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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There's coffee brewing over at the sink.

BRADEN: Oh, at the sink.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And there's coffee brewing down here.

BRADEN: Oh, oh, brewing coffee. Okay. Thanks. I've been so discombobulated in recent years because all of the sudden a few years ago people started giving me awards.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I said, you know, that, um, so I said, I think, that, um, that I want to talk about Carl a little bit, because I would have been a very different person if I hadn't met Carl, you know, really. And Carl never lived long enough to get any of the awards.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: You know? And, uh--(laughs)--and I, and nobody expected to. I mean I don't think he sat around bothering about it. I can't remember those days anybody getting an award for anything--(laughs)--now--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: Every-, peop-, people are always giving each other awards. But, um, it was kind of, you know, you had to spend, you had to live a while I guess.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But anyway, where do you want to start? I mean did you want to--

HONEY: Well--

BRADEN: --you just, you know, you ask me one question and I'll just chatter--

HONEY: Okay.

BRADEN: --on, so you have to stop me.

HONEY: Yeah. Well, I guess my, my first simple question is about Carl 1:00is, um, you know, there's details in your book about his upbringing. And, and I know, you know, about that from talking to him somewhat. But it seems like he was, uh, kind of exemplary, at least to me he's always seemed to be an exemplary person in the South as a white worker or someone who came from a working class background who became so clear on the race issue and who organized around that and really--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --put his life on the line for it. And I realize this was in the context of a lot of other things that he believed about labor and, um, building coalitions and all of that. But, I guess my simple question is why was Carl different than most people? Or was he that different?

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: Uh, how do you figure it?

BRADEN: I don't know. I mean, why are any of us different, you know, uh, in the sense that-- and why are you different from, maybe, some people you grew up with that aren't doing what you ended up doing? So 2:00you--that's a hard thing to figure out. And I think, um, let me see ----------(??). I think Carl--the truth of the matter is, and I think, I think it's been so long since I read my own book, that I alluded to this in the book, in a way I think the drive on the, um, black racism issue came from me.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I think that--I mean, like, Carl would have always been on the right side of that. But had that become the central thing that we worked on, because I was the one who had the passion about that--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --because of things we don't need to go into now with my background, you know?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because, um, I think, you know, I think, because Carl's, um, orientation and, and, and this will repeat a lot of the stuff I guess I put about him in my book, but, you know, it was never any doubt in Carl's mind that he was a part of the working class and he was a very 3:00conscious part of it and he was proud of it.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I suppose he got that from his father. Um, but you know, I think that kind of thing is important today. I mean most people that are working class aren't proud of it today.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: You know? Because it's been--and, and a lot of people were, when-- that's something that's happened to the minds of people in this country, working people--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --uh, over the last, what, two decades or three dec-, well, however long it's been. Maybe the Cold War was part of it, but also the ----------(??) everything, um, I know that, um, in fact, just a few years ago when SOC was having a conference on building labor community coalitions and we were having an organizing meeting for it, Jack O'Dell, you know, Jack of course--

HONEY: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: --gave the, uh, keynote. And he was making that point. He says, "One thing we have to do," and I can't remember Jack's phraseology 'cause he's so eloquent. But it was something--the idea was that we've got to reinstate the idea of the working class as a 4:00key force in this country and something to be proud of. And, and he attacked this whole concept, which just drives me up the wall too, of the underclass. You know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And do you know, you know Judy Hand, of course.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: See, Judy is real proud of being working class and she feels like a lot of, she's a, uh, ----------(??) as a white woman in, uh, Birmingham who's very active in anti-racist work and everything else now, but became, came to maturity after the sixties, you know, and got into that. Uh, and I never will forget, she and I were on the phone one day with Ben Chavis talking about this conference we were gonna have on, on unions and labor rights. This was just three or four years ago, and I'll come back to Carl in a minute because see, this ties in because he was always proud of that.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But Ben used to having been around the labor movement since he did a little work in North Carolina, you know, in the sixties.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, and with the things now, you wouldn't run into it and he wasn't quite sure what this conference was all about, but if it was 5:00SOC doing it was all right and he'd support it. And he said, he says, "The only thing is," he says, "People, most people were affluent, I'm speaking to people." He said, um, "They really don't con-, see, consider themselves part of the union movement or anything." And he said, "They're the underclass." And I thought Judy was gonna climb through the phone. She said, "Ben," she said, "You don't use that phrase do you? Or that word?" And he, well, he, he said, "Well, that's what they call 'em." (laughs) And he said-- she said, "I think we ought to jettison that term." (laughs)

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: (Fosl laughs) And what Jack said, he says, "You know, the under- , what they call the underclass is nothing but working class people who don't have jobs and maybe their father's and grandfather's didn't have jobs." But that whole concept of being a part of the working class, which as you know, 'cause you know more than I do about that 'cause you, you've studied labor history, that at least it's my impression, was a real strong strain in the country in the last part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. And of course into the thirties, right?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And so that wasn't unusual. And that, and Carl grew up with 6:00that. And his father-- see, I never knew his father, 'cause he had died long before I met him, Carl. He died young of a stroke. All Braden men seem to die young, usually of heart trouble.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: Um, Carl's two brothers and the youngest one who's two years younger than I am just died a couple of weeks ago, died of heart attacks. But his father died of a stroke when he was still pretty young. I don't think he was probably more than fifty or something. Anyway, it was long before I met Carl. So I never knew him. And I think that it's possible that Carl romanticized him a little bit, as people tend to do. And he did say, and I don't think he and Carl were very close, personally--

HONEY: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And his father had a lot of problems, and who doesn't. Um, I knew his mother of course quite well. And she was, uh, she was a wonderful woman. And like, um, you know, never did anything but stay home and take care of her family sort of thing.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Thought that's what women were supposed to do. Um, but she was, 7:00she, she--you know, in a different day, in a different setting she'd a done a lot more, right?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But she was always very--oh, she just adored Carl. Carl could do no wrong. He was the oldest child. She had lost two babies before Carl came along--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --um, from bad milk. So when Carl came, she was determined she was gonna--he was gonna live. And she nursed him for two years. Carl remembers nursing.

