Guide to the Hardy T. Frye Oral History Collection, RG 621

Listed by: Brenda Prather
Date: 8/6/99

Date Span: 1972-1978

Biographical Sketch: Frye is a sociology professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Research Sociologist at the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of California, Berkeley.

Scope / Content: Oral history interviews conducted in 1972 by Frye with leaders of the National Democratic Party of Alabama. Several follow-up interviews were made in 1978. Frye used the interviews in researching his book, "Black Parties and Political Power: A Case Study" (1980).

Jump Station
Index to Selected Topics in the Interviews Interviews #1-55

Box 1

Interview #1 – Black, Lewis. Member of Hale County N.D.P.A. and N.D.P.A. State Committee. (1972; 1978) (Transcript)

Interview #2 – Branch, William McKinley. Chairman Greene County N.D.P.A. (1972; 1978) (Transcript)

Interview #3 – Brooke, Jessee M. Treasurer of Wilcox County, N.D.P.A. 1972 interview. (Transcript)

Interview #4 – Butler, Owen. Member of Montgomery County, N.D.P.A. 1972 interview. (Transcript)

Interview #5 – Cashin, Joan. National committeewoman, N.D.P.A. 1972 interview. (Transcript)

Interview #6 - Cashin, John – State Chairman NDPA. 1972 interviews: biographical information on John Cashin; economic intimidation of blacks; Christianity; voter registration; sit-ins; George Wallace; Southern Democratic Conference; formation of NDPA; Richmond Flowers; 1966 ADC, ADC Convention; Carl Elliott; NDPA-ADC controversy, current political issues; whites in NDPA; Black Muslims; Reconstruction; Jesse Jackson; Cashin genealogy (mulatto); Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois; National Democratic Party; a black nation in the South; and future of NDPA (to take over Alabama). Tape also includes tape of state NDPA convention and John Cashin speech to the Bullock County NDPA. (Transcript)

Interview #7 - Cunningham, Ezra – Chairman, Monroe County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Ezra Cunningham; voter registration; Monroe County desegregation; blacks as poll officers; intimidation of blacks; delegates at the national Democratic convention; John Cashin; future of black politics in Alabama; and inter-county communications. (Transcript)

Interview #8 - Drake, Jack – Member of Tuscaloosa County NDPA. 1972 interview: Early years of NDPA; AIDPA; ADC-NDPA controversy; Tuscaloosa County NDPA; black leadership; white response to NDPA; 1970 election; and conservatism of the National Democrats. (Transcript)

Interview #9 - Durr, Virginia – Member of Elmore County NDPA. 1972 interview [also interview with Cliff Durr]; biographical information on Virginia Durr; white racism; blacks in the Depression; Hugo Black; Ku Klux Klan – labor coalition in Birmingham, 1920s; convict lease; United Mine Workers; Oscar Underwood; impoverished gentility; New Deal; poll tax; Roosevelt’s purge of Southern conservatives; Southern Conference of Human Welfare; Alabama in the 1950s; James Eastland; Montgomery bus boycott; John Patterson; George Wallace; formation of NDPA; John Cashin; presidential election, 1968; Bob Vance; Wallace-Nixon deal to run Wallace in 1972; Vietnam War; need for 2-party system in Alabama; changes in race attitudes in Alabama; black barber monopoly in Montgomery; and White Citizen’s Council. (Transcript)

Interview #10 -Edward, William – Executive director NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on William Edwards; NDPA staff; strategy behind the third party, 1960s first NDPA state convention; challenge to Alabama delegation to the National Democratic convention; 1969 Greene County Special Election; 1970 Alabama Governor’s election; 1970 NDPA Sate Convention; 1970 local voters; control of polling jobs; John Cashin; Richmond Flowers; Black-Belt politics; Lowndes County Freedom Organization; Birmingham and Jefferson County Police; George Wallace; lawsuits; radical image; Black Muslims; NDPA-ADC controversy; 1970 Pitts-Vacca race; blacks in the Republican Party; Jefferson County, 1970; and challenge to the Alabama delegation to the National Democratic Convention. (Transcript)

