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Deenie Drew Interviewed on January 27, 1995

Deenie Drew Interviewed on January 27, 1995

BCRI Oral History Collection
Transcript
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00:01:53 - Introduction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Good morning.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Huntley introduces and begins the interview.

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--History; Oral history

GPS: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Map Coordinates: 33.516405, -86.814553
00:02:51 - Early Life and Family

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Partial Transcript: I notice that you are not a native Alabamian, so can you just give me just a
little of your background? Where are you from, siblings, something about your family—

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew discusses growing up in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Keywords: Background; Family

Subjects: Ardmore (Pa.); New York (N.Y.)

00:03:44 - Biographical Background: Father

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, the greatest thing about my Dad, I guess, is the fact that he lived to be one hundred
and four years old. He was a water boy in the Civil War and he used to tell hair-raising
tales about his youth.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew details her father's long, event-filled life. He lived to be 104 years old.

Keywords: Prizefighting

Subjects: Ardmore (Pa.); Civil War; North Carolina

00:07:21 - Move to New York

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Partial Transcript: You left Ardmore after high school and you eventually ended up in New York. Tell me a
little about the transition from Ardmore to New York.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew lived in New York City during the art and music boom in Harlem. She was close to Gordon Parks and other famed artists.

Keywords: Art

Subjects: New York (N.Y.); Parks, Gordon, 1912-2006; United States. Army. Signal Corps

00:11:43 - Working for the Red Cross

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Partial Transcript: Well, I had made application when I was probably eighteen or nineteen years old, at the
very beginning, when people were being recruited and making applications for the World
War Two positions, and I was too young.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew discusses leaving New York to work for the Red Cross in Alabama.

Subjects: American National Red Cross; New York (N.Y.); Tuskegee (Ala.)

00:13:28 - Moving South

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What did your friends and relatives have to say about you leaving the East Coast coming
to the Deep South?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew took a train from New York to Tuskegee on a move that most friends and family discouraged.

Keywords: Segregation; Train

Subjects: American National Red Cross; Tuskegee (Ala.)

00:16:42 - Living in Tuskegee

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Partial Transcript: Well, tell me, what was the transition like from New York City, urban and really
exciting, to a little one-horse town, Tuskegee?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew recounts her experiences living and working in Tuskegee with other young people.

Keywords: Assistant Field Director; Liquor

Subjects: American National Red Cross; Mitchell Airfield; New York (N.Y.); Tuskegee (Ala.); Veteran's Hospital

00:21:41 - John Drew

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Is this where you met John Drew? Did you meet John in Tuskegee?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew describes first meeting her husband, John Drew.

Keywords: Drew, John; Husband

Subjects: Insurance; Philadelphia (Pa.); Tuskegee (Ala.)

00:23:35 - Living in Birmingham

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Then when did you move to Birmingham?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew helped run a candy store in Birmingham before joining/creating the Movement.

Keywords: Gertrude Anderson; Nanette's Homemade Candy

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.)

GPS: Former location of Nanette's Homemade Candy factory
Map Coordinates: 33.521075, -86.831679
00:27:04 - The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Now, when you came back, I'm assuming that's in the mid-1950’s or so and prior to the
development of the Alabama Christian Movement.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew was a founding member of the Movement- continued later.

Subjects: Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights; Shuttlesworth, Fred L., 1922-2011

00:27:58 - Living in Dynamite Hill

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Tell me a little bit before we get into the Movement. Tell me what community you lived
in at the time.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew describes living on Dynamite Hill and helping guard against danger.

Keywords: Bombing; Dynamite Hill; Violence

Subjects: Shores, Arthur D. (Arthur Davis), 1904-1996

00:32:57 - Relationship with Birmingham Police

Play segment

Partial Transcript: This next question, then, raises another issue. What was the relationship with the
community, your community, with the police department?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew, Dynamite Hill and the Movement had a tedious relationship with Birmingham Police. She associates the police with the Klan, which were often the same.

Keywords: Bombing; John Temple Graves; Post Herald; Violence

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.). Police Department; Ku Klux Klan (1915- )

00:36:44 - Establishment of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR)

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In 1956 the State of Alabama outlawed the operation of the NAACP in the state, which
resulted in the establishment of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew describes the first meeting of the Movement and the people who attended.

Keywords: Mrs. Plump; Sardis Baptist Church

Subjects: Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

00:38:44 - Segregated Retail Stores

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you ever go into... I know there were times when Black people would go into certain
stores and they were not allowed to try on the hats there.

Segment Synopsis: Because Ms. Drew passed as white, she had a particular power when pressuring stores to integrate.

Keywords: Passing; Segregation

Subjects: Sears, Roebuck and Company

00:43:11 - Interracial Women's Group

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Partial Transcript: So, really, at the time the Movement started, you and others were really sort of ripe for
that because of the things you had gone through.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew was a member of an Interracial Women's Group before the movement began. The group prayed and organized to protest segregated stores.

Keywords: Interracial Women's Group; Restrooms; Segregation

Subjects: Loveman's; Pizitz (Department store)

00:46:23 - ACMHR, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Dr. Martin Luther King

Play segment

Partial Transcript: But, tell me about some of the experiences that you had as it related to the Movement. I
know that you knew Martin Luther King personally.

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew recalls the state of the Movement before 1963. ACMHR invited SCLC here after Fred Shuttlesworth was beaten trying to enroll his kids in a white school.

Keywords: Integrated Schools

Subjects: Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Shuttlesworth, Fred L., 1922-2011; Southern Christian Leadership Conference

00:51:36 - T.M. Alexander and Company

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Was John able to insure the cars?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew's husband, John Drew, insured the cars that made the bus boycott possible.

Keywords: TM Alexander and Company

Subjects: Car Insurance; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Montgomery Bus Boycott, Montgomery, Ala., 1955-1956

00:53:08 - Relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, when Martin King, then, came to Birmingham in 1963, can you tell me any of the
occurrences that you may remember that were quite vivid to you in how that portion of
the Movement would evolve?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew describes her friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King.

Keywords: Friendship

Subjects: King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; N. H. Smith; Shuttlesworth, Fred L., 1922-2011

00:55:34 - Financial Support of the Movement

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So, I would assume, then, that, in addition to his staying at your home, you and others
similar to you who had businesses actually donated a lot of money to the Movement?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew describes how she, her husband and others financially supported the Movement though loans, donations and even putting up their own houses.

Keywords: Donations

Subjects: Bail bond agents; John Drew

00:57:31 - Jeff Drew (Son) and the Movement

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How was Jeff at the time? Was he in elementary school?

Segment Synopsis: Ms. Drew recounts why she and Dr. King did not allow her son Jeff to demonstrate until he was 12 years old.

Keywords: Tom Dolen; Tom Nolen

Subjects: Jeff Drew; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Ku Klux Klan (1915- ); Shores, Arthur D. (Arthur Davis), 1904-1996

01:01:35 - Conclusion

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Is there anything else we have simply not covered that you remember vividly that you
think would be important for an oral history project to tell—any other things that I've not
asked?

Segment Synopsis: Conclusion to the Interview