunt]-my mother's sister was my mentor. She was a psychiatric social worker and she had 30:00become the head of the mental health [center] in DC, District of Columbia. She was like the director and she kept saying, "Well, you need to go into social work, you need to go into social work, you need to go into social work." Because I didn't like the idea of just sitting and doing counseling day-in and day-out and I'm so glad that she urged me to do that. Because at the time mental health was opening up its doors and you could do a lot more things. And I've never regretted being a social worker, you know, clinical social worker because I've been able to take it all over the country and be able to work plus being involved with creating programs and developing a macro-system as well as-Yes.

HT: Well, did you enjoy being at UNCG?

MR: Yes. My sisters-I have two sisters and they both went to historically black schools and they keep telling me, "You missed out on your fun" Because they were into the whole social scene and all that. And so I kind of was always a bookworm 31:00and so they said I was suited to go to an integrated school but I missed out on the social life. I didn't think I did because I ended up-we ended up befriending some fellows at Carolina [University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]. And so there were so few of us here and so few of them there in Chapel Hill so like when we'd have Consolidate University Day, all of us would go down and would meet the fellows. And I ended up meeting a, you know, a special person, so I didn't miss out on the social part of it.

HT: Did you go down on busses to Chapel Hill?

MR: Sondra had a car. Yes, oh yes, her father-Oh, her dad. He was in the North Carolina [House of] Representatives; he was until he died. Actually he wrote a book, which was here in the library a long, long time ago. Robert Davis. And she's also part Native American so she was-I think she was part of the Lumbee Tribe so she identified with blacks too. Yes, we would rustle on down there and 32:00she had a boyfriend down there so by the time that-Yes, she met-I'm sure by the time she graduated-She transferred down there and they eventually got married. But he had friends and they would come and see us. And the ACC [Atlantic Coast Conference] tournament was here and I mean we'd have a good old time. We'd go out so I didn't long for the social life. So I guess I did enjoy being at UNCG. I don't know what it would have been like-I figured I had already done the black school thing having gone to high school at [Palmer], you know, an all-black boarding school-you know, finishing school. And we had all of the stuff-We had to dress up and have birthday parties once a month and, you know, "This is how you set the table and these are the forks you use." I mean it was a finishing school. It's just like something-we had [to learn].

HT: This was at Palmer?

MR: Yes, we had an exchange program with Exeter Academy, which you probably 33:00know. That was the school where John F. Kennedy went. [There was] another school but I can't remember right now where we had exchange students. They didn't have any girl exchange students but we had exchange students back and forth. Yes, interesting. Stuff is starting to come back, Hermann.

HT: I guess I'm jogging your memory here.

MR: You're jogging my memory. I'm like, I've really had an interesting life now that I think about it.

HT: You mentioned earlier that some of the other students wanted to teach you how to play bridge and canasta, so what did you do for fun if you didn't play cards too much?

MR: We'd go to the movies and our favorite thing was to go to the Yum-Yum and get ice cream and-

HT: Oh, yes, it's still there.

MR: It's still there. I know; when I came through here not too long ago-I had to see a veteran on this side of town-and I was, "Wow, the Yum-Yum is two stories and everything. It's really cool." They branched out. Yes, that was our favorite thing to do. And, you know, we'd go home with each other and sometimes I'd go to 34:00Winston with my girlfriend and vice versa. And so that was sort of what we did for fun and we would go to things at A&T because A&T always had-I never got to any of their dances and stuff that wasn't my spot but I'd go to their literary things and all because they'd have people to come over. I never heard Dr. Martin Luther King speak but his wife came a couple of times-Coretta [Scott King], over there-and she spoke a couple of times. So, if you asked my dad if I had fun, "What does that mean, fun? She's supposed to be studying." But we'd have fun; like I said, we'd go down to Chapel Hill. I remember they had Consolidating University Day and we all piled in and went down there and met the fellows and, you know it was all this friend group and we went to see the Temptations. Oh, it was awesome, man. That was one of the-probably they were going toward their latter years of being all together, all five of them. There were football games. 35:00Of course we didn't have a basketball team worth a darn that year but the Spartans have really come a long way.

HT: They have.

MR: It's so wonderful to see that. Movies, we'd walk down to the corner. Is that movie still down there?

HT: No, it's been closed-You're talking about-I can't remember what it was called. It was on Tate Street.

