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Oral history interview with Howard Kester, August 25, 1974

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Creator:Kester, Howard, 1904-1977
Creator:Frederickson, Mary
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Howard Kester, August 25, 1974
Date:1974 Aug. 25

Howard Kester was a Socialist and Christian who advocated for social justice causes throughout the South from the mid-1920s through the 1960s. In this interview, he discusses his involvement with such organizations as the YMCA and YWCA, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, the Committee on Economic and Racial Justice, the Penn School, the Southern Summer School for Women Workers, and the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. Throughout the interview, Kester emphasizes his radical Christian values and Socialist leanings in relationship to his beliefs regarding fundamental human equality. Kester equates the struggles of African Americans with those of workers, and views social justice issues as relevant to all Americans, regardless of their social standing. He discusses both the progress made towards these ends as well as the obstacles that remained, primarily during the 1930s and 1940s. He also describes the leadership roles and beliefs of fellow social activists such as Reinhold Niebuhr, Elizabeth Gilman, Alva Taylor, Elizabeth Jones, Louise Young, Louise Leonard McLaren, and Kester's wife, Alice Harris Kester.

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 (document genres) | Text | Sound
Subjects:Kester, Howard, 1904-1977 | Trade-unions--Southern States | Southern Summer School for Women Workers in Industry (U.S.) | Social reformers--Southern States | African Americans--Civil rights--Southern States | Employee rights--Southern States | Working class--Civil rights--Southern States | Southern States--Race relations | Social justice--Southern States--Religious aspects | Penn School (Saint Helena Island, S.C.) | Young Women's Christian associations--Tennessee--Nashville | Fellowship of Southern Churchmen | Southern Tenant Farmers' Union | Fellowship of Reconciliation (U.S.) | Young Men's Christian associations--Tennessee--Nashville | United States, South Carolina, Beaufort County, Saint Helena Island, 32.3868607, -80.5606622 | United States, Tennessee, Davidson County, Nashville, 36.1658899, -86.7844432 | Southern States, 33.346678, -84.119434
Collection:Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)
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Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/B-0007-2/menu.html