Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Christine Francis Neal Williams, March 18, 1994

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Introduction / family history

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Partial Transcript: --pick up pretty much anywhere.

Segment Synopsis: Williams gives her family history, focusing primarily on her mother and grandfather.

Keywords: African American Appalachians; Appalachia; Welch (W. Va.)

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Education.; Families.; Genealogy

00:06:19 - Early childhood / normalization of a segregated school system

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Partial Transcript: Mmmm, my, um, parents were school teachers.

Segment Synopsis: Williams talks about her parents' jobs as school teachers, their position in the community, and their poor but adequate life during the Great Depression. She also touches on the segregated school system, and the normalization of both that and their poverty.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Education; Great Depression; Racial prejudice; Racism; Segregation

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; African Americans.; Appalachia; Depressions--1929; Education.; Racism.; Segregation in education; Teachers

00:13:38 - Segregated secondary education / marriage during WWII / career

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Partial Transcript: And then you graduated from Welch-Dunbar?

Segment Synopsis: Williams tells the story of her secondary education and time at Bluefield State College, as well as her marriage to a GI and her early work as a teacher. She quit work to be a housewife and then went back to work in social work.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Education; Racial prejudice; Racism; Segregation; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Education.; Racism.; Segregation.; World War, 1939-1945

00:19:38 - On a lasting marriage and being a good parent

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Partial Transcript: And we, uh, celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Segment Synopsis: Upon learning Williams has been married for fifty years, the interviewer asks the secret to a lasting marriage. This leads into a discussion on being a good parent and respecting one's children as individuals.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Child rearing; Divorce; Education

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Child rearing.; Divorce.; Education.

00:27:11 - Her oldest son, Ellis Ray

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Partial Transcript: And, um, then my son, Ronald, who is the middle boy, there, uh, there is Ellis Ray, Junior...

Segment Synopsis: Williams talks about her son Ellis Ray, Jr., his career and how proud she is of his and his wife's charitable nature for taking in a boy who wasn't their own, among other things.

Keywords: Adopted children; African Americans; Appalachia; Christianity; Education

Subjects: Adopted children.; African Americans; Appalachia; Christianity.; Education.

00:31:33 - Her oldest daughter, Francis

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Partial Transcript: The second girl--I mean, the first girl, is in, uh, Columbus, Ohio.

Segment Synopsis: Williams discusses her oldest daughter, her and her husband's work as lawyers, and their children.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Christianity; Education; Lawyers

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Christianity.; Education.; Lawyers.

00:33:24 - Her second daughter, Patricia

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Partial Transcript: The next girl is unmarried, Patricia.

Segment Synopsis: Williams talks about her second daughter's work in commercial art.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Artists; Education

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Artists.; Education.

00:36:06 - Self-sufficiency and the youth

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Partial Transcript: But I feel that's another thing, with our youth, that we need to teach them to be self-sufficient.

Segment Synopsis: Williams gives her views on raising children to be self-sufficient, and also reveals that all seven of her kids graduated college.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Child rearing; Education

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Child rearing.; Education.

00:38:03 - Her third daughter, Billie Jo

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Partial Transcript: The next girl Billie Jo, Billie Jo Sanford, she married a ballplayer.

Segment Synopsis: Williams talks about her third daughter, Billie Jo, who is married to a former-ballplayer and has worked as an engineer but now runs her own business.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Education

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Education.

00:40:52 - Future for Welch, West Virginia

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you, we've, we've talked about--so your life's been tremendously involved with children.

Segment Synopsis: Williams discusses her thoughts on the present community of Welch, West Virginia and her hopes for its future. The closing of the coal mines really hurt the region because they employed people regardless of race. She considers employment opportunities and a larger population as absolutely vital.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Coal mining; Education; Mining; Racial prejudice; Racism; Segregation; Welch (W. Va.)

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Education; Racism.; Segregation.

00:45:40 - Societal changes / work ethic / her middle son Ronald

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Partial Transcript: So the work ethic is different?

Segment Synopsis: Williams discusses her perceptions on the changing work ethic in society, particularly in regards to her middle son Ronald. In addition, she talks about racial prejudice in the school system.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Christianity; Education; Racial prejudice; Racism

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; African Americans.; Appalachia; Christianity.; Education.; Racism.; Segregation in education

00:55:52 - Conclusion / her youngest children / future for the town and society

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Partial Transcript: But, uh, well, I'll tell you.

Segment Synopsis: In her concluding remarks, Williams talks about the future for the town and child rearing, and mentions her youngest two children who are just reaching adulthood, and decides that she has had a wonderful life.

Keywords: African Americans; Appalachia; Child rearing; Racial prejudice; Racism

Subjects: African Americans.; Appalachia; Child rearing.; Christianity.; Education.; Racism.