Griffin African American Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Georgia--History, Local
African Americans--History


The Griffin African American Oral History Project is a collaboration between the Griffin Branch NAACP, the Griffin Campus Library of the University of Georgia, and the Richard B. Russell Library. The seed was planted in the meetings of the Educational Prosperity Initiative which is also chaired by the president of the Griffin Branch NAACP, Jewel Walker-Harps. Collaborators on the project include: Griffin Housing Authority; Spalding County Collaborative; Fairmont Alumni Association; University of Georgia—Athens and Griffin campuses; and the Educational Prosperity Initiative, which is an affiliate of the Spalding County Collaborative and others. Interviewers on the project include: John Cruickshank, librarian at UGA-Griffin Campus Library; Jewel Walker-Harps, President of the Griffin, GA Branch of the NAACP; Art Cain, coordinator of Continuing Education for UGA-Griffin; Be-Atrice Cunningham, project manager for College of Agricultural and Environmental Science for Griffin; and Ellen Bauske, senior public service associate at the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture in Griffin.
The Griffin African American Oral History Project intends to document the experiences of people who lived in Fairmont Community in Griffin, Georgia during the civil rights era and through its transformation to the present day.


Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies


Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies






Griffin, Georgia

Interviews in this Collection:


Love Maddox was born in Griffin, Georgia and served as one of the first African American policemen during the integration of the Griffin community police force. Throughout his career, Maddox also served in the city of Atlanta. In this interview,…


Juanitress Morris Cofield was born in 1966 in Griffin, Georgia. As the daughter of a farmer and teacher, Morris Cofield lived in the predominantly African American area of Griffin near the peak of the civil rights movement. In this interview, Morris…


Cheryl Rashad Head and Raymond Head III were born in Griffin, Georgia in 1948 and 1950, respectively. Cheryl and Raymond are the children of civil rights activist Raymond Head Jr., and experienced first-hand the effects of discrimination on the…


Charlotte Eady was born in Blackshear, Georgia, and grew up during mandatory integration, being one of first three African American students at her high school. Eady works as an associate professor of education leadership at Jacksonville State…


William Walker was born in Wetumpka, Alabama and came to Griffin, Georgia in 1959 to teach at Moore Elementary School. Walker later became the first black president of the newly integrated Griffin Middle School before he took a position in the…


Walter Pyron was born in Griffin, Georgia and attended Anna Shockley Elementary during the years of segregation. Pyron additionally worked as the band director for Griffin High School before becoming the assistant principal of Futral Road Elementary…


Larry Caldwell grew up in Springhill, Georgia during the era of segregation. He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and when he returned, attended Griffin Technical Institute before he attained employment at General Motors. In this…


Howard Wallace grew up in the 1930s in Griffin, Georgia. As a young adult, Wallace joined the Biracial Committee where he worked on the integration process of Griffin. In this interview, Wallace talks about his upbringing, the racial aspects of…


Harvey Pilkenton grew up in rural Griffin, Georgia in the 1950’s during desegregation. Pilkenton currently works with the Griffin Housing Authority. In this interview, Pilkenton talks about his experiences during desegregation, his family, and his…


Wyomia Tyus grew up in Griffin, Georgia where she attended Anne-Shockley Elementary School and Fairmount High School. She later attended Tennessee State University where she ran, and competed in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. In this interview Tyus…

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