MR: Yes, on Tate Street. Yes.

HT: No, it's now a bookstore.

MR: Okay. That makes sense

HT: It was called the Cinema?

MR: Yes, you remembered.

HT: What about the dining hall food; what do you recall about the dining hall food on campus in those days?

MR: It was good. Yes. I mean-

HT: You've mentioned food several times in the conversation so I-

MR: Yes, that was our comfort in life. It was our comfort, food. You know, compared to what I heard from other students at other campuses-like my sisters and stuff-we had really great food. The only thing was that Sunday night they 36:00always had a pancake supper and I just thought that was just not enough to eat.

HT: That's all they had, pancakes?

MR: That's all they had was pancakes. But you had all kinds of toppings. You could get strawberries, you could get maple syrup; you could get blueberry syrup; fresh strawberries to put on top of your pancakes. But that was-the food was fine. You know, you didn't have all these selections like you have now.

HT: No. They have food courts now and all that sort of thing.

MR: Yes. I mean they have so much choice.

HT: In those days was the dining hall-Did you have to go through the line or did they have family style?

MR: We went through the line. They didn't have family style. I think that was back in the Woman's College days.

HT: Oh, that was when it was much smaller.

MR: Much smaller.

HT: What social and academic events stand out in your mind during your time here at UNCG? Anything in particular?

MR: Well, the Neo-Black Society, you know.

HT: That was formed in '68 so about the time you were getting ready to leave. So 37:00you were a member?

MR: Oh yes, I was a charter member; '68, that was my junior year. And we had a lot of symposiums; we had a lot of people that came and spoke. I remember Nathan Hare came and spoke from out in California. And then social also; we also had concerts. I remember Dionne Warwick sang one year for one of the concerts. I can't remember. The Platters, that was another event that we had. But social-what was the other question? Academic?

HT: Or academic. Yes.

MR: Well, I played the piano so I always loved the things that the music school put on. [unclear] The music school always put on their concerts, which I really loved to come to hear them. I think the symphony would come. It seems like that was something that was cultural and social that they had. And we didn't have a 38:00lot of sports at the time. And I was part of the Student Government Association so we ended going to the student government-you know, crew-there was a core of us-and we ended up going to Notre Dame one year for a conference out there. That was exciting. That must have been my senior year.

HT: Notre Dame University?

MR: University, yes. In Indiana. So we went up there-we were there, like, three days-to a conference, to a student government conference. That was really exciting.

HT: What part did you play in the student government? Were you just a member of student government at large?

MR: Yes, I was an at-large representative from my group. And also I tutored.

HT: One of the things you did was [being] active in-its acronym is GUTS, G-U-T-S. I had to look it up. It says Greensboro United Tutorial Service.

MR: Right. Yes, we did tutoring around the city.

HT: And for-

MR: Low income kids.

HT: Okay. Were these high school students or-

39:00

MR: Yes, some of them were high school; the majority of them were high school. That was my senior year.

HT: Was that through student government?

MR: Yes, that was through student government. And something else that year was also-Well, let's see; '68, I don't think it's on here but socially I was involved-It's not on here. That was the year I went out door-to-door campaigning for the election so I was knocking on doors and going down-but that's not on here but that was part of my social thing. I was, you know, campaigning for the election. That was a really tough year. I'm a democrat and they didn't win. I was so sad; I thought Hubert Humphrey would have made a great president but there was just too much commotion [at the] Chicago convention, people weren't going-. Yes, so those were the kind of social activities that I was involved in.

HT: It sounds like you were involved in quite a-

MR: Yes, I was active.

HT: Very active, very active, indeed. Now you mentioned the Neo-Black Society 40:00already and you were a charter member so you probably knew Yvonne-the Cheek sisters, Betty and Yvonne.

MR: Yes. Betty and Yvonne. My goodness.

HT: Tell me about them.

MR: Well they were stars on campus. I'm trying to remember which one-One of them was just like-She could have been a model; I want to say Betty.

HT: Now one was a music major. Was that Betty?

MR: No, Yvonne.

HT: Yvonne was the music major?

MR: Yvonne was the music major. Oh, they were just wonderful; they were great; they stood out on the campus. It's been a while since I've thought about them. And there was another student who stood out. She's a doctor over at-

HT: Ada Fisher?

MR: Yes, Ada Fisher.

