Oral history interview with Florence Fields Wood, 1971


Wood, Florence Fields (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Florence Fields Wood, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Florence Fields Wood : oral history, 1971; Oral history of Florence Fields Wood, 1971
In this interview with Henry G. La Brie III, Florence Fields Wood discusses the life of Reverend Fleming Emory Alexander (1888 - ), and his work at the Roanoke Tribune. Wood discusses Fleming's birthplace and the early years of his life, his schooling, and family life as an adult. Wood recounts details of his leadership at Schaeffer Memorial Baptist Church located in Christiansburg, Virginia. She r ecounts his work with newspapers in West Virginia and Virginia - Christiansburg and Richmond - before settling in Roanoke and starting the Roanoke Tribune in 1939. Wood also recalls Fleming's education, how she came to work as a musician at Schaeffer Memorial, and how she began to assisting him at the Roanoke Tribune in 1950. She also discusses Alexander's decision to name his daughter, Claudia Alexander Whitworth, as its publisher and editor following his automobile accident. Wood discusses the impact of the Tribune on the Roanoke community and its significance for Roanoke's black community, his political aspirations, and the role black politicians should play on behalf of their constituents. During the interview Alexander discusses her sister's death and her beliefs about the differences between the black press and mainstream media; and the main purpose for the black press. Finally, Alexander discusses the politics of a family run business, Claudia Alexander Whitworth's plans for the paper in addition to the Tribune's circulation, subscription and advertising revenue, and her plans for upgrades to, and operations of the paper.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
African American women journalists; Family-owned business enterprises; Journalism--Political aspects; Newspapers--Circulation; Advertising--Newspapers; Journalists; African Americans--Civil rights; African American press; African American journalists; Roanoke (Va.); United States Race relations; Wood, Florence Fields
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 44 pages
Note (Biographical)
Florence Fields Wood served as the City Editor for the Roanoke Tribune. The paper, founded by Reverend Fleming Emory Alexander in 1939, is still published today. Prior to joining the Tribune Wood was a teacher in Richmond, Virginia, and War, West Virg inia. In addition she was a musician at a church in Richmond Virginia. This interview was scheduled with Reverend Alexander however, due to an automobile accident, Florence Fields Wood was asked to share her memories of his work.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on July 9, 1971.
Note (Provenance)
Henry G. La Brie III Gift, 1975
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
Persistent URL
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Available digital content for this interview.