Oral History - L. Newbern

Abstract -

The interview contained topics and people such as Elktin Maryland, Segregated schools and Martin Luther King Jr. Elktin Maryland is one of the most northern townships in Maryland which means that it is closer to Philadelphia, New York and New England. It is completely different from Cambridge, Maryland which was well known for it’s amount of racism and civil rights issues. Elktin was a much more kind environment for everyone in it - including African Americans. Another topic that was discussed was segregated schools, the interviewee did indeed go to a segregated and did have fun. There were no fights and everyone got along in her school. In 1956, 61% of Northerners and 15% of Southerners believed that whites and blacks should not attend the same school. It took more time and more protesting for most of America to become fond of segregated schools. The last important topic that was mentioned throughout the interview was Martin Luther King Jr, he was called a man of god, and smart. His death impacted the interviewer emotionally.

Research -

Martin Luther King was a great man that only tried to do good things. He believe in God that was peace and love. His murder was sad to everyone that believed he was trying his best and only wanted good in the world. MLK jr, was someone who always did the right thing for his people and for things that he believed in. His death saddened people who could not believe that someone could hate MLK jr so much for doing the right thing. Historically, his death was very sad and did hurt a lot of people. He was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and wanted equality for everyone. He was someone who everyone looked up to. He was assassinated at the young age of 39.

Sources -

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elkton,_Maryland#History

  2. http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-25-spring-2004/feature/brown-v-board-timeline-school-integration-us

  3. http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement

  4. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/more-subjects/history/us-history-ii/america-in-the-fifties/the-civil-rights-movement

Transcript -

Interview with THERESA MCGRODY 
MAY 8 2014

LN: I am Lyza Newbern and I am interviewing my grandmom on her experience with the Civil rights movement. The first question were you affected by the civil rights movement?

TM: No, not really, no.

LN: Okay, were your parents affected by the Civil Rights Movement?

TM: Not that I know of.

LN: How was attending school during the Civil Rights Movement?

TM: I didn’t, it didn’t affect me because I was in a segregated school and we all got along. We were all friends, and we were young and it was nothing was really going on. We were friends and we had fun.

LN: What did you do with your friends?

TM: We learned together, we did after school activities, played guitar, soccer anything any normal after school activities. We got along in school, we went to parties, we danced a lot, lip synced a lot. And roller skated.

LN: were there any fights because of your school being segregated?

TM: Not that I knew of, none of my friends were. We all got along.

LN: Um, did you have any friends that you or your parents or society did not approve of because of what was happening?

TM: No, we were always we always got along with people no matter what race. We were brought up to be caring and loving no matter what race. No matter what creed or poverty level. We were just raised that way to respect one another and that’s how my friends were too, we all got along.

LN: Where did you grow up?

TM: Elktin Maryland

LN: How did that change your outlook on about the movement?

TM: I didn’t quite understand it. I didn’t understand why people could not accept people just because they were a different color. It was sad to me I cried a lot when I saw the news. My parents made me watch the news because they thought it was important to know what was going on outside of our happy little world. We lived in a small town and I don’t remember anything bad happening we just played, Summertimes were the best we’d play till night, till it was time to go in to bed.

LN: Did you ever fight for equality?

TM: Um, not really -

LN: Like protesting

TM: No I did not

LN: What were you taught in school about the movement?

TM: We of course learned mostly about Martin Luther King and his peaceful ways. Rosa Parks for her standing up. In Elktin we were taught to respect one another, that people were intelligent no matter what the race, people had a chance no matter what the race. we lived in america and it stood for equality and everyone had a chance as long as you worked for it

LN: What do you remember from the Civil Rights Movement?

TM: I remember watching the news and being sad. not understand why there was so much Violence how there could be so much HATE with people that didn’t know each other. How people could just hate one another before they -- they didn’t even know and to me it was sad and a total waste of time. and I always thought people could be friends if they just took the time to say hello and ask how you are and I always thought it was sad.

LN: What were your parents views on the movement? Did they’re view impact yours?

TM: Yes it did. That’s why I was sad, because they felt the same way I did. I was raised to care about people respect people and just treat each other as humans. Treat other the way you want to be treated and that’s how I was raised and thats how I tried to raise my children and I hope they have some of that in them.

LN: What is one thing you will never forget about the Civil rights movement?

TM: The assassination of Martin Luther King and the segregation of schools I remember watching those boys and girls going into school for the first time and being afraid.

LN: Why will you never forget about the assassination of Martin Luther King?

TM: Because I thought it was sad, he was a great man and he tried to do good things. He was a man of god that is peace and love and I just thought it was sad that someone would hate him so much for doing the right thing.


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