HT: I interviewed her last year.

MR: Did you? Yes, she was a friend. She's right there in Sal-

HT: She's in Salisbury.

MR: Yes, I haven't seen her since I've been-I'm in Salisbury now occasionally. I've got to look her up. Yes, she came down-when I was at the AHEC [Area Health 41:00Education Center] in Fayetteville, she came down and spoke to our medical students. At that time I was on the faculty there and she came down and spoke. She was very outspoken at the time and came from a very outspoken family. I'm sure you had quite a conversation.

HT: Oh, yes. How did the Neo-Black Society come about? Was it students just talking or-

MR: I think they were disgruntled. I mean, because there was a sense of not being heard. There was that-Everything wasn't peaches and cream. No. I mean everything was not hunky-dory. There was a lot of racism, I think, on some of the professors' parts and so the students got together and said, "We need to have a voice." And they sort of came at it in terms of "Well, we need to hear our own music to be heard." Sort of-I always wondered why we wanted to be named 42:00the Neo-Black Society. I thought, "New black, come on, we're not newly black." But anyway, you might want to strike that part. But we, you know-That was the name that was voted on and that-it stuck, which I find interesting. But there was a real important focus to get the cultural voice spoken up and of course that goes on to integration and all that stuff. That's how it came about. The university said "Okay," so [we] went with it. So we presented symposiums and cultural events and I think that's how the gospel choir got-I understood later on that's how the gospel choir was involved in the Neo-Black Society. But the goal was to present cultural programs and have students have a place where their voice could be heard.

HT: Since Yvonne Cheek was a music major, do you think that had a great influence on bringing in cultural events into play?

43:00

MR: Yes. I mean she was certainly a good leader and at that time we really liked her a lot. There were not a lot of us on campus, compared to the numbers. [Now] I don't even know what the numbers were; we seem very small [then].

HT: When I talked to the lady on Friday, she thought there were probably a hundred black students on campus in the late sixties and early seventies, roughly.

MR: Yes, I would say-probably not-when I first came in '66, there were probably fifty. So it did grow and we were excited, you know, with men coming on campus. I hope you get to talk to some guys. There are not many of them.

HT: There are not many. I tried to talk to a fellow named Charles Cole. I can't remember. Do you know him by any chance?

MR: Yes, I think I remember him.

HT: He was interviewed for another project about twenty years ago, the Centennial Project. We haven't been able to talk to him about this particular 44:00project. I guess he's-Maybe he feels like he's talked once-

MR: Yes, it's enough already.

HT: But we'll keep trying.

MR: Yes, some of us want to put this behind us.

HT: Right. And there's also Larry McAdoo.

MR: Oh, yes. Larry McAdoo.

HT: He lives up in Connecticut, I think. Somewhere in that area.

MR: Wow. That's good. That would be great. Yes, all this of remembering these names; it's great. [unclear] It was good. It was mostly-It was rough. But let's keep going.

HT: Yes. I think maybe you've already touched on this a little bit but tell me about your political involvement in the late sixties on campus. Martin Luther King had died-was killed rather-in April of '68. What was that like?

MR: It was horrible; it was awful. We were going through spring-preparing for the spring end-of-semester exams and all that happened. And I remember so well 45:00because my-we didn't know what was going to happen. But they had-The riots broke out over at A&T and then they sent in the 82nd Airborne. Of course you know; that's history, how they shot up that campus.

HT: Right. Scott Hall.

MR: Scott Hall, yes. It was very, very scary. And so we didn't know what was going to happen with us. But we were-They were safe. They saved the day. They sent tanks that went right in front of our building, right down where Guilford Hall was. When my roommate woke up, she said, "There's a train outside." And I said, "I heard some [motor noise]. I had never heard a tank before." And she said, "Something's going on." So we looked outside and saw this tank going down the street and I said, "Why is a tank there? I guess, to protect?" Because we 46:00didn't know anything about the riot at A&T. And so we went through the night and we managed to get through the night, traumatic night. But my grandmother had passed just at that same time so I just scooted on back home. So I was at home past the time when they brought students [back]. By the time I got back, things had settled in quite nicely. But it was very traumatic for us, you know, just knowing that had happened. You know, the real traumatic part was just trying to get to the bus station in Greensboro to get myself back to South Carolina because I had to go through Charlotte and Charlotte was all in turmoil, too. So everything was, you know, kind of in an uproar at that time. But we managed to 47:00get through and passed our tests and went on to our senior year. Everybody was really scared because they didn't know what was going to happen.

HT: Right, the uncertainty, I think, is the most frightening part in a situation like that.

MR: Yes. You know, we'd been through a lot-that generation-because we were around when President Kennedy got killed and then of course Robert Kennedy and then Dr. King so it was very-And that was all the students. That wasn't just, you know, poor little us.

HT: The sixties were definitely-I don't think we'd want to relive those days at all. Just so traumatic; so traumatic.

MR: No.

HT: Did you ever feel discriminated against while you were at UNCG by students or faculty members?

MR: I had one event; I don't know if it's on record now. I had a professor-Mr. 48:00Ladd, L-A-D-D, he wasn't a doctor-who taught English. That was my sophomore year. And he had a-I had written a paper-we were supposed to write a paper on the imagery of Othello without any resources; without any help from the library. So I wrote a paper. I had done this when I was in high school. Remember, I went to a boarding school and it was college prep so it wasn't a big deal. And then when the papers were turned in and returned to us, he said, "I want to see you after class." So the grader, a graduate student probably-and I got an A. I was real excited. He said, "I just have a question, did you use outside resources?" I said, "No, because I had this when I was in high school. I went to a college prep class." And he said, "Well, you people just shouldn't be getting anything 49:00more than a C." And I thought, "Well what are these you people you are talking about?" Yes, he did, so I went to the dean and she stood by me. And so it wasn't a problem but I ended up not being in his class anymore. That was probably the most blatant situation at that time. That kind of put me on notice you're in North Carolina. To realize this is not all peaches and cream out here. So I was determined then I was going to make an A in that class so I became a lot more-What's the word I'm thinking?

HT: Aware.

MR: Yes, aware; that's the word. Thank you. Yes, it was a wake-up and smell the roses. So yes, I think that was a problem. That was probably the most-that I went through-blatant. And I probably wasn't looking for stuff. I'm sure there was other stuff out there that I went through. Somehow you just kind of put that 50:00behind you and don't want to have to remember all that stuff. You just have amnesia and keep it rolling. Keep it moving. Yes.

HT: Do you have any recollection of the chancellor at that time, James Ferguson?

MR: He seemed nice.

HT: Most students don't have that much interaction with the chancellor.

MR: Yes. Well, I was part of the march and we ended up being in that crowd that surrounded his house.

HT: I've heard about that. Well, tell me about that. I think he came down in his pajamas or robe and things like that.

MR: Yes, he came out and spoke to us. I was a part of that. I became very militant by my senior year, now that I think about it.

HT: Tell me about that.

MR: Well, you know, because I was part of the [ARA] Slater thing so we had students who had gathered-and they were black and white students-and then we ended up with some students from A&T that came over and so they marched-we marched around the campus and marched over to the house and everything. And he 51:00came out and spoke to us and said "We're going to handle it." He was very reassuring and he did. I mean I think they handled it. You know, they blamed it on the big folks down in Chapel Hill wouldn't let them do but so much and they had laws and stuff. But you know, they really weren't paying the help, the people who-the [ARA] Slater people-but then that was a separate company so we were kind of naive in the fact of not realizing that just so much could be done, looking back on it.

HT: So, the strike was over the very poor pay-

MR: Yes, it was over the unfair wages.

HT: That the students-I think it was mainly A&T students who were working in the dining hall, I've heard.

MR: No, it was also people who clean up the dormitories. Yes, it wasn't just dining hall; it wasn't just dining hall and it wasn't just A&T students. No, these were grown folks. A lot of them were older women who did the cleaning in the dormitories. They just had extensive hours without having any decent pay and 52:00wages. So students at that time were looking for-"Hey, we need a fight. We need to have something to fight for." So it wasn't predominantly black students who were involved but we kind of stood out, especially when A&T fellows came over. We had a lot of support after Dr. King died. There was a lot of support from the other side of Market Street to whatever we had a voice to.

HT: Did any students from Bennett College participate?

MR: A few. But they didn't like us. That's the discrimination I ran into.

HT: Oh really, you're kidding.

