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0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: HT: Today is February 15, 2012 and my name is Hermann Trojanowski and I'm at the home of Mrs. Martha Jo Campbell, Class of '69 at UNCG, and we're here to conduct an oral history interview for the African American Institutional Memory Project, which is a project of the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection

Segment Synopsis: Interview is introduced

0:23 - Background

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Partial Transcript: HT: We'll get started by my asking you a little bit about your background; where were you born and that sort of thing and family life?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes her background and a brief mention of her father.

1:38 - High school

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Partial Transcript: HT: Where did you go to high school?

MC: I attended - actually there were two high schools.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes her experiences attending St. Ann's Academy a black Catholic school in Winston-Salem, before moving to public school.

5:32 - Choosing UNCG as a college

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now when you were thinking about going to college, did you automatically apply to UNCG or were there other schools you considered?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes the thought process which led her to apply to UNCG for college.

8:27 - First year living arrangements

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Partial Transcript: HT: What was it like when you first got there as a student in the fall of '65? Do you have any recollections of your first few days there?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes living off-campus in her first semester before a room became available for her on-campus.

10:05 - Advice from older black students

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Partial Transcript: MC: I got to stay in the Quad - and there were several African American students, I shouldn't say several but quite a few, who were attending summer school and I had the opportunity to meet them, interact with them, get advice from them.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes the advice she received from older black students during her orientation, including a discussion of what professors not to take, and descriptions of some racism on campus.

13:04 - Having trouble with trigonometry

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Partial Transcript: MC: The first two years, I didn't heed the warnings; learned a great deal. I'll never forget one of the things that happened. My first year I was put into a trigonometry class, because I had to take math; they said I had to take math.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes problems she had with a trigonometry class, and with the professor not listening to her concerns.

15:37 - Taking a class with a prejudiced professor

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Partial Transcript: MC: Some of the other experiences of not heeding the warnings of the upper classmen: I went and took a class of one of those teachers they told me I shouldn't take ...

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes what it was like taking a class with a prejudiced teacher, and being called out in every class to answer an exceptionally difficult question.

19:20 - Lack of prejudice from students

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Partial Transcript: HT: After you moved into the dorm, what was that situation like for you? Were the other students accepting of you and that sort of thing?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell briefly describes the lack of prejudice that she felt from other students.

19:56 - Small number of black students at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: In the mid-sixties, I imagine that the number of African American students on campus was not that large.

Segment Synopsis: Trojanowski describes just how small of a minority the black students were in the 1960s.

20:44 - Favorite subjects

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what was your favorite subject at UNCG?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes several of her favorite subjects, including music class, art appreciation, and anthropology.

24:10 - Choosing sociology as a major

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Partial Transcript: HT: What was your major?

MC: My major was sociology, pre-professional social work.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell briefly discusses why she decided to major in sociology.

24:54 - Prejudiced sociology professor

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Partial Transcript: HT: Did they have a good sociology department in those days?

MC: I think there was a very good sociology department but some of the teachers were prejudiced and I did end up in one of those instructor's classes.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes a sociology class she took with a prejudiced professor, and how her best work would not raise her grade.

27:30 - Neo-Black Society (part 1)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Did you ever think about transferring to another school?

MC: No.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell discusses dealing with discrimination through the Neo-Black Society.

30:48 - School concerts, dances, and activities

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, did you enjoy school?

MC: I did; I like challenges. I must say, in spite of some of the encounters, the negative encounters.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes some of her favorite activities that the school put on. These included some popular music groups and dances.

33:34 - Friends and having fun

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what did you do for fun, other than go to the dances?

MC: I had so much fun with my close friends.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell talks about some of the things she did for fun during her time at UNCG, including homecoming activities, and being in a play

38:45 - Eating and working in the dining hall

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Partial Transcript: HT: And what about the dining hall? Do you have any recollection of the food and how it was set up - the dining hall - in those days?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes how good she thought the food at the dining hall was. She also describes a story where she was left downstairs washing dishes while the white students were allowed to return to the main floor.

42:52 - Quality of food in the cafeteria

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Partial Transcript: MC: But the food was very good.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes the quality of the food that she ate at the cafeteria, and how much she enjoyed it.

43:57 - Recreational activities representative

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, tell me about your involvement in extracurricular activities. You've already mentioned that you were in that play. Were you involved in anything else on campus, like sports or that sort of thing?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes her surprise at being elected an RA (recreational activities representative) for her hall.

45:42 - Physical education classes

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Partial Transcript: HT: Did you have to take PE [physical education] classes?

MC: Yes. I took modern dance and learned how to - Is it plie?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes the physical education that she took, including modern dance.

46:54 - Male students on campus

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, tell me about the men on campus because UNCG became coeducation in 1963.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes going on a date with Larry McAdoo, one of the early black male students on campus.

49:56 - Participating in campus protest

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Partial Transcript: HT: What about the political atmosphere on campus during the sixties? What are your thoughts about that, or do you have any recollection about that?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes joining a protest on campus about the dining hall workers. She describes marching with the protesters, and the group trying to flip a car.

53:07 - Reaction to the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Partial Transcript: MC: I also recall during this period of unrest - and I can't remember whether this was after the death of Martin Luther King - but I woke up one morning and I looked out the window and I couldn't believe what I saw.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes the local aftermath of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Including her personal reaction, and the tank that was posted outside her dorm.

55:46 - Memory of attending a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Partial Transcript: MC: And I had the opportunity to stand right behind Martin Luther King when he came to Winston-Salem.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes standing behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while he was speaking in Winston-Salem.

58:28 - Thoughts on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, speaking of him, what do you think of his memorial that has just opened up in Washington, DC? I've seen photographs.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell briefly describes her thoughts on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national monument.

59:09 - Neo-Black Society (part 2)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, we have spoken a little bit earlier about the Neo-Black Society. What are your fondest memories of the Neo-Black Society?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell discusses some of the aspects of the Neo-Black Society that she enjoyed.

60:58 - Civil Rights Movement

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, I'm going to ask you some more questions about the 1960s. The Civil Rights Movement was really going strong in the 1960s. What do you recall about that?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes her thoughts on, and involvement in, the Civil Rights movement, both in Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

64:59 - Assassinations of Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, you've already mentioned the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King which happened in [April] of '68, and Bobby Kennedy was shot in, I think, June of '68. Do you recall anything about that?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes her memories of Malcolm X, and her reaction to the assassinations of Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy.

68:58 - Vietnam

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Partial Transcript: HT: Vietnam. Do you have any recollections of Vietnam?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes her memories of the Vietnam War, from a home-front perspective.

70:38 - Administrators and faculty

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Partial Transcript: HT: I want to backtrack to UNCG's administration and professors for just a second.

Segment Synopsis: Campbell is asked about several administrators, but does not recall having any contact with most of them.

71:25 - Infirmary

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, speaking of the infirmary, did you ever have to go down there for anything, for treatment and that sort of thing?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes her experiences with being ill and going to the Infirmary.

72:20 - Working for Winston-Salem

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, how do you think attending UNCG has changed your life?

Segment Synopsis: Campbell reminisces about her post-graduation career, working for the City of Winston-Salem.

83:43 - Interaction with UNCG after graduation

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, have you been involved with UNCG at all since you graduated; attended reunions and -

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes some light interaction with other alumni.

