Interview with Claire Harvey, February 9, 1964
Project: Who Speaks For The Negro? The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project
Interview SummaryThis interview is available in transcript only.
Claire Harvey was an influential female leader of the civil rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi and the founder of Womanpower Unlimited. Womanpower Unlimited provided aid to Freedom Riders, was involved with voter registration drives, the education of young people, and peace activism. She was an important businesswoman in Jackson, Mississippi where she ran the Collins Funeral Home and the Collins Insurance Company. She co-founded and directed the State Mutual Savings and Loan Association of Jackson, Mississippi, and she served on the boards of Rust College, Tuskegee University, the Children's Defense Fund, and Atlanta University Center, Inc.
In this interview, Harvey describes her childhood in Jackson, Mississippi where her family ran a funeral home and she remembers stories about her hard-working great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. Harvey also explains how she became involved in the civil rights movement. She was a member of the Youth Council as a child and while she was a student at Spelman College, she became involved with the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Harvey was spurred on in her sympathy towards the civil rights movement after attending a conference in Amsterdam as a student YWCA delegate. Harvey describes how her religious beliefs and membership in the Methodist Church has also influenced her involvement with the civil rights movement. Harvey organized women through local churches to help those arrested during the Freedom Rides and mentions her involvement with Womanpower Unlimited.
Harvey also discusses philosophical aspects of the civil rights movement including her views on the connections between black Americans and Africa. Although Harvey feels a deep connection with Africa, her husband does not. Harvey describes the difficulty that many black businesses have had with the end of segregation and suddenly having to face competition from white businesses. Still though, Harvey feels that segregation will eventually end in the South more successfully than in the North.
Interview RightsAll 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.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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.
Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s).
Harvey, Claire Interview by Robert Penn Warren. 09 Feb. 1964. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Harvey, C. (1964, February 09). Interview by R. P. Warren. Who Speaks For The Negro? The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Harvey, Claire, interview by Robert Penn Warren. February 09, 1964, Who Speaks For The Negro? The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.
If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.
Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt75736m2z98