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StoryCorps: Dad and the UGA Race Riots 1961

Because I received several requests, I have included the excerpt of Dad’s StoryCorps interview on his role in the race riots at the University of Georgia in 1961.

For readers unfamiliar with that part of American history, I will give a brief synopsis.

Much of the Southern United States was racially segregated until around 1960. Where I live in Charleston, one can still see remnants of the segregated era, from a separate ‘colored’ entrance on an old theater downtown, to a wall that divided waiting rooms at the train station. We don’t use these things anymore, but the layer is there.

The Federal government forced desegregationΒ in the South in the early 1960’s. Southern universities, which had historically been all white, were required to admit people of color for the first time, and many of the other separate barriers mentioned above were abolished. In the South, it was not a popular position, and it led to unrest, like the riot at the University of Georgia, in which my father played a key heroic role.

His story is about six minutes long. Set it to play and listen while you do something else at your desk. It always gives me chills to hear him tell it, and I’m very proud of him for standing up and taking what was, at the time, a very unpopular position.

Click here for Dad’s story about the UGA race riots.

34 Comments Post a comment
  1. Your dad is a good man. Those were hard times for a lot of people. Glad that his retelling of the story was captured.

    November 18, 2012
    • I’m sure they get a lot of great stories like this one, but I’m personally very happy to have gotten his into StoryCorps. It is so much the kind of thing I think they’re trying to capture.

      November 18, 2012
  2. This is a good story, Andra.

    November 18, 2012
  3. alice #

    Terrific – I am so glad you got him to tell that story. It is great to hear it in his own voice.

    November 18, 2012
    • He sort of practiced, I think, because he was more concise in that portion than he was in some of the others.

      November 18, 2012
  4. THank you thank you THANK YOU. From me, from Scott, and from Scott’s students.

    November 18, 2012
  5. Oh, what a great story–again–great image ” . . . kinda favored a Georgia bull dog. . . ” What a good man, you dad is!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    November 18, 2012
  6. Happy to hear your Dad on these posts, Andra. Such stories so need to be preserved for the re-telling to those generations to come. History today, in so many instances, has been distorted. Recorded, documented, first-hand observations are more difficult to refute than those stories which merely have been handed down verbally from one generation to another. He did a great job!

    November 18, 2012
    • I’m glad you enjoyed them, Karen. He certainly got into it. I think we could’ve gone for half the afternoon. πŸ™‚

      November 18, 2012
      • Maybe you need to record a few more of his stories on your own? Now that he’s in the spirit of sharing. πŸ˜€

        November 19, 2012
      • Ooh. Good idea, Nancy. πŸ™‚

        November 19, 2012
  7. So great! Powerful story, and wonderful hearing your father tell it.

    November 18, 2012
  8. Wonderful. Thank you for getting him to share his story.

    November 18, 2012
    • I’m so glad he did it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      November 18, 2012
  9. arbohl #

    This is lovely. πŸ™‚

    November 18, 2012
  10. I’m on my phone tonight. Bookmarking this to come back and listen to tomorrow! So excited to hear your Dad’s story.

    November 18, 2012
  11. Once again, I just love everything about this story. Your dad really is a great guy, and I know how proud of him you are. We all are! I think the StoryCorps folk must be very happy to have captured this story. Your dad’s story is embedded in a huge piece of American history. I’m so glad you captured a way to share it with us, Andra!

    November 19, 2012
    • It was great of Dad to cooperate, Debra. He was really nervous at the outset, but he sailed through the whole thing.

      November 19, 2012
  12. Ah, I see the apple does not fall far from the tree. What a wonderful example. What a wonderful man. What a proud moment in time.

    November 19, 2012
  13. Hearing it out loud: it’s history in the talking, Andra. Your father has a wonderful talent. And I’ve never heard of Storycorps before your recent posts – what a fantastic resource.

    November 19, 2012
  14. Thank you, Andra, and another thank you to Roy. I’m old enough to remember this riot occurring, seeing it on grainy television. not quite understanding but “getting it” that big things were happening. As I think I mentioned earlier, these oral histories are so important to preserve. Well done!

    November 19, 2012
    • Maybe he will consent to less formal recordings since he is popular. πŸ˜‰

      November 20, 2012
  15. What a treasure to have these stories recorded. An absolute treasure.

    November 20, 2012
    • And the side tale about the prank? Perfect.

      November 20, 2012
    • His story about how he met mom was disputed by her.

      November 21, 2012

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