84:58 - Incident with white woman in elevator

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Partial Transcript: MC: Well, it was so ironic; I had mentioned early on that one of the students had talked about being referred to as "the maid" ...

Segment Synopsis: Campbell describes an incident of being thought of by an older white woman as a maid.

86:49 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, I don't have any more questions. Do you have anything you'd like to add? We've covered such a variety of things this afternoon.

Segment Synopsis: Interview conclusion.

0:00

HT: Today is February 15, 2012 and my name is Hermann Trojanowski and I'm at the home of Mrs. Martha Jo Campbell, Class of '69 at UNCG, and we're here to conduct an oral history interview for the African American Institutional Memory Project, which is a project of the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection. Mrs. Campbell, thank you so much for seeing me today.

MC: You're quite welcome.

HT: We'll get started by my asking you a little bit about your background; where were you born and that sort of thing and family life?

MC: Okay. Well, actually I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and my family moved from there to Winston-Salem in-I believe it was 1953. I was one of three girls in my family and I was the youngest child. My father decided to move to Winston-Salem [to establish his practice of naturopathy]. He was what was known back then, and this was sort of a rarity-a naturopathic physician. A lot of 1:00times I tell people, when they ask where I'm from, I'll say, "Actually I was born a Hoosier and raised a Tar Heel." Well that's how [my family settled in] Winston-Salem.

HT: And you say you had two sisters? So no brothers.

MC: Yes. And no brothers.

HT: Where did you go to high school?

MC: I attended-actually there were two high schools. I initially attended what was known as St Ann's Academy which was a Catholic school. Towards the end of my eleventh year there, one of the nuns came in and informed us that the school was going to have to close because there were so few students there. As a matter of 2:00fact, if it had remained open, there would have been only four seniors at the school. Yes. So we were told that perhaps we would like to make a transition to Bishop McGinnis [High School]. And at the very last minute I chose not to go to Bishop McGinnis because I was working away from home and my employer had said, "If you stay on another week, you can have a bonus." I said, "Wow, a fifty dollar bonus." I get tickled about that now. But my oldest sister was saying, "Well, mom, why are you going to send her to Bishop McGinnis and incur that expense when the following year she will be going to college?" And of course my focus again was on a bonus, fifty dollars. So I chose not to go to Bishop McGinnis and actually enrolled in public school for the first time in my life. 3:00That was my senior year of high school, so, I graduated from the renowned Atkins High School.

HT: I think Mrs. [Linda Scales] Dark [Class of 1968] went there as well.

MC: Yes, and I must say, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to attend public school. It was the first time I had ever had African American teachers because all the nuns were white. And I learned a great deal; it was a great year.

HT: And St. Ann's, you said it was a Catholic school?

MC: It was a Catholic school.

HT: [Grades] one through twelve?

MC: Yes.

HT: And was it integrated?

MC: No, it was an all-black school. Of course, now Bishop McGinnis was integrated and there were a few African American students there but we were all-black. Some of the students came from other areas of the country. They even had a very small dormitory on the grounds.

4:00

HT: Now the school [St. Ann's] doesn't exist anymore.

MC: It does not exist anymore. It closed that year, as I [indicated earlier].

HT: At Atkins, what was your favorite subject? What were your interests?

MC: At Atkins, one of my favorite subjects was English. I enjoyed the English teacher; I loved her method of teaching; it was just a lot of fun. English was one of my favorite subjects in grade school as well. Another subject that I took a particular interest in was sociology in high school; probably because my sister, my middle sister, Joyce, had studied sociology at North Carolina Central University. Being around her and listening to her talk about her subjects and 5:00what she wanted to do; I sort of had that same interest. Also what influenced me to take an interest in that area was being around the nuns and the missionary type work that they were engaged in. I'll never forget, when I was in high school, we were asked to do a paper on the type of work or career we might be interested in and I did it on social work and so that continued with me.

HT: Now when you were thinking about going to college, did you automatically apply to UNCG or were there other schools you considered?

MC: No, I did not. I must be honest; I had not thought about The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I thought about the school my sister attended which was North Carolina Central University in Durham and, because I am a United Methodist and had been a United Methodist for so many years, I thought about 6:00Bennett College. There was a small scholarship, $200 that was offered to me to go to Bennett. I was accepted at North Carolina Central but at the time, during my senior year, I had a friend at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [who] was a couple of years ahead of me and he had called and said that he, his roommate, and one of the students at UNCG would like to come and visit. It was during the week and I thought it was a little odd. They came and I can recall sitting in my mother and father's living room and all of a sudden I felt like-"Seems like they didn't just come for a visit. They came with a purpose in mind," and the purpose was to convince me that I should consider applying to the University of North Carolina to go to college. They told me about all the fun 7:00that I could have [while studying and working on my undergraduate degree].

MC: And one of the things they talked about was the Jubilee experience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that took place every [year]. They were saying that a number of the University of North Carolina students would be invited to attend Jubilee and since I had a friend there, of course I would be invited. And they just made it seem like the thing to do. I thought about it carefully and then I found out that some of the students at Atkins and some of my close friends had planned to go to UNCG and had been accepted. And I sort of 8:00applied late so in-

HT: This would have been in 1965?

MC: Right. So in making that decision, my mother and father and I went over to UNC[G] and we met with some people in the Administrative office and expressed our desire for me to attend school there. They worked with us and I got in.

HT: What was it like when you first got there as a student in the fall of '65? Do you have any recollections of your first few days there?

MC: No. The first few days-well, it was a little bit different for me because [by] applying late, I was unable to get on the campus. I could not get residential housing so provisions had been made for me to stay with a [couple Mr. and] Mrs. Moore, who lived not too far from the campus. It was in walking distance and that's how I came to meet [one of] my roommates, Terry Ann-who is now Terry Ann Cockerham. A student from Atkins, Frankie, was unable to get a 9:00room on campus so we lived with the Moores. And it was convenient; we had no problems walking back and forth and, to our surprise, before we would even completed the first semester, we received letters indicating that there was room on campus and that, if we wanted to, we could move into South Spencer which was centrally located on the campus. So that's what we did: we left Mr. and Mrs. Moore and moved on campus. It wasn't a difficult transition and, perhaps, especially for me because prior to the first semester beginning, I had attended a three-week orientation at UNCG. I got to stay in the Quad-and this was my 10:00first time experiencing a little bit of college life-and there were several African American students, I shouldn't say several but quite a few, who were attending summer school and I had the opportunity to meet them, interact with them, get advice from them. They prepared me for what I should expect once I got on campus or once I started school there. They taught me a great deal. Some things I listened to; some things I didn't listen to, but I learned [the hard way what I should have paid greater attention to].

HT: What were some of the things they talked about?

MC: Well, they told me about some of the professors-some of the teachers-that I 11:00should avoid as an African American student, as a black student entering college there. I'll never forget: one was in the English department and, you know, I listened but English had always been a strong subject of mine and I felt like "No problem." I don't have to worry about that. I know I can handle that. I handled it in grade school; I handled it in high school. When I graduated from grade school, I received the English award from St. Benedict's School. When I graduated from Atkins, to my surprise, I was called up on stage for an essay that I had written. At St. Ann's I had written a poem that got national recognition. I was just into English, so I didn't heed the warning. And there were several other teachers [about whom] they said, "Well, you've got to stay away from this teacher. This individual will definitely flunk you." And I 12:00thought, "Well, if you put forth good effort, how is that?" So, anyway. As I said, I learned and they shared some of their experiences with me. One of the students told a story about being in the room with a white student and her relatives came to visit with her. When the relatives walked in-and these were some older white ladies-as soon as the white lady saw the African American in her relative's room, she said, "Oh, so you brought your maid with you." So we'd chuckle about that. Oh, boy. But anyway that was one of those things. But I got there and I found out some things were quite real that they had shared.

