Oral history interview with MaVynee Betsch, November 22, 2002

Oral history interview with MaVynee Betsch, November 22, 2002

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Creator:Betsch, MaVynee, 1935-2005
Creator:Taylor, Kieran Walsh
Title:Oral history interview with MaVynee Betsch, November 22, 2002
Date:2002 Nov. 22
Description:

Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch removed the letter R from her first name to protest what she saw as Ronald Reagan's disregard for the environment and expunged her middle name, Elizabeth, when she learned that Queen Elizabeth I nurtured the British slave trade. In this interview, she describes her childhood in the 1930s and 1940s in Jacksonville, Florida, a childhood spent in a vibrant black community peopled by pioneering professionals who created institutions to support one another. She remembers her travels in Europe after graduating from Oberlin College in the mid-1950s. And she describes the decline of the African American neighborhood of her youth, a stronghold of economic and cultural independence divided and destroyed by an interstate and chain stores. But if Jacksonville reveals the predatory relationship between development and the black community, Betsch's life in the resort founded by her great-grandfather, American Beach, represents the potential for black Americans in a changing South.

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
Subjects:Betsch, MaVynee, 1935-2005 | Lewis, A. L. (Abraham Lincoln), 1865-1947 | African American environmentalists--Florida--American Beach | African Americans--Florida--Jacksonville--Social life and customs | African Americans--Florida--Jacksonville--Social conditions | Sopranos (Singers) | Jacksonville (Fla.) | Duval County (Fla.)
Collection:
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:Southern Oral History Program | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project) | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library | Oral histories of the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project))
Online Publisher:[Chapel Hill, N.C.] : University Library, UNC-Chapel Hill. | 2007
Original Material:

Title from menu page (viewed on Dec. 2, 2008).

Interview participants: MaVynee Betsch, interviewee; Kieran Taylor, interviewer.

Duration: 00:56:48.

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

Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner. Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers.

Related Materials:

Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/R-0301/menu.html