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The following is an alphabetical listing of oral histories in the Perry Library collection pertaining to the massive resistance movement and school desegregation in the late 50's. To listen to the audio, the RealPlayer must be available as a plug-in. Click here to download the RealPlayer.

Massive Resistance

Persons Interviewed

Designation, Time Period

Date of Interview

Carter-Mason, Vivian

Founder and active member of Women's Council for Interracial Cooperation. The October 19 interview covers civil rights in Norfolk, establishment of the Women's Council for Interracial Cooperation, the desegregation crisis in Norfolk, and the experiences of Afro-Americans in Norfolk.

March 29, May 8,
October 19, 1978

Darden, Colgate W.

Former Virginia Governor, 1942-46. Aug. 23, 1978 interview discusses his background, Virginia politics, Norfolk, etc. On p. 17 is discussion of testimony against massive resistance legislation.

April 7, 1975;
August 23, 1978

Delk, Rodham

Norfolk lawyer. Discusses A.E.S. Stephens, Virginia politics. On p. 10 is brief comments on massive resistance.

March 11, 1981

Fink, T. Ross Former ODU professor. Discusses ODU history, College of Education, etc. On p. 11, he talks about ODU establishing a private school for children of faculty & staff during Massive Resistance. Aug. 13, 1974

Godwin, Mills E., Jr.

Former Virginia Governor, 1966-1970 and 1974-1978. Discusses the 1961 State Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, etc. On p. 10 is a brief discussion of Governor Harrison winning over A.E.S. Stephens possibly to change the political climate after school desegregation.

April 1, 1981

James, Ruth Mrs. James and her husband were the lead litigants in two of the lawsuits to re-open the Norfolk Public Schools. The interview recounts the experiences and prejudices she encountered during this time. November 5, 1982

Kaufman, Charles L.

Member, Advisory Board of Norfolk Division, 1947-1962; Norfolk lawyer. End of p.4 discusses efforts of the Advisory Board to reopen the public schools and open a special school on the ODU campus in the interim.

April 4, 1975

Martin, Roy B.

Norfolk Mayor and ODU Student 1930s. Discusses early days of ODU, Norfolk City Council, Byrd organization, etc. On p.5-6 is discussion about the fight against closing of black schools.

July 18, 1974

Schweitzer, Mark

Norfolk businessman and son of Paul Schweitzer (Member, Norfolk School Board 1952-1960 and City Council 1960-1968). Recounts his father's experiences with massive resistance.

November 16, 1977

Stern, Robert L.

ODU Faculty, 1945-1978. Discusses ODU history, local and state politics, Byrd organization, race relations, etc. In the August 5, 1974 interview, on p.6, he discusses race relations and discrimination, how he was befriended by Vivian Carter Mason, how he invited black high school students to participate in United Nations program, and issues with local housing and the poll tax. On p. 10, he discusses school closings and their influence on ODU students, and Navy support. On p. 21, he discusses Henry Howell and Norfolk Commission for Public Schools. On p. 35-42 is discussion of massive resistance.

August 5,
November 12, 1974

Tonelson, A. Rufus

Student at the Norfolk Division 1930-33; Principal of Maury High School, 1957-; ODU Faculty & Dean, College of Education, 1966-71; Asst to President for School and Community Relations, 1971. Dec 9, 1975 interview discusses his background, ODU history, etc. On p. 9-10, he discusses response to massive resistance.

December 9, 1975
July 2, 1979

Tucker, Cecelia T. ODU Assistant to the President for Community Relations, 1991-present. The first part of the interview discusses her recollections of growing up African-American in segregated times, her experiences with civil rights, and life in Norfolk in the 1950s and 1960s.

March 6,
March 13, 2009

White, Edith Active in the Norfolk Committee for Public Schools; wife of Forrest P. White. Interview primarily concerns her and her family's experiences during the desegregation crisis and the role of women in Virginia politics during the 1950's. November 6, 1982.

Whitehurst, G. William

Congressman, 2nd district 1969-; ODU Faculty, History, 1950-68; Dean of students 1963-1968. Interview discusses his background, ODU history, local and state politics, etc. Question 5 discusses the lack of concern of ODU students re massive resistance. Question 6 discusses his own response.

July 27, 1974


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