Oral History

Edna Lyde - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill

Interviewed by John Kenyon "Yonni" Chapman on February 21, 1993

"People have got to stand up for themselves. Black or white. If you don’t stand up for yourself, ain’t nobody going to do it for you."

- Edna Lyde

Edna Lyde, born in 1928 in Darlington, SC, recounts how being Black impacted her experience within her family, at the workplace, and in her community in Chapel Hill. She recalls her family history: her mother, who had seventeen children, was raised by a white family, which caused her mother to feel disconnected from her racial identity. Growing up on a farm in South Carolina, she faced racial discrimination from white farmers and members of the Ku Klux Klan. She recounts her experience seeing crosses burning in her yard as a teenager. Edna was married at the age of 15 and moved to Chapel Hill shortly after to be with her husband’s family. In Chapel Hill, Edna worked at the Carolina Inn and was an active member of the workers union there. She faced racial discrimination as a housekeeper and worked long hours to be able to support herself and her children. Edna also speaks on her experience as an active member of the Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill.

Audio recordings of interviews conducted by Yonni Chapman with participants in the African American freedom struggle and the civil rights movement in and around Chapel Hill, N.C.

Edna Lyde - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill

Edna Lyde - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill

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Oral history interview of Lyde, Edna conducted by Chapman, John Kenyon "Yonni" on February 21, 1993 at Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Raper, Cailyn.

Citation: The Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, “Edna Lyde - On the African American freedom struggle and Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill,” From the Rock Wall, accessed July 7, 2022, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/edna-lyde-on-the-african-american-freedom-struggle-and-civil-rights-movement-in-chapel-hill-part-one.

Rights: Open for research. The Southern Historical Collection (SHC) welcomes non-commercial use and access that qualifies as fair use to all unrestricted interview materials in the collection. The researcher must cite and give proper credit to the SHC. The SHC requests that the researcher informs the SHC as to how and where they are using the material.

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