Interview #11- Edward, William – 1972 interview: Re-apportionment; balance of power strategy; NDPA-ADC controversy. (Transcript)

Interview #12-Edward, William – 1972 interview: NDPA relationship to National Democratic Party; New Democratic Coalition; and black parties in other states. (Transcript)

Interview #13- Edward, William – 1973 interview: Elections, 1972; Lowndes County, 1972; Greene County, 1972; white flight; problems with acquiring serious candidates; ADC: George McGovern’s end of black power movement; lack of unity among blacks; Wilcox County, Alabama; Jefferson County, Alabama and traditional black meetings; old-line black conservatism; NDPA-ADC controversy; Bessemer cut-off politics; Birmingham; voter registration; future of NDPA in Black-Belt counties; reapportionment; origins and purposes of NDPA; black lawyers; Richmond Flowers; Marengo County, Alabama; municipal forms of government; National Democrat Constituency in Alabama; Youth participation in NDPA; white NDPA candidates; and future of Greene and Lowndes County. (Transcript)

Interview #14- Edward, William – 1978 interview: NDPA since 1972; communication problems with state offices; changes in election laws; black cross-over to the regular Democrats; financial problems; white reaction;; manipulation of laws by regular Democrats; Democratic State Executive Committee; ADC; Racism among black politicians and young whites; John Cashin’s whites in the NDPA; future of NDPA; lack of interest in NDPA by black lawyers; and text books in Alabama. (Transcript)

Interview #15- Finley, John – member of Mobile County NDPA. 1972 interview: function of NDPA in Mobile County, Alabama; labor support; credentials challenge to Alabama delegation at the National Democratic Party Convention; debate between John Cashin and Joe Reed; voter registration; lack of money; 1970 election; and future of NDPA. (Transcript)

Interview #16- Ford, Ethel – Member of Perry County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Ethel Ford’s early years of NDPA; whites in NDPA; party goals; George Wallace; and white response with NDPA. Transcript)

Interview #17- Franklin, William, Sr. – Member of Mobile County NDPA, 1972 interview: black groups in the Mobile area; style of meetings; intimidation of teachers; money and finances; blacks in regular Democratic party; legalization of marijuana; and integration. (Transcript)

Interview #18- Gilmore, Thomas – Member of Greene County NDPA and Greene County Sheriff. 1972 interview: CORE; voter registration; 1966 election; discrimination in the Democratic primary; lack of polling places at black establishments; black education; NDPA-ADC controversy; John Cashin; Joe Reed; whites in NDPA; county reaction to black sheriff; self-characterization; party strategy; intimidation; and goals of the party 1978 interview: Changes in Greene County since 1972; relations with regular democrats; industries in black areas; duties as sheriff; and accomplishments. (Transcript)

Interview #19- Gomillion, Charles B. – Member of Macon County ADC. 1972 interview: biographical information on Charles B. Gomillion; voter registration; Tuskegee boundary changes; black voting registration organizations; Booker T. Washington; Alabama Sharecroppers Union; Southern Tenant Farmer’s Union; effects of the Depression and World War II on black politics; effects of military bases on blacks; civil rights movement 1930s; affirmative active; integration; goals of blacks as a community; black birth control (as genocide); Southern Congress of Democrats; ADC; NDPA relations with the regular Democrats; NDPA in white counties; strategy for NDPA; ADC-NDPA; Tuskegee Army Air Field; 1970 Governor’s election; John Cashin; reapportionment; and future of black politics in Alabama. (Transcript)

Interview #20- Gordon, Spiver – Member of Greene County NDPA. 1978 interview: NDPA. 1972-78; party-switching by candidates; 1978 elections; successes of NDPA; Alvin Holmes; Hale County politics; breakdown in racial politics; George Wallace; Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway; Greene County problems; Greene-Track; and breakdown of black unit in Greene County. (Transcript)

Interview #21- Gray, Fred – Member of Alabama House of Representatives. 1972 interview: Alabama politics in the late 1950s; ADC-NDPA conflict; white refusal to vote for blacks; George Wallace; labor unions; and future of NDPA. (Transcripts)