MR: No. They didn't like the UNCG girls, the black girls on campus-and you couldn't say there were many black guys-but we showed up over at A&T. Interestingly enough for Bennett, they would say, "Oh, you're one of those." That's the kind of discrimination-That was like a double whammy. I mean "How can you win?" But we really had that. The Bennett girls, oh, no they 53:00wouldn't-Because we were competing with them for the A&T guys and there was no consortium like there is now where all the schools are together, so if we were going over to Bennett-we were always welcome at A&T. The A&T girls didn't seem to be quite as negative toward the UNCG girls-as negative. And in general we were just an island unto ourselves. I think that's where the Neo-Black Society sort of also helped. You had a sense you belonged to a bigger group and you know, we know we had the fellows from Chapel Hill would come and they were supportive of whatever we were doing here. They were the sister/brother schools because there was Woman's College and there was Chapel Hill and for years that's all there was. It was the males down there and the girls here. So the largest community said if you go to Woman's College and you meet a guy from Chapel Hill, Carolina and that's-you end up being married. But we weren't part of that larger culture so it was like, "Okay, well we don't fit over here; we don't fit over 54:00there." So then you just study.

HT: Well, were the Bennett girls nasty?

MR: Oh, yes. They were real nasty to us. We had-all of us had the same experience-all me and my four, the four of us-

HT: I'll have to ask that now because I'd never thought to ask that before. So I'll have to-

MR: Yes. It's not a real strong, you know-At least that's my experience and all of my classmates in that range. I'm sure it's not a problem now because they all go to school together now. At that time we were like the aliens. We were like, you know-"Don't come over here. We're the Bennett Belles." You know I grew up with the Bennett Belles so I had a sense of what a Bennett Belle was.

HT: It doesn't sound very lady-like.

MR: No, not very lady-like. See we had so much more freedom than they did. I mean they were real-back, you know-And we had dorms that were wide open and we had no hours. "What do you mean, you don't have to check in and out? You don't 55:00have to sign in and out."

HT: I wonder if part of it could have been some jealousy over having more freedom than they had.

MR: Probably so. Oh, yes. We had a lot more freedom. The guys loved it. [unclear] Learn something every day.

HT: Do you have any recollection of Vice Chancellor Mereb Mossman who was a big-She was sort of second-in-charge on campus.

MR: Only when she'd come into the SGA [Student Government Association]. She was a big wheel.

HT: How about Dean Katherine Taylor; do you have any recollections of her? I think by that time she may have been in charge of Elliott University Center.

MR: No, I don't remember anything. I know there was a big push in part of my senior year about-There was a question about whether having an all-girls university, an all-female university, was a better idea back in the day than it 56:00was to have the integrated, male-female university. I remember in my senior year that was a big question. I think it was nationally and that came through the student government conversation but it didn't stick around. The decision had been made, so-I think some older alumni were wondering about maybe girls weren't getting the best education because now they're distracted by the guys.

HT: By the men. And I've also heard that once there was a sizable amount of men on campus, they started taking over SGA and other leadership positions.

MR: I've heard that, too. Women were starting to be-

HT: Kind of pushed aside a little bit even though the men were very small in number.

MR: They were getting more favoritism because you'd vote for a guy. Yes, you know. They stood out in that respect. It was coming. My senior year that was starting to happen.

57:00

HT: Tell me about the professors who made an impression on you while you were here at UNCG, either positive or negative. You already mentioned Mr. Ladd and apparently that was a very negative impression.

MR: I can't-You know, it's hard to remember names. I had a professor in history who was wonderful, I think, my sophomore year. Then I had a professor of sociology and I can't remember his name either. He was outstanding. I'm sociology-minded and it's hard to remember, other than the psychology department. The head of-the dean, the director: he was very supportive. I can't remember names. [unclear]

HT: Speaking of psychology where did you have most of your classes? Do you recall which building?

MR: It was the same building where home ec [economics] used to be, which isn't 58:00there anymore. I don't think it was home ec at the time. It had another name by the time I'd come on board, but there was a-It was in the basement of that building where that was. I don't think it's still there. The hall doesn't bring up-I mean the name of it doesn't ring a bell. If I saw it, I would remember.

HT: Right. Did you have a favorite teacher while you were on campus.

MR: Not that I can remember. No, I was just busy trying to graduate. I don't think I had a favorite teacher.

HT: How did attending UNCG change your life?

