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Oral history interview with Murray Atkins Walls and John Walls

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Creator:Walls, Murray Atkins, 1899-1993
Creator:Walls, John H., 1889-1983
Title:Oral history interview with Murray Atkins Walls and John Walls
Date:1977 July 27

Oral history interview with Murray Atkins Walls and John Walls, conducted July 27, 1977 by Dwayne Cox. Most of the interview focuses on Murray Atkins Walls, although her husband, John Walls, is also an active participant. They were both involved in civil rights activities in Louisville and so share many experiences. Mrs. Walls discusses her childhood and youth in Indiana and compares her experiences in Louisville and Indianapolis. She describes her work in Kaufman's Department store's personnel department during World War II, and particularly focuses on Mr. Harry Schacter, the head of Kaufman-Strauss department store. She also gives an account of the integration of Girl Scouting in Louisville, which began in approximately 1957, following the Brown decision. The Walls discuss their efforts to integrate the Louisville Free Public Library, which had maintained separate branches for whites and African Americans. They discuss meeting with the library board of trustees and their interactions with the head of the library, Mr. Brigham, as well as the attitudes of Mayor Wilson Wyatt, who appointed the first African American to the library board. They also discuss the attitudes expressed in the Courier-Journal. They discuss black-owned newspapers and the barriers that African Americans faced in education and in housing. The Walls discuss the integration of dining areas and department stores, as well as residential areas. They discuss differences in attitudes between their generation, which they saw as working patiently toward improving their situation, and the generation of youth working for civil rights in the 1960s and 1970s. They discuss the dangers faced by African Americans in Mississippi in the 1930s and 1940s. The Walls discuss Dr. Walls' involvement in picketing with the NAACP, and the impact that she and Dr. Walls had on the lives of young people.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

Types:Transcripts | Sound recordings | Oral histories
Subjects:Schacter, Harry W. | Rauch, Joseph, 1881-1957 | Brigham, Harold F. (Harold Frederick), 1897-1971 | Wyatt, Wilson W. (Wilson Watkins), 1905- | Walls, Murray Atkins, 1899-1993 | Walls, John H., 1889-1983 | African Americans--Kentucky--Louisville | Race relations | Louisville (Ky.)--Race relations--History--20th century | Race discrimination--Kentucky--Louisville | Civil rights demonstrations--Kentucky--Louisville | Civil rights--Kentucky--Louisville | African Americans--Civil rights--Kentucky--Louisville | Kaufman's Department Store (Louisville, Ky.)--Employees | Kaufman's Department Store (Louisville, Ky.)--Employees--Training of | Discrimination in employment--Kentucky--Louisville | Louisville Free Public Library | African Americans and libraries--Kentucky--Louisville | Girl Scouts | Libraries--Kentucky--Louisville | Segregation--Kentucky--Louisville | African Americans--Segregation--Kentucky--Louisville | African Americans--Social conditions | Mayors--Kentucky--Louisville | Discrimination in education--Kentucky--Louisville | African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Louisville | Discrimination in housing--Kentucky--Louisville | Discriminaiton in public accommodations--Kentucky--Louisville | Civil rights movements--Kentucky--Louisville | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People | African Americans--Mississippi--Crimes against | Picketting--Kentucky--Louisville | Direct action--Kentucky--Louisville | Newspapers--Kentucky--Louisville | African American newspapers--Kentucky--Louisville | Indianapolis (Ind.) | Marion County (Ind.) | Louisville (Ky.) | Jefferson County (Ky.)
Collection:African American Oral History Collection
Institution:University of Louisville University Archives and Records Center
Contributors:Cox, Dwayne, 1950- | William F. Ekstrom Library. University Archives and Records Center | African American Community Interviews Collection (William F. Ekstrom Library. University Archives and Records Center)
Online Publisher:Louisville, Ky. : University of Louisville Archives and Records Center
Original Material:

Audiocassette tape number 498 and 499, African American Oral History Collection, Oral History Center, University of Louisville Archives and Records Center.

Rights and Usage:

To inquire about reproductions, permissions, or for information about prices see: http://library.louisville.edu/uarc/digicollorder.html; please cite the Interview Number when ordering.

Related Materials:

Forms part of online collection: African American Community Interviews, Oral History Center, University of Louisville Archives and Records Center

Persistent Link to Item:http://digital.library.louisville.edu/u?/afamoh,14