HT: So it was quite a learning experience.

13:00

MC: It was a learning experience. The first two years, I didn't heed the warnings; learned a great deal. I'll never forget one of the things that happened. My first year I was put into a trigonometry class, because I had to take math; they said I had to take math. I had an adviser. I had never taken trig in high school-geometry, algebra, but didn't have the foundation or the true prerequisites for trigonometry, especially this level of trigonometry. And I thought, "Why am I in this class?" It was sort of like Greek to me and I kept going, kept going. I've got to take this math but I don't-this is very difficult; there are several other math classes that I could take. Why trig, trigonometry? But anyway finally, when I just demanded that something has to be 14:00done-I'm not adequately prepared to take this level of trigonometry. So finally my adviser-and I can't remember his name-he said, "You need to withdraw from this. You don't need to be in this class." And so, at last someone was listening. He said, "No, you should never have been in this level of trigonometry." So I withdrew. I was so upset when my grades came out and there was a withdrawal for failing. I thought I was just withdrawing. So I thought, "Okay, you've got to be a little more aggressive in [navigating] the system over here." And that was one thing that was very-I did not like that. It was very disturbing to me that the teacher [did not listen to and share my concern 15:00regarding this matter].

HT: There's a certain cutoff date that-

MC: I found that out and nothing like that was [mentioned]. Of course I would have probably failed it anyway. But-

HT: So did you have to make it up later on?

MC: No, I just took the appropriate math classes and I got As and Bs and there was absolutely no problem. But to be channeled into something that I had no clue; I just wasn't prepared for it. Some of the other experiences of not heeding the warnings of the upper classmen: I went and took a class of one of those teachers they told me I shouldn't take because I could handle it and I guess in my mind [I was thinking],Yes, these are white teachers and, yes, back 16:00then there was prejudice; there was discrimination; there were biases. I lived through it. So I was sitting in English class-I want to tell you, every time this class would begin, this teacher would have a question. I don't know where it would come from. Every time she would begin the class with a question, but there was only one person in that class whose name she knew and it was "Hightower, Hightower," every time. I began to [think], "What is this?" and I wouldn't know what she was asking, didn't have a clue. "Hightower." Every time, every single class, it was "Hightower." I was probably one of thirty, forty students in the class and the only name she knew was Hightower and I was the only black student in there. It was so obvious that some of the white students 17:00began to come to me. They were upset over it and they were saying, "It's not fair, what she's doing to you. She's picking on you." And I said, "I'm very much aware of it." And all I could think about was I did not heed the warning not to get into her class.

HT: Do you recall the instructor's name?

MC: No, no, but she didn't give me a nice grade. I remember that and I went-I mean I was ready to deal with it and I went to her office and I literally banged on her door. I was so upset because I knew I had been treated unfairly and I banged, I mean [demonstrates] banged. All of a sudden I looked up and there was a note on the door: "Have gone to [Europe] for the summer." As I said, that was 18:00my first year and it was a learning, a very-a true learning, experience but then I learned how to navigate the system. HT: I bet it made you stronger though.

MC: It made me stronger because I believe in standing up for what's right and when I see injustices like that, I'm ready to deal with it. And even throughout my career, if I ever saw something that wasn't quite right, I had no problems speaking up. And I think a lot of that had to do with my early education.

HT: The nuns did you right, so to speak.

MC: Well, I mean they could be some very, very strict, highly disciplinary individuals and some could be downright mean-very mean-but I think as a result 19:00of that, the indirect result was, yes, you became stronger and ready to deal with situations that weren't quite right. But after the first and the second year, it got better.

HT: After you moved to the dorm, what was that situation like for you? Were the other students accepting of you and that sort of thing?

MC: I never had a problem with the students-with prejudice amongst the students; it was always the teachers. As a matter of fact, some of my closest friends were white students but I had-I shouldn't say "some of my closest." I had several close friends, but included amongst them were a few white students who were very, very close.

HT: In the mid-sixties, I imagine that the number of African American students on campus was not that large.

20:00

MC: Small, very small.

HT: Maybe a hundred or thereabouts maybe? I'm not sure.

MC: Or less; a hundred or less.

HT: Because I know when JoAnne Smart Drane and Bettye Tillman started in '56, there were only two that year. And then it sort of grew to like maybe three or four the next year and that sort of thing so that by the mid-sixties there were a little bit more but not that many. I've talked to many-to several other students from that time and they said they were probably the only black student in most-in all of their classes.

MC: Yes, that's true a lot of times. So it was easy to single a person out and "Let me start the picking." That wasn't very nice. No.

HT: Well, what was your favorite subject at UNCG?

MC: Truthfully, I don't know if I had a favorite subject, perhaps because I was dealing with so many issues. Some of the subjects that I surprisingly liked were electives: music appreciation and art 21:00appreciation. I have to name those two because upon taking those classes, I found that I just sort of became engulfed in the various types of art and I would go to the gallery, to-Is it Weatherspoon [Art Gallery]? A lot of times when I would go for my biology or psychology classes on the far side of the campus, I would have to go into Weatherspoon Gallery and I would just walk and look at all the different types of art-this was a regular routine for me-and try to determine, you know, the types of art. It was sort of consoling and I found a 22:00little solace in doing that. And the other [subject] was the music appreciation, I really enjoyed that, so much that I would go to-Was it Elliott Student Hall? Student union building?

HT: It was Elliott Hall in those days; it's called Elliott University Center now.

MC: Well, I loved going to the student union building because you could go in these small rooms and have them put music, different albums and records, on and the music would be piped into the small room and I would just sit there. Oh, it was so soothing to do that. There would be times I would go to the library and all of this came from taking these courses. I would go to the library and had symphonic music piped in on these headphones that we could put on and I would just sit there and listen. So that I remember; I really enjoyed doing that. 23:00Another course [was] anthropology; anthropology stands out. Was that McDonald? Was that his name? It stood out because having gone to Catholic school, I had a very deep religious background and this was the first time that I found that an instructor was challenging some of the beliefs that were ingrained in my head. He began to talk about the real reason the Bible had been put together and, you know, [how]it wasn't like it was this divine scripture from God. He says, "It was just man who needed to control society" and I'm just sitting there listening because I had been thoroughly indoctrinated with Catholicism for twelve years because I started out in kindergarten and I thought, "What?" So I found it very interesting and I think that will probably remain with me to the end; hearing 24:00those kinds of things, those challenges and the theory of evolution and all.

HT: What was your major?

MC: My major was sociology, [pre-]professional social work.

HT: And had you always planned to do that?

MC: Yes, I just wanted to go into a field wherein I could make a difference in people's lives and, again, I was sort of following in my sister's footsteps, even in high school. I even thought about becoming a missionary at one point, but I said, "Okay, I won't be the missionary but I can go into the field of social work and try to bring about changes in people's lives, try to improve the quality of their living."

