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Oral history interview with Asa T. Spaulding, April 13, 1979

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Creator:Spaulding, Asa T. (Asa Timothy), 1902-1990
Creator:Weare, Walter B.
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Asa T. Spaulding, April 13, 1979
Date:1979 Apr. 13

Asa T. Spaulding was born in rural North Carolina in 1902, but his scholastic aptitude soon removed him from the farm where he spent his childhood. After a high school education in Durham, North Carolina, Spaulding earned a degree from New York University and received training as an actuary at the University of Michigan. He returned to Durham to take a position at the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, a historically African American company where he spent his career seeking balance in his professional and personal life. He was president of the company from 1959 until he retired in 1969. Spaulding spends most of this interview describing his early life. He describes his rural community; he remembers applying his disciplined mind to his studies in New York City and Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he experienced some, but not much, racial discrimination; he recalls the transition from reliance on black burial associations to larger life insurance companies and his role in modernizing insurance practice; and he reflects on the nature of citizenship and humanity. Spaulding was a hard worker and a spiritual man who valued his time spent teaching the Bible. A self-reliant man, he cast his vote for Richard Nixon in 1972 but condemns him for his greed. This interview sheds light on a pioneering career and a set of beliefs behind a successful businessman and spiritually fulfilled person.

Researchers and students might also consult the two other interviews with Spaulding in this collection, C-0013-2 and C-0013-3. Those interested in learning more about the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and black business in the South might turn to the interviewer's book, Black Business in the New South: A Social History of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company.

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:Spaulding, Asa T. (Asa Timothy), 1902-1990 | African American executives--North Carolina--Durham | North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company | Life insurance--North Carolina | African American business enterprises--North Carolina--Durham | Farm life--North Carolina--Columbus County | Columbus County (N.C.)--Social life and customs | African American college students | African Americans--North Carolina--Columbus County--Relations with Indians | United States, North Carolina, Durham County, Durham, 35.9940329, -78.898619 | United States, North Carolina, Columbus County
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/C-0013-1/menu.html