MR: Oh, dramatic. Dramatic. I mean it opened doors for me. Obviously it satisfied my "I can achieve and I can accomplish" and it was a whole mindset growing up in a small Southern town in South Carolina that you're not good enough. It kind of wiped all that out and let me know I could go anywhere, be 59:00anything that I wanted to be. And I could overcome obstacles and barriers, so I think it strengthened me in that respect.

HT: So no regrets of coming here at all?

MR: Well, you know. I think my parents had dreams of me going someplace like Vassar or Wellesley or Barnard [Colleges] and I guess I just didn't have the self-confidence at that time that I could accomplish that level. I didn't know what it meant; I didn't understand the awareness of it. My mother's-my grandfather's good friend, Dr. Wright from Bennettsville, South Carolina, who was the father of Marian Wright Edelman. Of course she was ahead of me. Marian 60:00had gone to-Was she at Vassar or was she at Wellesley? I can't remember where she met Mrs. [Hillary] Clinton. But anyway, my mom would always talk about "Well, Marian, Marian went up North and she went to this, that, and the other." And I just never, I really didn't buy into that at the time when I was younger. So that would be my only regret: that I didn't go to school up North.

HT: Well, you did go up North to school.

MR: Yes. I ended up going-My mom, here's her influence again. I ended up going to-I went to the University of Pennsylvania; that's where I did my graduate work. So I ended up going to a very elite school anyway. But I think had I gone to Barnard or Harvard or Vassar or Wellesley, it might have been a different story. She always wanted me to go to Barnard. My parents did their grad work at Columbia University in education so I think I just-I wasn't about to go to New 61:00York City; I just couldn't see myself fitting in up there even though my aunt was up there. But my-I had a very accomplished-My mother is the oldest of seven girls and all of them, you know, went to college and beyond. My-One of her younger sisters was a professor at the University of Chicago and the other sister was the director of mental health in the District of Columbia for years. I had another one that-I mean it just kind of goes on and on, very accomplished people. So it was kind of like this is your legacy. You have to keep it going.

HT: Sounds like there. That was a lot of pressure on you.

MR: Yes, all this [unclear] and all the educators and stuff, you know. But, you know, I did-My mother's sister, my aunt, was a doctor of English at University of Chicago. She ended up going to Spellman [College] so there was conversation about me going to Spellman at one time but I-you know, my mom had gone to 62:00Bennett; I didn't want to go to Bennett. I wanted to do something different from everybody else so I did that. My other two sisters were like, "Oh, we ain't going in those shoes, girl. We know what you've been through."

HT: Would you say you got a good education here at UNCG?

MR: Yes.

HT: In psychology?

MR: Yes. I think I was prepared and you know, I ended up not going on in psychology. I decided that I wanted to be in social work so I think I was more geared to that: involved in the community and develop the programs, creating things. But I'm still doing counseling. I have my own private practice now in Charlotte. I've done that for years. I was involved-I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. Can we just take a break for a second?

HT: Oh, yes.

HT: Well we were talking about how UNCG changed your life and what have you done since you graduated from UNCG; what line of work have you gone into? Tell me a little about that.

MR: Well, I was real fortunate in the fact that, because I was active here-my 63:00activism here-I was able to get a scholarship for my first year of graduate school. I went to Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, [Ohio]. Back to the North.

HT: There seems to be a draw there.

MR: Yes, there seems to be a draw. Well, you know: I'm going North, young woman. Going West, whatever. At any rate then I was-That's when I did my first year of graduate school in social work and then, prior to that, they required that I work one year in the field, so I worked in Baltimore, [Maryland]. You probably know Social Services; I did Child Protective Services.

HT: This was right after you graduated?

MR: Right after I graduated from UNCG. Yes, my aunt was a coordinator of that program in Baltimore so I worked in Baltimore. That was after the riots so I got to be in inner-city Baltimore, which is fascinating. There was a really good program because it wasn't just child protective services but they had started a 64:00joint program with Johns Hopkins [University]. So I got to work with pregnant teens and the families-inner city-and the daddies. So I did that for a year in child protective services in a special program with funding through the Kennedys because of-they had just started a program to work with handicapped kids because of President Kennedy's sister. So that was a catapult to me so when I went to Case Western Reserve, I was able to do some more stuff out there with that population-inner city, Hough Norwood Housing Development-and then I was at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland where I did my clinical training and for my graduate training there. And then, I left Cleveland and ended up going back East. I went 65:00to Baltimore and I got married to my first husband.