HT: Did they have a good sociology department in those days?

MC: I think there was a very good sociology department but some of the teachers 25:00were prejudiced and I did end up in one of those instructor's classes. That was very hard for me because I gave it my all on all the paperwork that I did and all I could get was a passing when there was a higher level. It was so bad that I got with some of the upper classmen and some of the sociology majors and I said, "I don't understand this." They took my work-I mean, we were tight back then-and they looked at it and they said, "This is fine. This is good, what you have done." And so one of the individuals who had taken the course said, "I have a paper that I did and got the highest grade on it. Let's look at that one and 26:00look at yours." Okay, all right, we did. They worked with me and they said, "Okay, now the next time you do this written work, you've got all this information." I did it and I took it back to them, "Look, look at what you all [unclear] and it was like, "Well, can't do anything. That's all she's going to do. She's not going to give you anything higher." So again, that was a learning experience but-

HT: I guess there was no recourse for you to go to, like a department head or the administration to try to get some help.

MC: I never thought about that. I don't think any of us thought about it. It was widely known, but we just had to avoid. The thing was to try your best to avoid certain instructors and to do your best. 27:00Work hard to do your best to get a decent grade. And, as I said, after two years of dealing with that, my last two years were a little different. I was a little more mature, a little more seasoned and did a whole lot better.

HT: Did you ever think about transferring to another school?

MC: No.

HT: That wasn't an option.

MC: No, not at all. And I think because of some of those experiences and because of the concerns that we as African Americans had about some of the discriminatory practices, we were determined-some of us were determined not to do that but determined to stand firm and to try our best to make a difference. 28:00And of course, back in the sixties there were a lot of social injustices occurring and I'm sure you've heard about the Neo-Black Society that was established. Of course, that was to deal with a lot of the social injustices, whether they were taking place on the university campus or taking-well, it didn't make any difference where it was taking [place], we decided it's time for [the] African American-African American students to take a stand. And that's what happened.

HT: Speaking of the Neo-Black Society, were you a founding member by any chance? It says it was founded in 1968, so you would have been, I guess, a junior at that time.

MC: I don't know if I was considered a founding member. I remember when it was established and I became a member of it but-what was her name?

29:00

HT: Yvonne [Class of 1967] and Betty Cheek [Class of 1968]?

MC: Betty Cheek, they were staunch members.

HT: And Ada Fisher was. She was Class of '70 so she was a year behind you.

MC: I'm trying to think of-I can see her in my mind but I can't think of her name. That was when we stopped pressing the hair, put the afros on, started wearing the afros around and started inviting some of the African American leaders with the-oh, what were some of those organizations? Howard Fuller, I believe he was one of the ones who came to speak on campus in the student union building. Nelson Johnson was an activist over at A&T [North Carolina Agricultural and Technical] State University. I'll never forget; they told Nelson that he could no longer come on our campus because I guess he was getting 30:00the students in an upheaval [unclear]. But they said he was not a student there and next thing you know I looked up in my statistics course and who was in the class with me? Nelson Johnson. So he could still help to get the students mobilized because he was an enrollee at The University of North Carolina [at] Greensboro.

HT: But he was a regular student at A&T prior to that?

MC: Yes, right. And they were saying he couldn't come over there because he wasn't a student. And I turned around and he's a student now. [laughter] So those are some of the things I do recall about those days.

HT: Well, did you enjoy school?

MC: I did; I like challenges. I must say, in spite of some of the encounters, 31:00the negative encounters. If you can go up against those things and remain-because I saw some of the students come and they didn't come back, but I'm proud of the fact that I remained the four years there and came in '65 and exited in '69. And [I] graduated with a few more hours than required. I did enjoy-one of the things that I enjoyed was the fellowship, the interaction with the students, the type of activities that we engaged in. One of the things that I always noted about the early days was that whenever they had these well-known groups like The Temptations or The Four Tops [to perform on campus, whites and blacks would become one as they danced to popular tunes].

HT: Mrs. Dark said this morning that that was one of the best parts of-

32:00

MC: Oh, yes. Boy, we had these dances at the student union building and something strange, unusual would happen whenever these musicians would be there, something totally different compared to what happened in the dining hall, the cafeteria. In the cafeteria we would see the blacks sitting together and the whites (sitting separately). Go to one of those dances at Elliott Hall; [the white and black students would] merge right together. Everybody would be doing the line dance, having a great time interacting together, and that was one of my observations as a sociology student. I would observe that music must be a universal language that somehow would cause people to come together and forget their differences and begin to have fun and delight in each other's company.

33:00

HT: Mrs. Dark said this morning that one of the things the university should do is maybe bring back one of these groups sometime because your anniversary, your fiftieth, is coming up in a few years. Hers is coming up in a few years-is bring them back for a future reunion. I'll mention that to the people-

MC: Oh, that would be nice.

HT: Because she said you would probably have a lot of people come back for something like that if you had, say, The Temptations or somebody who would do The Temptations' style or something from that period.

MC: Yes, that would.

HT: Well, what did you do for fun, other than go to the dances?

MC: I had so much fun with my close friends. Oh, we had a ball: sitting around talking in the dormitory; just going to the cafeteria, sitting down, talking and laughing; celebrating each other's birthdays. Sometimes we would get together 34:00because they would offer movies on campus as well. We'd get together and go see a movie on campus. Sometimes we would go over to A&T for their homecoming activities. One of my very dear friends, Cassandra Hodges, who is now deceased-she passed away in 2006-She was from Greensboro but she lived on campus and she had relatives over at A&T so she would invite me to go over to A&T for some of their homecoming activities and that was fun. I even participated in a play on campus once. That was fun. I really didn't want to do it because I was asked to portray a maid and I said, "Oh, no I'm not going to do that over here. 35:00Oh, no." And I was asked by a very close friend. Actually I lived in Mendenhall dormitory and there were four of us out of the entire residential body, four African Americans, and Linda and I, Linda Scales, Dark, now. She and I were roommates and then Cassandra Hodges and Alice Barnes [Class of 1968] were roommates and we chose to live right beside each other. I think Linda and I were in room 2000 and Alice and Cassandra in room-not 2000 but 202 and 201-and we were extremely tight. And Alice majored in drama and Alice wanted me to play this maid because she had to put together a play. I told [her] no. She said, "But Martha Jo, I need [to do] a play. You're my friend. Please do this." And I 36:00said, "No, I can't do it. I'm not going to do that. A maid; no way, no." Anyway my friend finally convinced me that I should do it and I was a very difficult actress. [laughs] I'll never forget: this play was called "Crawling Arnold" and it was about a young man in his thirties whose parents had another child and when he found out they were going to have this child, he returned to acting like a child himself and crawling on the floor. That was a lot of fun because I teased my girlfriend Alice a lot and during rehearsals I was not too nice of a maid. [unclear] I was pretending to be carrying a tray of drinks and serving Crawling Arnold. Here is one of the white male students on his hands and knees 37:00and I take the tray and I pretend to dump it on him. I was supposed to be serving him the drink and my girlfriend was directing the play. "Martha Jo, stop. Stop, you got to do this right." I was really being devilish with her, but it was fun. But anyway, I do recall that and that was presented down at-what's the name of the theater down at the end of campus?

HT: Aycock Auditorium.

