about the project

Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project


Gallery (43 Interviews Total):

  • Adam Clayton Powell,

    Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1908-1972) was a prominent African American politician, pastor, and Civil Rights leader. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1931…
  • William Hastie,

    William Hastie (1904-1976) was an African American lawyer, federal judge, and governor of the Virgin Islands. Hastie was a graduate of Harvard Law School and…
  • Carl T. Rowan, May 14, 1964

    Carl Thomas Rowan (1925-2000) was a journalist, writer, and television commentator. Rowan was one of the first African American officers to serve in the Navy…
  • Bayard Rustin, 1964

    Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was principal organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of 1963 and assisted in founding the Congress of Racial…
  • Kelly Smith, February 13, 1964

    Reverend Kelly Miller Smith (1920-1984) was a clergyman and civil rights leader in Nashville, Tennessee. Born in the all-black town of Mount Bayou,…
  • William Stringfellow, March…

    William Stringfellow (1928-1985) was a human rights lawyer, Episcopalian lay theologian, and social activist. At the age of fifteen Stringfellow entered Bates…
  • Ruth Turner, David Cohen, May …

    Ruth Turner (now Ruth Turner Perot) was the Executive Secretary of the Cleveland, Ohio chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and a member of the…
  • John Hervey Wheeler, 1964

    John Hervey Wheeler (1908-1978) was born in Kittrell, North Carolina. Wheeler started working for the Mechanics and Farmers Bank in Durham, North Carolina in…
  • Roy Wilkins, April 7, 1964

    Roy Wilkins, a prominent civil rights movement leader affiliated with the NAACP, begins by discussing the reformation of American public schools. Additionally,…
  • Claire Harvey,

    Claire Harvey was an influential female leader of the civil rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi and the founder of Womanpower Unlimited. Womanpower…
  • Robert Collins, Lolis Elie,…

    This is a group interview conducted with Lolis Elie, Nils Douglas and presumably Robert Collins (Warren simply refers to him as Collins). Elie, Douglas, and…
  • Felton G. Clark,

    Felton Clark was the President of Southern University from 1938 until 1969 and served during a substantial part of the civil rights movement. His presidency…
  • Richard Murphy, Gilbert Moses,…

    Gilbert Moses co-founded the Free Southern Theatre with John O'Neal. The theatre group toured the South during the 1960s performing plays including "In White…
  • Robert Parris Moses, February…

    Robert Parris Moses, educator and civil rights leader, was born in 1935 in New York City. He won a scholarship to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York and…
  • Tougaloo Students, 1964

    Tougaloo College was and is a Black private liberal arts college in Tougaloo, Mississippi (near Jackson), founded in 1869. A small group of people,…
  • Ralph Ellison,

    Ralph Ellison was an American teacher and writer. He is the author of the American classic, The Invisible Man, and he was the first African American to receive…
  • Stephen Wright,

    Dr. Stephen J. Wright received his PhD from New York University in 1942. He served as president of Bluefield State College from 1953 through 1957 and Fisk…
  • Avon Williams,

    Avon Williams, an influential African American attorney in Tennessee, was involved in several important civil rights cases. In 1949 he became a cooperating…
  • Andrew Young, March 17, 1964

    Andrew Young (1932- ) is an African American politician who was a civil right activist and pastor. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Young received his…
  • Whitney Young, April 13, 1964

    Whitney Young, a civil rights movement leader affiliated with the National Urban League, discusses multiple issues facing African Americans during the 1960s.…
  • Wiley A. Branton, March 17,…

    Wiley Branton was an American lawyer and civil rights activist. As a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), he…
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., March…

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister in Atlanta, Georgia and Montgomery, Alabama and a civil rights activist. He was a major leader…
  • Malcolm X, June 2, 1964

    Malcolm X (1925-1965) was born Malcolm Little in Omaha Nebraska. After being found "mentally unfit" to fulfill his draft notice in 1943, Malcolm X was arrested…
  • Milton A. Galamison, June 17,…

    Reverend Milton Galamison (1923-1988) was a clergyman and civil rights leader in New York City. Born in Philadelphia, Galamison later received his bachelors…
  • James M. Lawson, March 17,…

    James M. Lawson (1928- ) was a longtime peace activist and served as a tutor on non-violence to civil rights leaders. Lawson began his work in Nashville,…
  • Richard Gunn, May 7, 1964

    Richard Gunn, an African American attorney in Cleveland, Ohio, was heavily involved in the push for school integration. Originally from Kansas City, he moved…
  • William Stuart Nelson, March …

    William Stuart Nelson (1895-1977), an African American educator and theologian, was born in Paris, Kentucky. After moving to Paducah, Kentucky and graduating…
  • Jackson College Students,…

    A group of college students from Jackson College discuss the civil rights movement at the time of the interview and their own participation in it. They discuss…
  • Neil Goldschmidt, Charles…

    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…
  • Unknown Male,

    In this interview, an unknown male interviewee gives his opinions on subjects such as race relations prior to the Civil War, the attitudes of slaves, the…
  • Southern University, February …

    Robert Penn Warren interviews a group of students and one administrator from Southern University in New Orleans, Louisiana. They discuss the various leaders of…
  • James Baldwin, April 27, 1964

    James Baldwin (1924-1987) was an American writer and nonviolent civil rights activist. Baldwin was born into poverty in Harlem, New York. At a young age he…
  • Carroll G. Barber, February…

    Carroll G. Barber was a white civil rights activist and anthropologist. He became associated with Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1961 and was…
  • Ezell A. Blair, Jean Wheeler,…

    Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998) was a civil rights activist. While a student at Howard University, Carmichael became leader of the Nonviolent Action Group…
  • Joe Carter, 1964

    Reverend Joe Carter was an African American minister from Mississippi who was among the first Black men in his area to register to vote. Reverend Joe Carter…
  • James Forman, June 4, 1964

    James Forman (1928-2005) was an African American civil rights leader who was active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) as well as the Black…
  • James L. Farmer, Jr., June 11,…

    James Farmer (1920-1999) was a civil rights leader and political activist. At the age of 14 he entered Wiley College in his hometown of Marshall, Texas where…
  • Kenneth Bancroft Clark, April …

    Dr. Kenneth Bancroft Clark (1914-2005) was an educator, psychologist and civil rights leader. Dr. Clark attended Howard University where he received his…
  • Vernon E. Jordan, March 17,…

    Vernon Jordan (1935- ) is an African American lawyer who was a civil rights leader and political advisor. Born in Atlanta, Georgia he graduated from DePauw…
  • Wyatt Walker, March 18, 1964

    Wyatt Tee Walker (1929- ) is an African American civil rights leader and minister. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Walker moved with his family to…
  • Aaron Henry, February 10, 1964

    Aaron Henry (1922-1997) was an African American civil rights leader and politician. Born in Dublin, Mississippi, Henry enlisted in the U.S. Army and was…



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