Interview with William Stringfellow, March 13, 1964

Project: Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

William Stringfellow (1928-1985) was a human rights lawyer, Episcopalian lay theologian, and social activist. At the age of fifteen Stringfellow entered Bates College in Lewisburg, Maine and during his junior year organized a sit in at a local Maine restaurant to challenge its policy of segregation. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1956, Stringfellow moved to Harlem, New York where he worked with poor African Americans and Latinos. He defended a diverse population including victimized tenants, poor persons who were victims of social exclusion, and sexual offenders. Stringfellow was involved with the World Student Christian Federation, the World Council of Churches, the Episcopalian Church (Anglican), and the Sojourners community of Washington, DC. Throughout the 1960s Stringfellow was actively involved in the civil rights movement and later became an activist in the antiwar movement. He wrote many works including My People Is the Enemy (1964) that described his life in Harlem. In this interview William Stringfellow discusses the civil rights movement, segregation, and American political leaders. He describes the role of nonviolence in the civil rights movement and proposes practical measures that could be taken to stop violence within the movement. Stringfellow talks about African American leadership within the civil rights movement and the state of the civil rights movement as a mass movement. He considers Reverend Milton Galamison's fight for school integration and explains the relationship between school segregation and segregated neighborhoods and housing. Stringfellow also provides his opinion of political leaders including Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Abraham Lincoln.

Interview Accession

2003oh031_rpwcr020

Interviewee Name

William Stringfellow

Interviewer Name

Robert Penn Warren

Interview Date

1964-03-13

Interview Rights

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.

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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Stringfellow, William Interview by Robert Penn Warren. 13 Mar. 1964. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Stringfellow, W. (1964, March 13). 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.

Stringfellow, William, interview by Robert Penn Warren. March 13, 1964, Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7z8w381c7v