MC: Aycock Auditorium. So I debuted as a maid [in the play] "Crawling Arnold." [laughing]

HT: Was this your only dramatic role?

MC: Yes, that was it. That was enough.

HT: Were you able to speak in the role or was it a silent role?

MC: I can't remember. I do believe it must have been a silent role: just coming 38:00out, serving those drinks in a maid's uniform. Again, I wasn't too happy with it. I did not like doing it but I did it for my girlfriend.

HT: Now, where is Alice Barnes today?

MC: She's in Wilson, North Carolina. I think she's been visited by one of the representatives on this project.

HT: I'll have to read her transcript then. [both laughing] Now you told me that you lived in Mendenhall [Residence Hall]. Did you live there all four years?

MC: Yes, because I moved there the second semester of my first year and remained there until I graduated.

HT: And what about the dining hall? Do you have any recollection of the food and how it was set up-the dining hall-in those days?

MC: Oh, I'll never forget that. It was delicious. The food was very good and even-during my senior year, I even took a job working in the dining hall because 39:00they offered those opportunities to the students. I needed to get a little money together because I wanted to buy a friend a graduation gift, so I said, "How am I going to do this?" Somebody said, "Oh, you can get a job in the dining hall and make some money that way" which is what I did. And it was quite interesting. I can remember a mishap that occurred and it was during the [unsettling] times [of] the sixties. As one of the students-and there were several students that worked [in the dining halls], white students as well. And the dishwasher or the conveyor belt broke. I was asked by the manager (or told by the manager) that I [along with three white students] needed to go downstairs to 40:00help in that area [because the dishwasher had broken]. I got to see a lot. My eyes were opened to what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to food preparation. I'm not going to share that, but I was down there and I started wondering, "When am I going to be called back? Why am I still down here?" And I kept doing-

HT: This is the kitchen area downstairs?

MC: Yes, in the dining hall. And the others (white students) who had come down initially to get things going quickly had been called up. I was left down[stairs]. And I kept thinking, "Why am I still down here?" And a man said something to some of the blacks-because most of the workers were black in the dining hall.

HT: I understand some of the workers were from A&T. Is that correct? Some of the men students?

MC: I'm not sure. I think you're right; yes, I believe so. So I'm wondering why I'm still here and the white students are being called up. I probably said 41:00something to some of the black workers there. I stayed the whole time. Well, my mother and my sister came to visit me on campus [one day] and while [we were eating in the dining hall], one of the male workers-he must have been a supervisor-a black male came with the manager-white female, short white female-and they came rushing to the table where my mother, sister and I were sitting and he said, "She has something to tell you." And she stood there and she apologized. The supervisor (the black male) told me-he let her have it about allowing me to stay downstairs that long, obviously because I was a black student. [She was very apologetic] and my mother and sister had no idea what had happened. And I mean she laid it on thick. "I am so sorry. I did not realize 42:00that you were a student and I'm so-"and you know, on and on. But that was one thing that stood out in my mind and it was at that time that there was a lot of controversy about the pay of the black workers in the cafeteria. That was one of the things, I think, that the Neo-Black Society took on.

HT: It was after a strike, I think, in early '69. About ARA Slater, I think was the name of the company.

MC: Slater. Yes, I was quite sensitive to that particular issue and how even I, as a student, [was] treated [that particular day]. But the food was very good. I'll never forget my sister, my older sister, talking about how great that food was, and my girlfriend, Cassandra, used to talk about the difference in the food 43:00at A&T and at the University of North Carolina. She was saying that the students were surprised to know that we were having steak, baked potato [and] beautiful ears of corn. Sometimes we would have sundaes with all the condiments to go with it. As a matter of fact, I'll never forget; I made the school newspaper fixing an [ice cream sundae in the cafeteria]. The [school] newspaper comes out and my friends were saying, "Oh, you ought to see the school newspaper. You're featured making your yum-yum." My mother was so happy to see her daughter's [picture in the school newspaper] making an ice cream sundae. But as I said, they really served good food. I couldn't complain about that at all.

HT: Well, tell me about your involvement in extracurricular activities. You've 44:00already mentioned that you were in that play. Were you involved in anything else on campus, like sports or that sort of thing?

MC: Sports were kind of limited; however, one of my surprises, you know-you're feeling like you're in the minority and that you perhaps might have a difficult time ever being elected to any positions because they only had so many who were like you and might vote for you to do something. But we used to have residential hall meetings and it would occur around nine o'clock at night and all the girls would go down[stairs] and we'd be sitting in our PJs [pajamas] and there would be the four of us sitting together. I'll never forget this particular night; they said they needed an RA, a recreational activities representative, and somebody suggested Martha Jo Hightower and I'm thinking, "There's no way that 45:00they're going to vote me in." And, to my surprise, I got the majority of votes to be the RA representative for the dorm and, of course, that was keeping people informed about the recreational activities that would be occurring. But some of the things that I enjoyed doing-I got involved in an RA course [unclear] Tennis, not tennis; ping-pong. [laughs] That was a big thing. I think basically that was it because we were kind of limited except for the tennis courts.

HT: Did you have to take PE [physical education] classes?

MC: Yes. I took modern dance and learned how to-Is it plie? Plies and all that kind of stuff. [laughs] I wasn't a dancer.

HT: What about swimming? Did you have to learn how to swim or did you already 46:00know how to swim? I talked to one person who said she was afraid of the water and she was pushed in the water to learn how to swim.

MC: Really? I [did not participate in a swimming class].

HT: So I guess it wasn't mandatory, perhaps, at that time.

MC: [Evidently not]. But I can recall going over to the pool and [watching a friend swim]. Of course, when I was young, I lived at a swimming pool just about every day. I learned how to swim and got my little certificate. But modern dance and recreational sports were the two [classes that I enrolled in to meet the PE requirement].

HT: Well, tell me about the men on campus because UNCG became coeducational in 1963. The first men came in the fall of '64 which was just a year before you 47:00started. I know there weren't many black men on campus, I'm sure, in your time.

MC: That's true. Well, when I was there, there were two black males initially and I think another one came. And then there were a few more.

HT: Larry McAdoo was one, I bet-Class of '68. And Charles Cole [Class of 1969], was he the other one maybe? He played basketball.

MC: I believe so. There were two initially, as I said, when I was there. I remember Larry McAdoo, very nice-looking young man, and-to my surprise-Larry invited me [be his date] to his senior class dance. I was surprised; I didn't tell anybody. I was a sophomore at the time and I didn't tell anybody that Larry had invited me to do this. My mother came over and we went down to Belk 48:00[Department Store] and selected the cutest little black dress. And I'll never forget Larry coming to pick me up [at the dorm] that evening and some of the upper classmen were totally shocked because they had no idea that Martha Jo would be going to the senior dance with Larry McAdoo. So, yes, I recall Larry, but, again, there were initially the two men. Then I think there was a third added and then, perhaps by my junior year, there were maybe three or four more blacks. As a matter of fact, one of the black students-Steven McCoy-lived in my neighborhood and used to ride with me back and forth to school. But they were small in numbers.

HT: We're going to try to contact Larry McAdoo, but he lives up in Connecticut.

49:00

MC: Really?

HT: I think he's involved in finance and banking and that sort of thing.

MC: Yes, somebody had told me. I would love to see him.

HT: Well, if I ever get a chance to see him, I will tell him about you.

