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Interview with Rev C.C. Welch, 1984 August 7 and 1984 August 9

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Creator:Welch, C. C., 1901-
Creator:Hamrick, Peggy
Title:Interview with Rev C.C. Welch, 1984 August 7 and 1984 August 9
Date:1984 Aug. 7, 1984 Aug. 9

In this interview, Reverend C. C. Welch discusses his life's work as a pastor and his views on the Civil Rights movement. Welch compares city and country churches, saying the people in the country are "more sincere and real" and have quieter services, while in the city the services are more emotional. He discusses conducting revivals and talks about the "joy and satisfaction" he gets out of preaching. He discusses several well-known local pastors. He explains the work of the church. He says they didn't believe in interfering with labor disputes. He discusses burial societies: a person paid a little money each month, and they received money if they went into the hospital and upon their death, for their burial expenses. He also describes how they kept a benevolent fund to aid victims of floods. However, he says the church couldn't do much to help during the Depression. Welch discusses Jim Crow laws and trying to register to vote. He was asked questions about the government. It took him a long time to finally get registered. He thinks finally got tired of dealing with him. He explains that he never participated in any marches, but his church held prayer meetings and "institutes" about how to act under pressure; they followed Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, practice of nonviolence. He says he knew King and once gave a revival for King's father when the man was too sick to do it himself. He also mentions Fred Shuttlesworth; he says he "had a lot of iron in him," so whites were too intimidated to bother him too much. When speaking about the unfair laws of the time, Welch says, "It was miserable if you thought it would last always." But he always preached that they wouldn't last. He says he didn't try to break any unfair laws, just tried to get around them through boycotts. For example, many gas stations would refuse to check oil for black patrons, so the blacks learned who would and wouldn't, passed on that information to others, and succeeded in changing those gas stations' policies through not giving them their business.

Interviewed by Peggy Hamrick on August 7 and August 9, 1984.

Types:Oral histories | Transcripts | Sound recordings | Text | Sound
Subjects:Welch, C. C., 1901- | King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | Shuttlesworth, Fred L., 1922-2011 | African American clergy--Alabama--Birmingham | Civil rights movements--Alabama--Birmingham | African Americans--Religion | Voter registration--Alabama--Birmingham | Direct action--Alabama--Birmingham | Boycotts--Alabama--Birmingham | Birmingham (Ala.)--Race relations | United States, Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham, 33.5206608, -86.80249
Collection:Working Lives Oral History Project
Institution:William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library
Contributors:William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library (University of Alabama)
Original Material:

Archive of American Minority Cultures

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To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library.

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Forms part of the online collection: Working Lives Oral History Project.

Persistent Link to Item:http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0008_0000003_0000073