Guide to the Civil Rights Oral History Interviews

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Nappi, Rebecca
Title: Civil Rights Oral History Interviews, 2001
Dates: 2001 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1 containers. (.25 linear feet of shelf space.) (15 items.)
Collection Number: Cage 683
Summary: Collection contains eight interviews on 5 cassette tapes, transcripts, and related newsclippings from the Spokane Spokesman-Review.
Repository: Washington State University Libraries, Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.
Contact Information: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
100 Dairy Road
Terrell Library 5610
Pullman WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

In February of 2001, the Spokane Spokesman-Review produced a month long series of articles on black history, focusing in particular on the civil rights movement of the 1960s. As part of that series, Rebecca Nappi conducted a series of interviews with individuals with ties to both the civil rights movement and to Spokane. Some of these interviews were made available at the time in audio format on the Spokesman-Review website, and excerpts from these interviews were used in writing newspaper articles.

Content Description

The collection consists of five cassette tapes, five newspaper clippings, and a folder of printed transcripts of the tapes. Topics include civil rights activities and race relations in Spokane Washington, the influence of Dr. Martin Luther King, racism and protests in the deep south, and civil rights spirituals.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

This collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation :  

[Item Description]. Cage 683, Civil Rights Oral History Interviews. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The tapes are arranged alphabetically by interviewee. An exception occurs where two or three interviewees were recorded on the same cassette (Numbers 2 & 5), making eight interviews on five tapes.

At the end of the collection are two folders, one containing newspaper clippings from 1965 and 2001, and one containing printed transcripts of all of the interviews.

Acquisition Information :  

The civil rights oral history interviews were donated to MASC by Rebecca Nappi in March, 2002.

Additional Reference Guides :  

Using Real Audio, you can listen to these interviews online through Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections websites at or

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1: Cassette Interviews
1 Emelda and Manuel Brown talk about their experiences with racial prejudice while raising a family in Spokane, Washington in the 1960s.
Length: 32:18
2 1 Clarence Freeman discusses his reaction to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and the reaction of the community of Spokane. He also talks briefly about a childhood experience with prejudice in Spokane.
Length: 7:50
2 2 Sam Minnix describes the scene during a civil rights demonstration at the Spokane County Courthouse on Friday March 26, 1965.
Length: 13:50
3 Verda Lofton relates her impression of the March 26, 1965 Spokane civil rights protest.
Length: 9:44
4 Flip Schulke describes about his experiences photographing race related stories in the south. He mentions photographing the admission of the first black student, James Meredith, into the University of Mississippi and the results of the assassination of Martin Luther King on the protests and marches. He finishes by discussing the differences between the youth of the 60s and the youth of today, and the legacy of the protest movements.
Length: 45:01
5 1 Jerrelene Williamson relates her sense of the civil rights movement in Spokane to events in Alabama.
Length: 10:53
5 2 Alvin Pitmon talks about his experiences with prejudice in Arkansas during the forced integration of schools in the 1960s. He discusses his feelings towards Dr. Martin Luther King and the effect Dr. King had on him.
Length: 7:45
5 2 Nancy Nelson sings two civil rights spirituals: My Lord, What a Morning and Let Us Break Bread Together
Length: 2:17

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Newspaper Clippings., 1965,  2001

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Transcripts. Brown, Freeman, Lofton, Minnix, Nelson, Pitmon, Sculke, Williamson

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This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Personal Names :
  • Brown, Emelda, Mrs., interviewee
  • Brown, Manuel, interviewee
  • Freeman, Clarence, interviewee
  • Lofton, Verda, interviewee
  • Minnix, Sam, interviewee
  • Nappi, Rebecca, interviewer
  • Nelson, Nancy
  • Pitmon, Alvin, interviewee
  • Schulke, Flip, interviewee
  • Williams, Jerrelene, interviewee
  • Corporate Names :
  • Spokesman-review (Spokane, Wash.), sponsor
  • Geographical Names :
  • Spokane (Wash.)--Race relations--History
  • Subject Terms :
  • African Americans--Civil rights--Washington (State)--Spokane--History
  • African Americans--Civil rights--Washington (State)--Spokane--History

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