MC: Please tell him that Martha Jo Hightower said, "Hello."

HT: Your senior date.

MC: Right, right. [laughter]

HT: Oh my goodness. Before you got there, it was an all-woman's college and, of course, it was transforming into a coeducational; so did you experience any kind of feeling about what was going on on campus? Was there still any ill-feeling toward men by the time you were there?

MC: No, I was not aware of any.

HT: Because I have talked to several women who were called WC women because they graduated from Woman's College and some of them were still upset that they went coeducational.

MC: Really? No. [laughter]

HT: What about the political atmosphere on campus during the sixties? What are 50:00your thoughts about that, or do you have any recollection about that?

MC: Well, once again, the Neo-Black Society afforded us opportunities to deal with some of the political issues that were occurring during that era. And, of course, it was during that time that Martin Luther King [Jr.] was assassinated. There was a lot of unrest in our community; a lot of-some apprehensions and fear surrounding what might happen with the riots that were occurring. I can remember-I mean-even the white students were getting up in arms over social injustices. I can recall one night I was studying for a major test and I began to hear this chanting outside. I ran to the front window of the dorm of the room 51:00that I was in and I looked out and I saw students marching, marching. And I knew they had to be marching for something which was of critical importance and I nearly forgot about the test and ran out and got in line. And we marched over to the administration building because some of the state representatives had come in to deal with some issues. That's when they were dealing with the people working in the dining hall and the company that had hired some of the black workers and how they were not being treated fairly. And we were out chanting and clapping hands and all of a sudden-once again, going back into my desire to go into sociology and to deal with human behavior-I saw something occur that 52:00evening. And what, to me, began as a very peaceful demonstration began to turn because all of a sudden I saw some of those students-I didn't particularly care for this-but they began to rock the cars of the state officials. I'll never forget those white cars that were sitting there and they said, "Okay, these are their cars," and they started pushing them and trying to, you know, get the momentum up and I thought, "Oh, no. You can't do that." And I thought, "Oh my gosh, what is occurring here? It's like mass hysteria is taking over." So I learned a great deal about group [psychology that evening]. Somehow the [group] behavior can change [so] very quickly. But anyway, the real point is that 53:00students were willing to take a stand back then for things that they felt were unjust. I also recall during this period of unrest-and I can't remember whether this was after the death of Martin Luther King-but I woke up one morning and I looked out the window and I couldn't believe what I saw. There were army tanks on the campus of UNCG; one sitting right outside my window on the street. And I thought, "My gosh, what's going on that they have these army tanks out here?" And I thought, "Oh, my goodness. They're protecting the students at UNCG."

HT: Was this when there was the unrest over at A&T at Scott Hall, and I think one student-

MC: It was during that time.

HT: And the National Guard came?

MC: Right. The unrest-a lot of things were happening over there and I think 54:00there had been some shots fired on the campus. There [were no specific incidents] on UNCG's campus; no upheavals, nothing was occurring there but the tanks-the army tanks, whatever you call those-that big machinery-just lined the streets to protect the students at UNCG. It's not going to happen here at UNCG." That I will never forget. That was [something] to see [and I don't think I'll ever forget it]. And, of course, nothing did happen. When we heard about Martin Luther King [Jr.] passing, it was just a very sorrowful, dark, gloomy [aura that hovered] over the entire campus.

HT: Right. Do you recall what you were doing when that happened?

MC: I think I may have been in the dorm and I can't remember how the news came. But it-oh, gosh.

55:00

HT: Probably the radio-because TVs were rather scarce in those days.

MC: Right, it could have been radio; I just don't recall. I don't know if Linda came and told me, but it was just horrible. HT: She said that after she found out, that, I think, you and-you joined her and then a couple of other girls and went down to look at the TV that was in the lounge at Mendenhall.

MC: Probably so.

HT: Probably glued to the set because I can remember when John F. Kennedy died, we were certainly all glued to the TV set at that time as well.

MC: I just-I can't even remember the specifics. Maybe I was just totally in shock. And I had the opportunity to stand right behind Martin Luther King when he came to Winston-Salem. He did a speech at New Goler Church here and I came 56:00home from school, picked up my mother and we went over [to] New Goler Church [which] was [filled with people].

HT: How do you spell that?

MC: New Goler? N-E-W G-O-L-E-R.

HT: Two words?

MC: Yes, New Goler. And it was while I was at UNCG and my mother and I drove over but, as I said, people were packed in the church like sardines. And I finagled somehow-I don't know how it happened-I ended up in the choir stand but right there at the podium and when he made his entrance, he was right in front of me and I was right behind him as he delivered his entire speech. And when he completed his speech, he turned around and the first hand he shook was mine. [I 57:00felt such a sense of closeness and endearment], that there was a man who was willing to risk his life so that others could have freedom and liberties and better lives. I think I was always, always (maybe it was my sociology interests) aware that there was a risk of him being taken out. But yet he was willing to lay down his life for me, oh gosh I feel like I'm talking about Jesus now. (laughs) But as a human being, so again there was that closeness. And I 58:00always thought about that, and then to hear it had happened and every year [when] we celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, it is very emotional for me. I always think that I was right behind him [at New Goler Church as he delivered a powerful message].

HT: Was that the only time you got to meet him?

MC: Yes. Yes.

HT: He was a fairly young man when he died. He was only thirty-nine, as I recall.

MC: I can't remember [unclear].

HT: Well, speaking of him, what do you think of his memorial that has just opened up in Washington, DC? I've seen photographs.

MC: Well, I'm glad they did it. I have yet to see it in person but it's an honor. Of course, I had visited his tombstone [in] Atlanta and really enjoyed spending time down there and going through his birthplace, his home where he grew up. Spent a lot time there but I'm glad to know that there is now a 59:00national monument in Washington [in his honor].

HT: Well, we had spoken a little bit earlier about the Neo-Black Society. What are your fondest memories of the Neo-Black Society? I know you-it had already started the year before you graduated so your involvement was not extensive, probably. But the year or so that you were involved, do you have any recollection?

MC: Again, they (Neo-Black Society members) were instrumental in having some of the black activists to come to campus to speak. I enjoyed that because information [was] presented from the African American or black perspective-a rarity [on campus] and it just inspired those of us who were African Americans to be willing to stand up and to take a stand against injustices that were 60:00occurring. It just reaffirmed our commitment to do that. And there were others who came to speak. I can't remember them all but I remember-I'm sure [one] was Howard Fuller. And again to see [and hear what] Nelson Johnson [civil rights activist] was doing in Greensboro [for needed change]. That was inspiring as well.

HT: What about Jesse Jackson [civil rights activist]? Was he ever on campus because he was the director [both speaking, unclear].

MC: I don't recall Jesse Jackson being there. I just don't recall.

HT: Well, I'm going to ask you some more questions about the 1960s. The Civil 61:00Rights Movement was really going strong in the 1960s. What do you recall about that? Were you involved in the Civil Rights Movement prior to coming to UNCG?

MC: Yes, I was. As a matter of fact, when I was attending St. Ann's Academy, the marches began here with young people, as well as some older individuals in the community, forming these marching lines and going downtown to protest the discrimination on the part of some of hotels and restaurants and businesses. And at Catholic school, I recall a nun or perhaps it was the Mother Superior coming in and forbidding us to [participate] in the marches. We were not to do that and she says, "If you do it, you stand the possibility of being put out of school if 62:00you join those marches." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And what I saw at that point was a white female telling me, as a black individual, that I should not protest injustices that were directed towards me or people like me and I was quite baffled by that. "How can you, as a white female, tell me that I can't do that?" It didn't make sense to me at all.

