Interview Summary

This 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 Accession

2003oh036_rpwcr025

Interviewee Name

Claire Harvey

Interviewer Name

Robert Penn Warren

Interview Date

1964

Interview Partial Date

1964

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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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Harvey, Claire Interview by Robert Penn Warren. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Harvey, C. (n.d.). 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. (n.d.), 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.





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