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Alabama - Selma: Kevin Ladaris Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Kevin Ladaris in Selma, Alabama. He is the Youth Coordinator for 21st Century. They discuss Morehouse College and mutual acquaintances. His family comes from Camp Hill, Alabama, near Auburn. He moved to Selma when he met Rose and Hank Sanders, who informally adopted him. He has always moved around a lot. He did not grow up with his middle class parents, but with his lower class grandmother. He has always been different and outspoken, and clashed with his passive, conforming parents. He became a good student to prove his parents wrong. Ladaris was a questioning person, unlike his siblings. They grew up more as friends than siblings. He is in college and is involved in numerous organizations. He does not see his family often. He has never cared about material items, despite his poor upbringing. He met Rose when he was a member of the Alabama New South Coalition, a group of concerned Black citizens. 21st Century was born out of that group to train the youth. He learned about the organization in the newspaper. He was already a member of the NAACP. Ladaris' grandmother allowed him the freedom to pursue his interests, though she was not political herself and always made sure he continued to attend Mount Lovely Baptist Church. She was the choir director. She had raised three daughters and had never had a son, so it was easy for her to accept him. Ladaris talks about how he became involved in 21st Century. He attended the first camp at Selma University in 1986. He describes what is taught in the workshops and his involvement in the organization. He is a junior at Auburn University. He had not planned to attend college. He does not know many people who have. His teachers assumed he would attend college because he had good grades. He finds some of what is going on at Auburn, as a White institution, upsetting. He gives the example of the "Old South Parade," which he felt celebrated slavery and protested. Ladaris like Selma. He knows many people who were involved in the civil rights movement. He talks about his experience at a conference and encourages a friend to focus on academics [on the telephone 32:50 "u2013 45:55]. Ladaris sees himself as part of the "The Movement." He talks about what The Movement means to him, i.e. the advancement of his people.
African AmericansCivil rights leadersCivil rights demonstrationsEducationRace relationsChurchesYouthIntegration
AlabamaMississippiSelma (Al.)Black Belt (Al.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 151, Item 7, Side 1, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. Copyright Laws.