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Oral history interview with Laura B. Waddell, August 6, 2002

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Creator:Waddell, Laura B., 1928-
Creator:Taylor, Kieran Walsh
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Laura B. Waddell, August 6, 2002
Date:2002 Aug. 6

Laura Waddell grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and after finishing eleventh grade, found a job as a seamstress in a shop off West Broad Street in the city's downtown district. Waddell earned a reputation, and a good living, as a skilled seamstress, eventually opening her own business. Waddell's enthusiasm for her work helped her build a successful career, and at the time of the interview, in August 2002, she had only recently retired. While she was aware of some of the tensions of the civil rights movement, she did not participate in protests or boycotts; instead, she tried to convince her peers that her work did not benefit the white shopkeeper who leased her space. Waddell become more involved in civic activity later in life, when she helped found the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum and became an active member of her church. This interview provides a portrait of a woman carving out a space for herself in segregated Savannah.

Title from menu page (viewed on December 20, 2007).

Interview participants: Walter Durham, interviewee; Bob Gilgor, interviewer.

Duration: 02:11:25.

This electronic edition is part of the UNC-CH digital library, Documenting the American South. It is a part of the collection Oral histories of the American South.

Text encoded by Mike Millner. Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers.

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 | Sound | Text
Subjects:Waddell, Laura B., 1928- | Women tailors--Georgia--Savannah | African American businesspeople--Georgia--Savannah | African Americans--Segregation--Georgia--Savannah | Savannah (Ga.)--Race relations | Savannah (Ga.)--Economic conditions | United States, Georgia, Chatham County, Savannah, 32.0835407, -81.0998342
Collection:Oral histories of the American South (Georgia selections)
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
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Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/R-0175/menu.html