Black Women Oral History Project Interviews, 1976–1981

Florence Edmonds, photo by Judith SedwickFlorence Edmonds, photo by Judith Sedwick

The Black Women Oral History Project interviewed 72 African American women between 1976 and 1981. With support from the Schlesinger Library, the project recorded a cross section of women who had made significant contributions to American society during the first half of the 20th century.

Many interviewees in the collection had professional careers in fields such as education, government, the arts, business, medicine, law, and social work. Other women who were interviewed combined care for their families with volunteer work at the local, regional, or national level.

During the interviews, women discuss

  • childhood;
  • education;
  • family background;
  • influences affecting their choice of primary career or activity;
  • professional and voluntary accomplishments; and
  • ways in which being black and a woman affected their opportunities.

Biographies, photographs, and transcripts as well as audio from the project are available online from the Library’s research guide to the Black Women Oral History Project Interviews, 1976–1981