HT: Did they give you any kind of excuses, like safety or anything like that?

MC: No, not at all. We were not to participate. "You are not to participate in those marches." And when I heard that I thought I cannot wait to get involved. So when my next door neighbor said, "Well, we're going to be meeting at Shiloh [Baptist Church]," I said "What time? Because I'm going with you." So I joined 63:00the marchers over at Shiloh Baptist Church. I recall that [some friends] who had been marching, and some others had been put in jail for marching. HT: And how old were you at that time?

MC: I would say about seventeen; sixteen or seventeen.

HT: So you were in high school?

MC: High school, yes, and at Catholic school. Then we went over to the jail and we sang the anti-discrimination song: "We Shall Overcome" and all the 64:00appropriate songs as our friends were jailed for standing up for their rights.

HT: And all of this took place in Winston?

MC: In Winston-Salem.

HT: Now in Greensboro, the Sit-ins started in 1960. Were there sit-ins in Winston-Salem at that time? Of course, you were fairly young in 1960 so you-

MC: There were some sit-ins because we had a Woolworth here as well. I think there may have been a little controversy as to the people who did do things early on, perhaps did not get the recognition for what they did, but it was occurring throughout these communities. Winston [Salem] and Greensboro. Thank goodness they occurred. [laughter]

HT: But you didn't get involved at that young age.

MC: No. I was probably about sixteen or seventeen when I [participated in] the marches.

HT: Well, you've already mentioned the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King 65:00which happened in [April] of '68, and Bobby Kennedy was shot in, I think, June of '68. Do you recall anything about that?

MC: Yes, I do. I was on my summer break from school; I was at home when the news hit, watching TV. He was campaigning-and I just could not believe it. I said, "Not another one." And again it was a sad day but I just really hated to hear that another one had been lost.

HT: And Malcolm X [African American Muslim minister and human rights activist] a few years earlier than that.

MC: Very saddened to hear what had happened to Malcolm X as well. As a matter of fact, I recall reading the book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, when I was about a sophomore or junior at UNCG and I can recall taking it to one of my 66:00classes and while I was waiting for the teacher to come, I was reading my book. And I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his life and what he stood for. There was so-people can get things so wrong and have misconceptions about people and their ideologies and their beliefs and why they say the things that they do. Sometimes you just have to dig deep and find out more about individuals and from whence they are coming as to why they feel the way that they do. But I was reading this book and one of my friends-a white female who lived in the dorm (she and I were kind of close)-she looked up and she said, "What are you reading?" I said, "Oh, 67:00this is The Autobiography of Malcolm X." She said to me, "What are you doing with that garbage?" And I tell you, I've told several people that that day I never heard a word that the instructor said. I was so upset to think that my friend had a problem with me reading about a black activist and I was so into this book and she just-Oh!-and when I got back to the dorm, I let her have it. I just explained, "You don't ever-don't you ever do that again. You haven't a clue as to what this man really stood for." She was like, "I'm sorry. I didn't intend 68:00to hurt you. I'm sorry, Martha Jo." Then I thought, "Oh, gosh." But it just-with all that was going on back then, for the white student to tell me that I was reading garbage because, to me, she just didn't understand what [the] plight of blacks was truly about. And this was another way of standing up against injustices that he was fighting for. A lot of people don't understand that because they just don't take the time and I guess it's difficult for people sometimes to see it from a black perspective. That was another thing that stands out in my mind from that time.

HT: Vietnam. Do you have any recollections of Vietnam?

69:00

MC: Oh, yes. That was going on while we were over at UNCG. I recall [a male (non-student) visiting the campus] while [some of us] were playing tennis. He had been in service and started talking about his experiences in flying helicopters. His job was to pick up the bodies of the fallen military guys, and he was talking about what it was like, and I was thinking, "Oh gosh, when is this going to end," because so many young men were being killed. There were young people, males that I was in high school with who had gone to Vietnam; who had been injured and came back with plates in their heads and-I tell you, there was so much going on during that time that-and then to hear, "Why are we over 70:00there?" To hear them talk about that but every day I would turn on the news and I'm listening to how many of our American soldiers were being killed. So, yes, I do recall all that during that time.

HT: Did you say you had some personal friends who had gone over; schoolmates?

MC: Schoolmates, yes, right. And, as I said, some weren't quite right, you know, when they came back. They'd come back and say, "Well, I've got this plate in my head."

HT: What a tragedy.

MC: Yes, it was.

HT: I want to backtrack to UNCG's administration and professors for just a second. Do you have any recollections of Chancellor [James S.] Ferguson who was the Chancellor at that time?

MC: No, I do not.

HT: How about some of the others: Vice-Chancellor Mereb Mossman who was a sociology teacher at one time?

MC: No.

HT: Okay. And Katherine Taylor, who was Dean of Students?

MC: No.

HT: I guess most students don't have that much interaction with the 71:00administrators and that sort of thing.

MC: Right.

HT: It was mainly with the teachers.

MC: Teachers.

HT: Teachers, yes. [unclear]

MC: Teachers and the-what do they call them? The people in the residence hall?

HT: Counselors.

MC: Counselors, yes. I think her name was Margaret Gross, in Mendenhall. I believe that was her name; or, Dr. Abernathy who was in the Infirmary; I recall her.

HT: Well, speaking of the infirmary, did you ever have to go down there for anything, for treatment and that sort of thing.

MC: Yes.

HT: And how was that? Was it all right?

MC: It was very nice. I can remember going in and I'd had some bad stomach cramps once and went to the infirmary and slept like a baby. [laughs]

HT: Did they have a little hospital there [unclear].

MC: They did, yes. And it was so relaxing. I'll never forget; they served me tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. Can you believe it? I still recall that. [laughter] And it was so relaxing. And I'll never forget when they came in 72:00and said, "Well, Martha Jo, you can go back to your dorm now." And I said, "What? I just enjoyed this because it was just so peaceful."

HT: Like a little vacation for you.

MC: Yes. So I just hopped up and walked right up the hill right to my dormitory.

HT: Well, how do you think attending UNCG has changed your life? [pause]

MC: I truly have to reflect on that. First of all, I think it prepared me for the next thirty-plus years of my live. I actually feel that all levels of my education did that but one of the things that came out when I applied for the job that I got-my first professional job with the City [of Winston-Salem] was the fact that I majored in sociology and that I had done some field work 73:00experience through one of the classes at the university. I was assigned to the Forsyth County Department of Social Services, and every Monday I would work there for four hours and then go back to Greensboro. In being interviewed by the person who was making the hiring decision, she said, "Well those are the kinds of things we like to know because that strengthens your candidacy for this position." And she explained that this was under the old Model Cities Program back in the late sixties, early seventies, and the hiring manager said that they were looking for someone to oversee social service/human service-oriented projects funded with Federal dollars under the Model Cities Initiative, and based upon my experience in working with the Department of Social Services and 74:00the fact that I had studied-that was my educational background in sociology-that I qualified for the job and I was hired. So I had always thought that I would work in the field of social work, but it so happened that I ended up working from an administrative standpoint. I was initially hired to oversee the social service-type projects funded with Federal dollars.

