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Oral history interview with Martina Dunford, February 18, 1999

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Creator:Dunford, Martina, 1956-
Creator:Rouverol, Alicia J., 1961-
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Martina Dunford, February 18, 1999
Date:1999 Feb. 18

Martina Dunford moved to Durham, North Carolina, in 1991. A graduate student at North Carolina Central, Dunford began to work for the Edgemont Community Center and had become the program director at the time of the interview in 1999. She begins the interview with a brief history of the Edgemont Community Center, which was founded in the early 1940s. From there, she begins to describe the characteristics of the community, which was predominantly African American, and some of the changes within the community she had witnessed over the course of the 1990s. In particular, Dunford focuses on some of the remaining obstacles that prevented people in the community from achieving true equality of opportunity, which she partially attributes to lingering cultural differences. In addition, Dunford discusses how the rapidly growing Latino population in Durham during the 1990s complicated dynamics within the community. While she does not identify any overt tensions between African Americans and Latinos in Edgemont, she does indicate that both communities remained largely isolated from one another. Dunford describes some of the efforts of the Edgemont Community Center towards rectifying those divisions, arguing that building a sense of rapport between different groups of people was the first crucial step. In addition, Dunford describes the various measures the center took to provide children in the community with opportunities they would otherwise have been denied. In addition to outlining the character of the community and lingering obstacles to solidarity, Dunford also offers memories of her childhood in Norfolk, Virginia. After describing the importance of education, the role of religion, and experiences with racial discrimination during her childhood and early adult years, Dunford argues that she was shocked by the "blatant" racism she witnessed upon moving to Durham and the challenges it posed for the work of the Edgemont Community Center.

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:Dunford, Martina, 1956- | African American women civic leaders--North Carolina--Durham | Community activists--North Carolina--Durham | Community development--North Carolina--Durham | Community centers--North Carolina--Durham | African American neighborhoods--North Carolina--Durham | African Americans--North Carolina--Durham--Social conditions | Durham (N.C.)--Race relations | African Americans--North Carolina--Durham--Relations with Hispanic Americans | Cultural pluralism--United States | United States, North Carolina, Durham County, Durham, 35.9940329, -78.898619
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/K-0142/menu.html