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Oral history interview with Doris Turner

Author: Joseph Wilson
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 1983.
Edition/Format:   VHS video : VHS tape   Visual material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Doris Turner was born in Pensacola, Florida, in 1930. Her biggest earliest influence was her grandmother, who told her stories about her own grandmother who was a slave. From her grandmother, she learned about slavery. That gave her the impetus to do something to better things in society. Her grandmother told her stories about members of her family sold into slavery and taken away from her.
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Details

Named Person: Doris Turner; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcolm X
Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: Joseph Wilson
OCLC Number: 84672667
Event notes: Oral history interview with Doris Turner, conducted by Joseph Wilson.
Description: 1 videocassette (1 hr., 23 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/12 in.
Details: VHS
Responsibility: conducted by Joseph Wilson.

Abstract:

Doris Turner was born in Pensacola, Florida, in 1930. Her biggest earliest influence was her grandmother, who told her stories about her own grandmother who was a slave. From her grandmother, she learned about slavery. That gave her the impetus to do something to better things in society. Her grandmother told her stories about members of her family sold into slavery and taken away from her.

She recalls the racial discrimination of growing up in segregated Pensacola. Religion played an important role in her life growing up. At a very early age her family moved to Harlem where she attended the local public schools.

Her first job as a full-time hospital worker was at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, making $30 a week. That led to her joining Local 1199, of the Hospital Workers Union. She began orgainizing for the union and was quite successful. Soon after joining the union in 1958 there was a 46-day strike of the hospital workers. She recounts the issues and details of the strike.

She talks about her organizing activity with the union. Her enthusiasm and dedication propelled her into the heirarchy of the union. She became Executive Vice President and then, ultimately, the President of the union.

She participated in the March on Washington. He met both Martin Luther Kind, Jr., and Malcolm X. She compares and contrasts them.

She talks about the role of unions in bettering the lives of workers, and their general role within society.

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