HT: And how many years did you work there?

MC: I believe I was under the Model Cities Program from 1970 to about 1974 or '75. It so happened that during that time, there were several other 75:00opportunities that came along within the area of the department that I worked in and after about two or three years on the job, I was asked to take on another special project called the 4C program-Community Coordinated Childcare, and I became the director of that pilot initiative. And once the demonstration project ended, I went back to Model Cities, Model Cities was actually being phased out and a new initiative funded by the Federal government was coming into play which was called the Comprehensive Employment Training Act [CETA] program and our particular department in city government was given the responsibility for 76:00overseeing that. I was called into the director's office and told about this new initiative and told that there were various types of activities that could occur and one was called public service employment. I was asked to get with [another] staff member, who was a contracting person, to go over the guidelines, rules, and regulations for this particular program, and to set up a public service employment initiative [for the Winton-Salem area].

HT: That was quite a big responsibility since you were fairly young.

MC: It was but I guess my employer, managers and supervisors found out that I enjoyed challenges. I really like a challenge. It was truly a thrill to take on something that hadn't been done before and to put it in place. And anytime there 77:00was a new initiative, I was usually called in. I was the one that was called in to put it into place-into practice, and get it implemented for the department so I had a hand in doing the first public service employment program under CETA and I'll never forget; another initiative came over to our department from city hall-the city manager's office-there was a person who had worked on the pilot program-a special transportation project; I'll never forget this-and I was called into the director's office once again and told, "There's this new initiative that city administration wants us to take on. It's a transportation initiative and would you look over the proposal that was submitted and I'd like for you to handle this." So I took it on and it was designed to provide transportation services for the elderly and I got involved in that; worked with 78:00a few people from various organizations and agencies and city and county government to go over some plans for it. I got with the transportation department but I realized, at that time, that we didn't have any staff people to actually assist our older individuals who would be riding these special busses assigned to the project. And, of course, we had come up with the strategic routes, working with the Transportation Authority to service the senior citizen's population; but again I felt like, "They're going to need help because some of these people are so old they may not be able to maneuver getting up on the [bus] steps." So, since I had been asked to set up a public service employment program, I saw an opportunity there to combine these two 79:00[initiatives] and got with the Transit Authority and asked if they would be willing to hire some individuals that would be paid with these funds (Model Cities' funds), but assigned to this other [transportation program]. And we did that. The whole concept was that if there were opportunities for individuals working in public service employment to be hired by the participating agency or organization, then they would retain them. And that was one of the greatest experiences because I saw people who came through these public service employment programs actually end up as regular workers for those organizations. And just about every person who was hired to help the senior citizens on the buses-and we called it, we even came up with a name for it: TOTE, Transportation of the Elderly were actually retained by the Transportation Authority.

80:00

HT: It sounds like you really enjoyed your work.

MC: I did, I did. I know somebody asked me once, "What is your avocation; what is your vocation and what is your avocation?" and I said, "They are one and the same," because I thoroughly enjoyed the work I did.

HT: Since your retirement, have you done any consulting work?

MC: No. No, I have not. Again-well, I retired early because of my mother's health needs and she passed away in 2007 and I was fully committed to her for about seventeen years. I was called and asked to do things. I had been asked to put some grant applications together but I just did not feel it because I was back and forth. But my mother finally ended up in a nursing center. And, as I 81:00would tell people, her being in a nursing center didn't mean that I was relinquishing my responsibilities but I always felt that the people who worked at the nursing center were there to help me care for her. I was able to come home at night once I got through my shifts. Then I would get up and I would do a little bit here and then I would go back to the nursing center. They always would say that they felt I should have a uniform on out there because I stayed there so much. But, no, I had not-once I retired, the only thing I did do: I went back to do a report, a report on the pros and cons of shifting the work of the department that I headed up over to the [Piedmont] Council of Governments here and it was a time when there were a lot of issues about the overhead or administrative costs of running service delivery areas tied to workforce 82:00development initiatives. When I retired, I was the director of the city's Workforce Development Department and I was considered a service delivery area director in the State of North Carolina. I think there were about twenty-six service delivery area directors. Here in Winston [Salem] we had the Piedmont Council of Governments [serving as a service delivery area with a designated director] and they were responsible for the remaining counties in the Piedmont area. Of course, Forsyth County was so [large], we were a stand-alone service delivery area and my responsibilities included the county, inclusive of the city. And so, when the state said, "We're going to have to do something about the high cost of administration and then being told that there were going to be 83:00other internal costs escalating on us; such as management information system's costs, indirect costs being applied, once again by the city in order to insure that the staff would continue. We were looking at other options. So again I was asked to put together a paper, a document for the Board of Alderman so that they in turn could make a decision as to whether to keep this responsibility under city government or to shift it over to the COG, the Council of Governments. And that is now with the Council of Governments.

HT: Well, have you been involved with UNCG at all since you graduated; attended reunions and-

MC: I went back one time, but it wasn't for my class reunion. It was for the Class of '68 because of me and close friends, those of us at Mendenhall joined the four of us. They were a year ahead of me and they had gotten together and 84:00said, "You've got to come with us" and so we all met over there and had the best time and then we all came over here and stayed here in Winston [Salem]. That was the last time that I had done anything.

HT: I had mentioned earlier that there is going to be a special session at the upcoming reunion. Hopefully, you'll be able to attend. I'll send you some information about that. Friday, I think, Friday, the fourteenth from 1:30 to 2:30; an hour session. We're inviting several ladies whom we've interviewed from the sixties to talk to-in a very informal way-to current students on campus and let them know what you went through; some of the stories you've told me this afternoon. But they need to know this, I think. Some of the kids have forgotten the struggles that people in the sixties went through.

MC: Well, it was so ironic; I had mentioned early on that one of the students 85:00had talked about being referred to as "the maid" and then they had me to play the maid for my friend and her play that she put together. But I recall one day I was getting on the elevator in Mendenhall dormitory, and a very well-dressed, older white lady came to the elevator with a bag and she looked at me: "Would you please carry my bags; take my bags up to the second floor." And I said, "What?" She looked at me and she said, "You are the maid, aren't you?" And I said, "No, I'm not" and two white students got very upset, two of the females that lived in the dorm, they were like "What did she say to you?" And I said, "Well, never mind, just never mind." But I thought about the person who said 86:00that she was thought to be the maid and little did I know that I, too, would have that experience [of portraying one in a play]. [both laughing]

HT: Which happened to you first; playing the maid or being asked to be the maid?

MC: That's a good question; maybe it was being asked-no, no, maybe it was being asked to take the bag up because the person thought I was the maid. Maybe that was the reason I was determined to [unclear, both laughing] "I'm not going to do that, Alice." And for her-I had to do it for my friend. Her major was drama and she was required to do this play, so-

HT: Well, I don't have any more questions. Do you have anything you'd like to add? We've covered such a variety of things this afternoon.

MC: Well, no. I've enjoyed the dialogue and the sharing of information. I just 87:00look forward to seeing what the end result is and reviewing all the information that you gathered from this.

HT: Well, thank you again so much. It's been a great pleasure meeting you and talking to you this afternoon.

MC: Okay. Well, thank you for visiting with me.

HT: You're so welcome.