Interview #22- Hamilton, Ruby – Member of Hale County NDPA. 1972 interview: Greene County Progressive Association whites in NDPA; George Wallace; and problems with NDPA. (Transcript)

Interview #23- A&B – Harris, Robert – Co-chairman of Bullock County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Robert Harris; voter registration; intimidation of blacks; elections 1966-70; campaign cost; corruption; poll watching; NDPA-ADC controversy; nominee selection; whites in NDPA; integration; George Wallace; party rules; teacher involvement; black education; and black political experience. (Transcript)

Interview #24- Harris, Robert – 1978 interview: Bullock County, NDPA 1972-76; election law problems; cross-over party affiliation; strategy; Bullock County prison issue, 1978; black press in Bullock County. (Transcript)

Interview #25- Hayes, Alberta T. – Secretary, Wilcox County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Alberta T. Hayes; SCLC marches; NDPA structure; party unity; George Wallace; black disunity; and sexism in NDPA.

Interview #26- Hoard, John J. – Chairman, Sumter County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on J.J. Hoard; Sumter County NDPA selections 1968-72; lack of NDPA primary; intimidation of blacks; integration of restaurants; 1972 credentials challenge to Alabama delegation; and John Cashin. (Transcript)

Interview #27- Hullett, John – Member of Lowndes County NDPA and Lowndes County sheriff. 1972 interview: biographical information on John Hullett; Lowndes County Freedom Organization; Black Panther Party; poll tax; harassment 1966 election; whites in NDPA; George Wallace; ADC; corruption in the Alabama Democratic Party; and party organization. (Transcript)

Interview #28- Hullett, John – 1978 interview: Changes in Lowndes County, 1972-1978; Alabama election law; NDPA strategy; black legislators; Social effects of NDPA 1978 election’s civil rights movement in Lowndes County; Lowndes County Sheriff department; and future of NDPA. (Transcript)

Interview #29- Hullett, John – 1978 interview: 1978 Lowndes County elections; Stokeley Carmichael; and ADC. (Transcript)

Interview #30- Jackson, Emory O. – Managing Editor, Birmingham World 1972 interview: biographical information on Emory Jackson; Atlanta University Student Government; poll tax; early blacks in Alabama politics; Ku Klux Klan; black separation from the Republican Party; white primary; disfranchisement; early black organization; John Cashin; Albert Brewer; 1970 governor’s race; Birmingham; denial of voting and education of blacks; Martin Luther King; and loss of black leadership in Alabama. (Transcript)

Interview #31- McCarthy, Charlie – Chairman Wilcox County NDPA. 1972 interview: NDPA organization; John Cashin; non-election NDPA activities; election reform; participation of young blacks; NDPA local leadership; NDPA-ADC controversy; and 1968 presidential election. (Transcript)

Interview #32- McCarthy, Charlie –1978 interview: Wilcox County; power of sheriffs; and future of NDPA.

Interview #33- McCarthy, Charlie -- 1978 interview: NDPA. 1972-78; 1974 race for probate judge; 1976 election; fading of NDPA in Wilcox County; election law changes; and AEA-NDPA cooperation.

Interview #34- Miller, Alma – Member NDPA Executive Committee. 1972 interview: biographical information on Alma Miller; Lowndes County Christian Movement for Human Rights; voter registration; Black Panther Party; party symbol; growth of NDPA; black unity; George Wallace; 1970 governor's election; all black nation; NDPA in white counties; future of black politics in Ala.

Interview #35- Moore, Mrs. Willie Clyde – Member Lowndes County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Mrs. Willie Clyde Moore; Lowndes County Civil Rights movement; Black Panthers; NDPA elections in Lowndes County; NDPA organization; changes in Lowndes County; and the daily life of blacks.

Interview #36- Nixon, E.D. – Member of Montgomery NDPA. 1978 interview: inaudible.

Interview #37- Pandow, Mary -- NDPA State Secretary. 1972 interview: biographical information on Mary Pandow; Integration of universities; race relations in Huntsville; whites in NDPA; purposes of NDPA; whites and NDPA; party emblems; class make-ups of NDPA; party organization; economic fears; John Cashin; loss of leadership of NDPA; bolters of NDPA; NDPA and the National Democratic Party; criticisms of NDPA; Hubert Humphrey; and Greene County NDPA.

