Interview with George Brosi, November 3, 1990
Project: Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project
Interview SummaryBorn in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, George Brosi attended college in Minnesota where he was exposed to the Civil Rights Movement and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). After dropping out of school, Brosi obtained employment at a hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee where, in the summer of 1963, the Council for the Southern Mountains held their annual conference. He became involved with the CSM and worked that summer with Milton Ogle. Later that year, he learned about the Roving Picket Movement in eastern Kentucky, and the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP) of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organization. Brosi was assigned to the Ann Arbor office after joining the SDS and ERAP.
While visiting the Council for the Southern Mountains headquarters located in Berea, Kentucky in January of 1964, Brosi participated in the first Appalachian Volunteers (AV) school restoration project. He states that he realized from the beginning that these types of projects would not alter the economic situation in Appalachia because by repairing buildings, the AVs were merely reinforcing the power of the local politicians who were not interested in funding adequate educational facilities or educators for their communities. Brosi claims that once the AVs saw the same facilities fall again into disrepair, they came to the same conclusion and became more radical. Although Brosi believes that the War on Poverty helped to make people more aware of the need for change both in and out of the region, he feels that many of the outsiders, who he calls "foreigners," who entered Appalachia in the 1960s, had a detrimental effect. By adopting a paternalistic attitude and acting obnoxiously, the AVs and VISTA workers offered the mountaineers the choice of siding with them or with the local politicians, with predicable results.
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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.
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Brosi, George Interview by Thomas Kiffmeyer. 03 Nov. 1990. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Brosi, G. (1990, November 03). Interview by T. Kiffmeyer. Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Brosi, George, interview by Thomas Kiffmeyer. November 03, 1990, Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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