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Alice Thompson interview
Rogers, Kim Lacy
Alice Thompson begins the interview by discussing her upbringing in New Orleans, where she grew up in the Ninth Ward. She overviews the background of her parents as well as family dynamics. Thompson explains how her sister Jean got her involved with the local NAACP youth program. She describes how her parents trained her and her siblings to answer "yes" and "no" rather than "yes, ma'am" because her parents did not want their children to conform to segregation-era manners of addressing Whites. Thompson explains how her father lost his job due to the Civil rights activism of his children, noting that he himself became involved as an activist in the 1970s, when she describes him as "one of the most militant people in the Lower Ninth Ward." She notes that her first experiences with activist involved protesting on Canal Street, including in front of the Woolworth's. She mentions her involvement with Voter registration in smaller Louisiana towns, including Clinton, Plaquemine, and Hammond. She observes that the Voting rights Act emboldened more African American citizens to be engaged in Voter registration. Thompson adds that she attended Southern University "u2013 New Orleans (SUNO) during this time, off-and-on. Thompson overviews her present work and career since her activism in the 1960s, noting active involvement in SOUL. She acknowledges the mentorship of Oretha Castle Haley, Rudy Lombard, and Jerome Smith. She notes her disappointment that "not too much has changed" in the twenty-five years since the Civil rights Movement, observing that "you can legislate laws but you can't legislate feelings." Rogers and Thompson discuss more contemporary events, including the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson and drugs in African American communities.
Amistad Research Center
Box 8, Item 12, Side 1, Kim Lacy Rogers 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.