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Oral history interview with Phyllis Tyler, October 10, 1988

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Creator:Tyler, Phyllis, 1917-2006
Creator:Myers, Terri
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Phyllis Tyler, October 10, 1988
Date:1988 Oct. 10

Quaker and civil rights activist Phyllis Tyler discusses her involvement in the civil rights movement and her perception of race relations. Phyllis Tyler first moved to North Carolina during the Second World War when she and her husband joined the Blessed Community in Celo. After converting to Quakerism when she met her husband in Minnesota, Tyler became actively involved in pacifism and other human rights issues during these years. In 1953, she moved to Raleigh with her family, where they lived for more than forty years. During the 1950s and 1960s, Tyler's children also became involved in various protest movements, and she describes two incidents in which two of her sons were targeted by the Ku Klux Klan. Here, and elsewhere, she discusses the nature of racial prejudice and its evolution over the years. She emphasizes the role of the religious community in the civil rights movement, particularly that of the Institute of Religion Speakers, the United Church, and the Friends. Tyler also participated in the League of Women Voters. It was during efforts to integrate the League that she first met Vivian Irving, who became her lifelong friend. Tyler describes the nature of their interracial friendship and offers anecdotes about their efforts to challenge racial barriers, such as their successful endeavor to integrate a Raleigh movie theater. Tyler also speaks at length about the impact of the black power movement on the interracial aspects of the civil rights movement, which she argued rendered alliances between African Americans and whites increasingly unfeasible.

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:Tyler, Phyllis, 1917-2006 | North Carolina--Race relations | Civil rights workers--North Carolina | Women in politics--North Carolina | North Carolina--Biography | Women civil rights workers--North Carolina--Raleigh | Civil rights movements--North Carolina--Raleigh--Religious aspects | Raleigh (N.C.)--Race relations | African Americans--Segregation--North Carolina--Raleigh | Black power--United States | United States, North Carolina, Wake County, Raleigh, 35.772096, -78.6386145
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-0080/menu.html