Rev. Erskine Faush Interviewed on November 18, 1998

BCRI Oral History Collection
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00:00:00 - Introduction of Interview

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Rev. Erskine Faush for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s Oral History Project. I'm Dr. Horace Huntley. We're presently at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Today is November 18, 1998. I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come and sit and talk with me today and welcome to the Institute.

GPS: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Map Coordinates: 33.5161, -86.8145
Hyperlink: BCRI Homepage
00:00:53 - Family Background

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Partial Transcript: I would like to start by just asking you some general questions about your background.
Were you born in Birmingham?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush talks about his family and where he grew up.

Keywords: African American Presbyterian churches; Neighborhoods

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.)--Maps; Enon Ridge--Birmingham (Ala.); Fountain Heights--Birmingham (Ala.); Montgomery (Ala.)--Maps; Selma (Ala.); Smithfield--Birmingham (Ala.)

00:03:16 - Family Background-Mothers Side

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Partial Transcript: In that area. . .oh, let me ask you this about your parents education. How much education did they have?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush talks about his mothers educations and her family of business people.

Keywords: Family business; Funeral homes; Grocery trade--United States; black cleaners; cattle farming; entrepreneurs

Subjects: Alabama A & Beloit (Ala.); Edmund Pettus Bridge--Selma (Ala.); Huntsville (Ala.); M University; Maxwell Air Force Base (Ala.); Snowhill Normal and Industrial Institute (Ala.)

00:08:41 - Family Background-Fathers Side

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Partial Transcript: By contrast my father that side of the family was from Montgomery.

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush talks about his fathers jobs, falling ill, and his mother becoming the major bread winner of the family.

Keywords: African American single mothers; Automobile dealers; Blanche Department Store-Birmingham (Ala.); Drennen Motor Company-Birmingham (Ala.); Janitor; bread winner; family illness; ironing; painter

Subjects: African American families

00:13:34 - Early Education

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Partial Transcript: That’s right. Now, you grew up in that Enon Ridge, Smithfield area. What school did you start first grade?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erksine Faush discusses his Tuggle elementary, and who he grew up around in his community while attending primary school.

Keywords: Cemeteries (Jewish law); Communities, contexts, and cultures; Middle class--United States; Neighborhoods; doctors; glass eye; primary school

Subjects: Black Physicians; Erskine Hawkins--Laura Washinton--Blues Singer; Sardis Baptist Church--Birmingham (Ala.); Tuggle Elementary School--Birmimgham (Ala.)

00:18:56 - Community Background

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Partial Transcript: What did most people do? What kind of work did most people do that lived in that community? Do you remember?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush briefly talks about the black business in his community being self sufficient.

Keywords: Businesses; Jewish Cemetery; Odd Job; Self-Sufficient

Subjects: Black Community; Business enterprises, Black

00:20:30 - Early Education-Tuggle Elementary

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Partial Transcript: What do you remember about Tuggle School?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush talks of his time at Tuggle Elementary and his good relationship with the faculty there.

Keywords: community; family; neighbor; student-teacher relationship

Subjects: Tuggle Elementary--Birmingham (Ala.)

00:27:00 - Early Education-Parker High School

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Partial Transcript: When you left Tuggle, where did you go?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush discusses his time at Parker High School and being involved in the band.

Keywords: High school band; high school; jazz band; music

Subjects: Parker High School (Birmingham, Ala.)

00:30:37 - Parker High School-The Elks Band

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Partial Transcript: So, that was an intricate part of your development.

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush talks about joining traveling with the Elks band during his time at Parker High School and barely losing an academic competition against another student.

Keywords: Academic achievement--Competitions; Conventions; High School Band; High School Choir

Subjects: Asheville (N.C.); Clarks (Musical group); Elks (Fraternal order); Hampton, Lionel; Parker High School (Bimingham, Ala.); Talladega College; Whatley, Fess

00:36:35 - Alabama A&M University

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Partial Transcript: This was the principal?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush talks about getting a scholarship to Talladega College, attending Alabama A & M University, being recognized as an honorary citizen of Huntsville, Alabama and being paid to sing for the Bradford Singers on the weekends.

Keywords: Experience of illness; Honorary citizenship; Musical performance; campus; singer; swindel

Subjects: Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes (Normal, Ala.); Alabama A & Birmingham (Ala.); Bradford Singers; Elks (Fraternal order); Huntsville (Ala.)--Maps; Lawson State Community College (Birmingham, Ala.); M University; Talladega College; Tuxedo Junction (Birmingham, Ala.); Von Braun Center (Huntsville, Ala.); Wenonah Trade School (Birmingham, Ala.)

00:48:38 - Starting at Radio Station WBCO

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Partial Transcript: What happened after that?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush talks about starting at radio station WBCO.

Keywords: African American radio stations; Black broadcasting; broadcast

Subjects: Bessemer (Ala.); Birmingham (Ala.); Jess Lainer (Mayor of Bessemer, Ala.); Louisville (Ky.); Stephens, Elton B.

00:51:13 - Starting at LOU Radio

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Partial Transcript: Yes. He was at LOK, I think it was or LOU. In the meantime they invested in promotional pieces and so on with the name Faush.

Segment Synopsis: Rec. Erkine Faush talks of his journey with his brother to LOU radio in Lousiville Kentucky, then getting training in Denver in order to be a promoter of music in Birmingham, Alabama.

Keywords: African American radio stations; Gospel music; Music--Performance; band; broadcasting; orchestra; promotion; record companies

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); Louisville (Ky.); University of Alabama; University of Denver; University of Denver. Center for Mass Communications Research and Policy

00:56:15 - Entering Into Ministry

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Partial Transcript: At what point did you get into the ministry?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush explains his journey into Ministry.

Keywords: A Higher Power; Black amusement park; Ministry; Music Promotion; grocery business

Subjects: Faith College

01:01:18 - Faith College

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Partial Transcript: Where was that?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush goes back to school to study theology.

Keywords: Black community; Theology

Subjects: Faith College; Miles Community College

01:03:20 - Involvement In the Movement

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Partial Transcript: So, how do you fit all of this together in the particularly how you eventually relate to your activities during the early and mid-60's?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush describes the historical moments and periods of time that have lead to the civil rights movement.

Keywords: Divine Force; Human rights; Politics

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--History--20th century; Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights; Birmingham (Ala.); Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka; Emancipation Proclamation; Ku Klux Klan; Montgomery Bus Boycott, Montgomery, Ala., 1955-1956

01:13:29 - Meeting and Partnering with Shelley Stewart

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Partial Transcript: Tell me how did you and Shelley come together eventually as partners? I know you were together at WENN. Is that right?

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Erskine Faush mentions about meeting Shelley Stewart and getting together on the radio station WENN, but also in general the business of black broadcasting, the trials and tribulations of it.

Keywords: African American radio broadcasters; African American radio stations; Stewart, Shelley; Television

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); McLendon Group--Mississippi; United States. Federal Communications Commission; Winfrey, Oprah

01:32:03 - Interview Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: I really appreciate you taking the time out, but I know I really need to sit down with you again.