1958: Interracial group at meeting of the North Carolina State A.F.L.-C.I.O. Left to right: unidentified, Ralph Smith, Emmett Akridge, unidentified, Carlee Drye, Cary Allen, and Joe Kirk, Jr. P-4007/H-001, SOHP Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection.

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I remember very distinctly saying, ‘Well Poppa, what is a union?’ And he said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you: a union is an organization of people getting together to try to better their working conditions. Now,’ he said, ‘I carry a union card, but don’t tell anybody, because the union’s not recognized where I work and I’d lose my job . . . If a person lives in this world without trying to make it a better place to live in, he’s not trying to make it a better place to live in, he’s not living. He’s just taking up space.’ It stuck to me all through the years. And I agree with him.

Interview with Eula McGill by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, 3 February 1976 G-0040-1, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection.