Al McSurely’s reflections have been posted. Mr. McSurely is a life-long organizer and activist. Prior to the Poor People’s Campaign, he worked as an organizer in Kentucky.
During the Poor People’s Campaign, he lead a primarily white delegation of poor folks from Kentucky. For most of the PPC he and the delegation lived at the Hawthorne School. Mr. McSurely is a lawyer working now in active support of Reverend Dr. William Barber’s Moral Mondays movement and the New Poor People’s Campaign.
This interview was conducted by Bernetia Reed of UNC, Chapel Hill’s Southern History Collection. The interview took place on 6/29/16 in Chapel Hill, with John Alexander participating by Skype.
Maria Varela’s reflections have been posted. Ms. Varela is a life-long organizer and activist. Prior to the Poor People’s Campaign, she worked actively with SNCC.
During the Poor People’s Campaign, she was primarily active with the Latino delegation, working closely with Corky Gonzalez and living at the Hawthorne School. In 1990, Ms. Varela was given a MacArthur Fellowship.
Chuck Fager was a 25 year old published author and an activist who was in residence during the Poor People’s Campaign working on a book that was contracted by Eerdmans Publishing Company. He reflects here on his experience of both the Poor People’s Campaign and his work collecting materials for and writing Uncertain Resurrection.
This interview was conducted by John Alexander on 12/8/15.
This interview can be found here.
Laura Jones was a 19 year old professional photographer and activist dividing her time between the Poor People’s Campaign and an ambitious project she had launched in her newly established home in Toronto, Canada. She reflects here on the ways that her participation in the Poor People’s Campaign aligns with a lifetime of activism and her work in the field of photography.
This interview was conducted by John Alexander on 10/15/15 and 11/16/15.
Kenyon Chan participated in Resurrection City as a 19 year old undergrad. After arranging independent study through UCLA where he was studying, Kenyon was in DC from before the opening of Resurrection City until it was closed down by the federal government. He recently reflected on that experience including the meaning he made of being arrested and how that experience gave his life greater purpose.
This interview was conducted by John Alexander on 9/16/15.
His reflections are posted here.
The first oral history for this project is posted here. It captures the reflections of Richard Sidy who at the time was a 21 year old undergrad at UCLA. Richard and four other undergraduate students at UCLA were able to arrange independent study courses so that they could live and work in Resurrection City as part of that quarter’s course load. Through Richard, I also located two of the other students.
This interview was conducted by John Alexander on 8/5/15 and 10/13/15.
His oral history is posted here.
The header images are from various sources:
- One is a detail from a photograph by Martin Prochnik, made available through a Creative Commons license. Available here.
- Three are by permission from Baldwin Street Gallery.
In June 1968, I had a brief field trip to Resurrection City in DC. I’ve been reading and researching about it recently (beginning in November of 2014) trying to learn more about what I so dimly understood back then.
I have posted a first reflection on my experience here.