Oral History

Interview with Joan Frances Crowley, 1998, excerpt.

Transcription: "It was announced to the student body that some of their activity fee would go to help pay for the bus going to Selma. A group of anti-black, against the black movement, threatened to throw themselves across the parking place so the bus couldn’t go.”

Interview with Joan Frances Crowley, 1998, excerpt.

Transcription: "I had always assigned African American kids with white kids. I just took it for granted; and they had friendship, etc. When Martin Luther King was shot the black students from Coffey Hall disappeared over into Northland with black kids who had apartment living over there. We didn’t see them for 24 hours. When they came out, they had stopped speaking to anybody white. I was in the enviable position of living in the dorm, trying to handle this. White kids coming in, crying ‘Sister…’ One night a black kid came in, closed the door and just threw herself in my arms and wept, and said, ‘I’m leaving, I’m transferring, I’m going to Morehouse.’ I said ‘Why Diane?’ and she said, ‘because my friends’ (many of them were white, she was an English major), ‘we’re not speaking to them. I can’t live like that.’ I had kids come into me privately and talk."


What is the interviewee talking about in each excerpt?


What can you determine from the interviewee's tone of voice? Based on the second excerpt, what role at Mundelein College does the interviewee seem to play? What do the excerpts convey about student life at Mundelein during the Civil Rights Era? Was the student body of one mind, or divided over issues of race and activism?