HT: Was this the fellow you had met at Chapel Hill?

MR: No, no, it was somebody altogether different. No, I met him in Baltimore where I was working and then he convinced me to "come East, young woman" so I headed back East and I worked-I was there in the hospital in Delaware where he lived in Northern Maryland. I lived in Delaware for about a year and worked there and then went back to graduate school so I was having an interesting life. That was the early years. There's the middle years-there were the early years and then there's kind of a second level early years, my married life, and then there are the middle years and then we're in the later years now. So anyway in that other life, that was my first husband. And we got married and I went back to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. So that was very good 66:00experience and then left there and worked in Delaware for a few years: got divorced, came back South, and lived-My sister and her husband were stationed in Fayetteville, [North Carolina], so I stayed with them until they got orders to go to Germany and I house-sat for a while. And, of course, I had a daughter by my first marriage. I was there eight years-a single parent-and I met my second husband, my now-husband. He was an A&T graduate but we never knew each other. He was at A&T at the time that I was here so we have a lot of history in common. And his family background was very much like mine. His mother was the dean of the school of nursing for years at A&T. So we had a lot-you know, a common understanding and family and history and goals and stuff so we've been married since then. And he-I was in Fayetteville; worked there for a while. I worked in the AHEC program, I was on the faculty there teaching medical students and doing 67:00social work. He was with Black and Decker at the time and then, when he got transferred, we have since moved all over the country. We've been to Eastern North Carolina and we've been out West-we were in Tulsa, Oklahoma for several years-and then both sets of parents started getting older and we ended up back in Charlotte, equal distance between Winston and Spartanburg-that's where my mom is now. My mom is still with us. She's the only one; all the rest of them are gone. So that's how-That's what has happened here and I guess professionally, let's see; like I said, I worked. When I was in Oklahoma, I had a private practice. I worked with two psychiatrists there. I was the therapist for about five years. This was in-patient psychiatric work there and then we moved back here. I worked at Carolina's Medical Center for eight years until I retired from 68:00there. Then I stepped over into Mecklenburg County. I worked there for about five years and now I'm with the VA again. So that's all. I've been maintaining. I have my own private practice, as well, that I've carried on because I wanted to continue with my psychiatric skills in the community.

HT: It sounds like you're very, very busy.

MR: Yes, I am. I'm very, very busy. Now's it like, okay, I'm tired. I make myself tired and that's just a synopsis of it. If you knew my travel; I'm always busy on the road with my veterans, which I really enjoy. Yes.

HT: Now you say you're going to some kind of meeting this afternoon.

MR: Yes. I'm going. I've got to do home visits with my veterans.

HT: This afternoon. Oh, gosh.

MR: Yes, it's fine. That won't be a problem.

HT: Have you been involved with UNCG at all since you graduated?

69:00

MR: Not really.

HT: Have you attended any reunions or anything like that?

MR: No, I've thought about it. They send me stuff. I'm really excited about them sending me things. I went to a program at the Levine Museum of the [New] South in Charlotte-It must have been about five years ago.-and they had tributes to various universities and alumni and there were some UNCG graduates there I ran into. They said, "You need to get connected." And I said, "Okay, but I don't have time." It's not that I-I guess it was-I think when my daughter decided to go to school-she graduated high school back in the middle nineties-and we thought about her coming here. We were in Eastern North Carolina at the time and she just wanted to be closer to home so she went to ECU [East Carolina University]. But I just-I don't think I ever thought about coming back; not 70:00really. I mean, you kind of perked my interest in saying, "Okay, well I probably should do this. I'm this long-lost daughter of UNCG."

HT: It's difficult. Our lives are all so busy. We're just-it is very difficult.

MR: I've applaud the school. They've just done great things. When she and I came-my daughter and I came to visit, we ended up meeting a lot of students and they were saying, "Oh, it was so different when you were here." And so that was encouraging. But it's so different now. That was a different day. So I guess maybe I should send them some money. You don't put that in.

HT: Well, I don't have any more formal questions. Do you have anything you want to add to the interview that we haven't covered. We've covered so much-four years of school.

MR: I was interested in why that-why my life now?

71:00

HT: First let me thank you and then I'll tell you off-the-record. Thanks so much.

MR: Yes, I appreciated it. I enjoyed it.