Oral history interview with Betty Rosemond, 2000


Rosemond, Betty (Interviewee)
Michaels, Sheila, 1939-2017 (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Betty Rosemond, 2000
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Betty Rosemond, 2000; Oral history of Betty Rosemond, 2000
Betty Rosemond begins the interview discussing the Woolworth's lunch counter protests in New Orleans. Rosemond describes her time on the Woolworth's picket lines, segregation of the New Orleans bus system, and her introduction to the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) at Louisiana State University. She names Jean and Alice Thompson, Patricia Smith, and Oretha Castle Haley as members of New Orleans CORE. She describes their meetings and the tactics of their Woolworth's campaign. She recalls the emotions felt on a trip to a desegregated Woolworth's with her mother. Rosemond discusses her experience on multiple the Freedom Rides: from Lousiana to Beaumont, Texas and Louisiana to Alabama. Rosemond recalls Freedom Riders being attacked by a white mob in November 1961 in Poplarville, Mississippi, where Mack Charles Parker was lynched two years prior. She describes her escape from the mob by hiding in a phone booth and being smuggled out by a local Black man who drove her ninety miles back to New Orleans. She summarizes the Patricia Smith's and Frank Nelson's trials in Poplarville, and how the Poplarville story circulated. She also discusses her family and her brothers' deployment to Vietnam. Rosemond recalls the Washington, DC National CORE conference in 1962 and a protest in Alexandria, Virginia. She describes the atmosphere of Alexandria and the role of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in supporting CORE action. Rosemond met her husband at the CORE conference and they subsequently moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Rosemond compares the South with her experiences in Cincinnati. Rosemond concludes the interview reflecting on her life as an activist, writer, mother, and grandmother
Collection Name
Sheila Michaels civil rights organization oral history collection
Civil rights movements--History--20th century.--United States; Civil rights demonstrations--Louisiana; Civil rights workers--History--20th century.--Mississippi; United States Race relations 20th century; Rosemond, Betty; Congress of Racial Equality
oral histories
Physical Description
57 pages
Note (Biographical)
Betty Rosemond is a former Freedom Rider from New Orleans, Louisiana. Rosemond was born in New Orleans in 1939. She participated in demonstrations against Woolworth's as a student at Joseph S. Clark High School. Later, while a student at Louisiana Sta te University, she joined the second Freedom Ride to Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama. She joined the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and attended the organization's 1962 conference in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia, where she was part of a mass arrest. Following her time in CORE, Rosemond relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she raised three children. She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, was inducted into Ohio's Civil Rights Hall of Fame, and was honored for her activism by President Barack Obama
Interviewed by Sheila Michaels on October 5, 2000
Note (Provenance)
Sheila Michaels, Gift circa 2000-2005
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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