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Jane Buchsbaum interview, Part 4
Rogers, Kim Lacy
Buchsbaum discusses in more detail, the significance of the Community Rights Movement
Jane Buchsbaum describes White New Orleans Civil rights Movement workers who were not involved in any prior activism, but felt compelled to help amid the New Orleans Public Schools desegregation crisis. She says that her involvement in the Community Relations Council (of Greater New Orleans) was initially spurred from attendance at interracial community meeting at Xavier University Student Center, which motivated her to become more involved Civil rights activism. As a Jewish New Orleanian, Buchsbaum felt connected to the slain Mississippi Civil rights workers and Freedom Riders in general. She describes French Quarter as "last bastion" of hyper segregation in New Orleans. She then posits women's social activism as inherently better organized than that of men's groups. Buchsbaum details a more recent experience as President of the Council of Jewish Women in the early 1970s where she attended a Links social luncheon, seated next to Oretha Castle Haley, confronted with African American women "who didn't work shoulder to shoulder with anyone else in all those years." Until that moment, Buchsbaum had assumed that the "narrow group of Blacks" she was working with on Civil rights causes had been a more representative sample of middle class, but she was surprised to instead learn that New Orleans' African American middle class was so sizeable. She describes this group as "nice little dues paying members of Links"u2026 who had never been part of the struggle." Buchsbaum continues: "We always thought we had all the Blacks, it was just a narrow group of Whites working together on all of this, but it was a narrow group of Blacks, too. Those who had made it were absolutely class typical examples "u2013 climbed up the ladder and never looked back." This file ends with Buchsbaum more directly describing the impact of the Community Relations Council, in particular the group's efforts to form an integrated statewide science fair, where she notes that students from St. Augustine High School performed particularly well.
Jewish womenNew OrleansCivil rights movement
New Orleans (La.)
Amistad Research Center
Box 3, Item 3, Side 1, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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