Interview with Neil Goldschmidt, Charles Evers, February 12, 1964

Project: Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Charles Evers was an important civil rights leader. Upon the death of his brother, Medgar, he became the Mississippi field director for the NAACP. In 1964, he helped organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and in 1969 he became the first black mayor of Fayette, Mississippi. In 1964, Neal Goldschmidt was a recent graduate of the University of Oregon. He was recruited by Allard Lowenstein to work for the Freedom Summer Civil Rights Project in Mississippi. Goldschmidt later served as mayor of Portland, Oregon (1973-1979), the Secretary of Transportation under the Carter Administration (1979-1981), and as the Governor of Oregon (1986-1991).

In this interview, Charles Evers explains how he became involved in the civil rights movement as a young man. He states that he and his brother, Medgar, were influenced early in life by their strong father. Evers served in the Army in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, and explains that if he could risk his life in the Pacific for the American people, then he can do the same in Mississippi. Evers describes how groups of white supremacists have attempted to thwart his fight. His funeral home was forced out of business, he was fired from his disc jockey job, and threats were made on his life when he attempted to vote. His brother Medgar, though, was murdered for his involvement in civil rights protests. Charles Evers recalls the death of his brother and his feelings about the trial of his brother's killer. Evers also discusses the Black Muslim movement and his disagreement with this group's demands. He provides his thoughts on the participation of white men and women in civil rights and states that NAACP has welcomed them. He also talks about politicians who use segregationist language to gain power. Neil Goldschmidt comes in near the end of the interview. He and Charles Evers describe Mississippi segregation laws and being targeted by the local police.

Interview Accession

2008oh623_rpwcr040

Interviewee Name

Neil Goldschmidt

Charles Evers

Interviewer Name

Robert Penn Warren

Interview Date

1964-02-12

Interview Rights

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Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Goldschmidt, Neil Interview by Robert Penn Warren. 12 Feb. 1964. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Goldschmidt, N. (1964, February 12). Interview by R. P. Warren. Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Goldschmidt, Neil, interview by Robert Penn Warren. February 12, 1964, Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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