Interview #38- Patrick, Jeraldyne – Member of Bullock County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Jeraldyne Patrick; party organization; factions of the NDPA; George Wallace; Black Muslims; future of black politics in Alabama; police brutality; and unemployment.

Interview #39- Reed, Joe – State Chairman of Alabama Democratic Conference. 1972 interview: biographical information on Joe Reed; education in Alabama; ADC membership and purposes; failure of blacks to support black candidates; ADC finances; ADC-NDPA controversy; 1970 election; labor support of ADC; Bob Vance; Alabama Independent Democratic Party; John Cashin; lack of need of black parties; class make-up of ADC; separate all-black state; relationship with regular Democratic Party; and use of the courts.

Interview #40- Reed, Thomas – Member of Alabama House of Representatives. 1972 interview: biographical information on Thomas Reed; 1940s Macon County; voting fraud; future of NDPA; blacks in the legislature; changes in political climate toward blacks; 1972 challenge to the Democratic National Convention delegation from Alabama; George Wallace; Jim Folsom; Shirley Chisholm; Arthur Shores; black unity; and role of lacks in Alabama politics.

Interview #41- Reed, Thomas – 1972 interview: strategy for black election; ADC-NDPA conference in Mobile, 1972 (Southern Political Caucus); and predictions on the 1972 Presidential election.

Interview #42- Ross, Joe Nathan – Co-chairman of Tuscaloosa County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Joe N. Ross; Civil Rights movement; NDPA purposes and structure; ADC-NDPA controversy; whites in NDPA; George Wallace; Alabama State University; Harassment; and lack of unity.

Interview #43- Sellers, Aaron – Member of Bullock County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Aaron Sellers; voter registration; illiteracy tests; intimidation and violence; NAACP; Bullock County NDPA’s black apathy; ADC-NDPA conflict; black officials in Bullock County; NDPA platform; George Wallace; involvement with national Democrats; problems of Bullock County; churches and political meetings; and future of NDPA.

Interview #44- Shores, Arthur D. – Member of Alabama Democratic Conference, 1972 interview: class make-up of NDPA; black disorganization; civil disobedience; and the 1970 governors race.

Interview #45- Shores, Arthur D. -- 1972 interview: blacks involved in Alabama politics; Alabama election law; Birmingham; labor involvement; ADC involvement in the regular Democratic party; 1972 challenge to the 1972 Alabama delegation to the Democratic National convention; and black-white political coalition.

Interview #46- Sippial, Simuel – Financial Committee Chairman, Montgomery County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Simuel Sippial; poll taxes and voting; candidate qualifications; jobs for black students; unity of black groups; teacher’s salaries; involvement of ministers; candidates for legislature and city commissioner; party certification in Alabama; purpose of NDPA and integration; ADC-NDPA coalition; leadership problems; NDPA. Congressional candidates in Montgomery County; financing; George Wallace; inter-party communication and NDPA papers.

Interview #47- Thomas, Maxie – Secretary of Tuscaloosa County NDPA. 1972 interview: biological information on Maxie Thomas; white power structure in Tuscaloosa County; SCLC; split of black vote; NDPA-ADC controversy; John Cashin; organization; future of black politics in Alabama; inter-party communications; cross-party voting; and black participation in the regular Democratic Party.

Interview #48- Thompson, Perry – President of Local 1466 of United Steel Worker’s of America. 1972 interview: biographical information on Perry Thompson; George Wallace, integrated unions; Richard Nixon; John Cashin; Alabama Democratic Conferences; and union endorsements.

Interview #49- Watford, Lena – Member of Hale County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Lena Watford; voter registration; campaign duties; organization; convention; and John Sparkman.

Interview #50- Williams, Homer B. – Secretary of Monroe County NDPA. 1972 interview: biographical information on Homer B. Williams; Monroe County NDPA; 1970 election; organization; party loyalty; George Wallace; class make-up of NDPA; John Cashin; and 1972 election plans.

Interview #51- Williams, Jimmy – Representative United Steel Worker’s of America. 1972 interview: biographical information on Jimmy Williams; labor involvement in black politics; cooperation between Unions and regular Democrats; Knights of Labor; segregated districts; caucus; union advances in civil rights for blacks; Arthur Shores; goals of union; utility rates; veterans; Birmingham; and unemployment.

Interview #52- Williams, Clarence – Chairman Dallas County NDPA and Johnson, Joe R., member Dallas County NDPA. Joint interview 1972: biographical information on Clarence Williams and Joe R. Johnson; Dallas County NDPA; intimidation and judicial injustice; 1970 Governor’s race; state organization; purpose of NDPA; 1966 Governor’s race; racial voting patterns; education in Alabama; and Fred Grey.

Interview #53- Discussion with James Terry, Joe R. Johnson, and Clarence Williams about the Co-op.

Interview #54- "The Greene County Special Election" – A documentary on the Supreme Court ordered special election held in Greene County, Alabama on July 29, 1969. The election resulted in control of the county passing into the hands of its black population, with outnumbered whites four to one. The Greene County special election was the first significant test of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The voices of John Cashin, Ralph Abernathy, Hosea Williams; Albert Turner, William McKinley Branch, Senator Birch Bayh, and local black candidates are heard. Field recordings by Lowell Carmony and Al Silbowitz. Technical Producer was George Craig. Taped from KPFA, Berkeley.

Interview #55- Tapes of the credentials challenge in Birmingham, 1972 over full participation in the national Democratic convention.

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Index to Selected Topics in the Interviews
Affirmative Action  #19
Alabama Sharecroppers Union #19
Bessemer, Alabama #13
Birmingham, Alabama #9, 10, 30
Birmingham World #30
Black, Hugo #9
Black Muslims #1, 3, 5, 6, 10
Black Panther Party #27, 34, 35, 38
Brewer, Albert #30
Bullock County, Alabama #23, 24, 32, 43
Convict Lease #9
Co-op #53
Dallas County, Alabama #52, 53
Depression #9, 19
DuBoise, W. E. B. #6
Eastland, James #9
Election Laws, Alabama #14, 29
Elliot, Carl #6
Elmore County, Alabama #9
Flowers, Richmond #5, 6, 10, 13
Greene County, Alabama #1, 2, 10, 13, 18, 20, 22, 37, 54
Greene County Progressive Association #22
Hale County, Alabama #1, 20, 22, 49
Holmes, Alvin #20
Huntsville, Alabama #5, 6, 37
Jackson, Jesse #6
Jefferson County, Alabama #10, 13
King, Martin Luther #4, 30
Knights of Labor #51
Ku Klux Klan #9, 30
Lowndes County, Alabama #1, 10, 13, 24, 27, 29, 34, 35
Lowndes County Christian Movement 
for Human Rights 
Lowndes County Freedom Organization #10
Macon County, Alabama #19
Marengo County, Alabama #13
Marijuana #17
McGovern, George #13
Mobile County, Alabama #15, 17, 40
Monroe County, Alabama #7, 50
Montgomery County, Alabama #4, 36, 46
Montgomery Bus Boycott #9
New Democratic Coalition #12
Patterson, John #9
Perry County, Alabama  #16
Poll Tax #9, 27, 30
Reapportionment – Alabama #13, 19
Republican Party of Alabama #10
Roosevelt, Franklin D. #9
Southern Conference on Human Welfare #9
Southern Congress of Democrats #19
Southern Democratic Conference #6
Southern Tenant Farmer’s Union #19
Sumter County, Alabama #26
Tennessee – Tombigbee Waterway #20
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama #8, 42, 47
Tuskegee Army Air Field #19
Underwood, Oscar #9
United Steel Workers #48, 51
Eutaw, Alabama #2
Vacca, Pat #10
Vance, Robert #4, 9, 39
Voter Registration #2, 3, 7, 19, 23, 34
Voting Rights Act, 1965 #5
Washington, Booker T. #6, 19
White Citizen’s Council #9
White Primary #30
Wilcox County, Alabama #3,12, 13, 25, 29, 31

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