HONEY: Hmm. Hmm. Wow.

BRADEN: And I don't--

HONEY: Bad milk that they had bought, you mean?

BRADEN: Yeah. Yeah.

HONEY: Oh.

BRADEN: Well, it wasn't pasteurized or something and it killed both of them, the two older children. So she nursed Carl for two years and I don't know whether you believe the psychologist, nursing a long time is supposed to make you secure. You're still nursing, right?

FOSL: Yeah. ----------(??).

BRADEN: And I--when, when my first child came along, I tried--I nursed all mine. But my milk always gave out and, and it--my children, boy, 8:00if anybody was insecure, it was Jim.

But I think one thing, I, you know, I did all the right things, I thought. I nursed him till he was nine, I think nine months, a year. Oh, but by that time I'd given out of milk and that poor child was hungry, which does not leave to feeling too secure. You know, so. But anyway, that--and I say that because I always felt like Carl had a real inner security.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So whether it's related to that or something--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --else, I don't know. But you gotta have a, you know, he was explosive, as you know, and he would get--but he had a core of calmness about him that I never had. You know. And I would watch my kids, 'cause my son was more like me. He would, you know, go to pieces and get upset about things. And my daughter, the one who died, was real calm. She had some inner core of calm too, you know, that nothing else could touch. And, and Carl sort of had that, for some reason. Well, I think, you know, in a sense he had a secure childhood, not financially 'cause they were, you know, real poor and kind of starved and all that 9:00sometimes. But probably emotionally he did, 'cause his mother was a very loving mother--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and she took care of the children. And Carl was the oldest, since the others had died. And, um, he could just do no wrong, which didn't--and even till the day he died she took that position. And, which didn't sit too well with some of the other children, you know, who thought that--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and all that. But, um--

FOSL: What did his father do, excuse me?

BRADEN: What did his father do? He--I don't know all he did in his life. But he--when, in Carl's memory he was--he worked in the L & N shops here for the railroad.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But he wasn't on a train, he did some sort of work in the yards. And, um, he had come from, I guess, I think Carl's father grew up in the rural area of Kentucky, LaRue County I think it was, you know. If I had known years ago that I was gonna maybe someday write about these people I'd a spent more time finding out. I mean--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --history is interesting. And so I just have to kind of 10:00remember. But I'm pretty sure that was it. His mother, um, came actually from Louisville, across the river in Indiana of, uh, German immigrants who had come over, I guess, in the middle of the last century maybe?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, uh, but had that German tradition, which was part of, at least that's the stereotype I guess, but the whole idea of the, of woman's place being in the home is part of that.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, and, and she accepted that. But she was always, as I say, not only adored Carl, but she was very supportive his, of his politics too.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I know that for example, um, what was it, a long--not too many years before Carl died I think--Carl--she would always call up Carl wanting to know who to vote for, 'cause she knew Carl kept up with things. And Carl would take her over a marked ballot or something. But she--it was one year, it actually may have been, may have been 11:00sooner than that. Maybe it was '68 or something. But there was a Socialist Workers Party had a, a candidate for president on the ballot, as they usually do.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So she said--well, she knew who she was gonna vote for president. And Carl said, "Well, who?" and I wasn't there, but he was talking about it. She said, "Well, the Socialist Workers' person." She said--he said, "Well, now Mom, I'm not sure that's the best candidate." "Well, he's--it, it says socialist." (laughs) And she said, she said, "And the first time I ever voted, I voted for a socialist. And that--and this may be the last time. But I'm sure gonna vote for the socialist." So--(Honey laughs)--Carl, he wasn't gonna change her vote. I forget who else was running. (laughs) But, um, so she, you know, would support him like that. But she wasn't active. And I don't know, as I say, I think that from what--I know Carl told me one time, he never, that he and his father didn't have a really close working relationship, I mean close personal relationship. Um, and I don't know the, any details. But, um, he, he always in his conscious 12:00mind, Carl identified with what his father stood for in terms of just being a strong union person, which his father was. Now how he got to be that way, I don't know. If he moved up here to Louisville, from the country, you know, and may have gone to work at the L & N shops right away--he may have worked somewhere else before. I don't know. But that's what Carl remembers. That's in my book. Because he--they went on strike. It was a, it was a very famous strike.

HONEY: Yeah, nationwide.

BRADEN: And when Carl was about eight years old, and his m-, and, and Carl remembers his father chasing a scab down the street to throw a rock at him.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: You know, that was the kind of thing that he did.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, and almost starving, that's what Carl said, just 'cause they didn't have anything to eat. And I imagine they had much strike funds, you know, and then just eat beans or something and kept going. It went on for months and months. And I guess the strike was finally lost.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: And so he lost his job and he never went back there. And he went to work for Ford, which had a plant right down on the parkway near 13:00where I lived, Ford Motor Companies.

HONEY: Um-hm. What was his father's first name?

BRADEN: His father James.

HONEY: James.

BRADEN: My--our son's named for him.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, yeah, they--it was--I don't know when that Ford plant opened up. But now this--and I guess it wasn't--do you know when that railroad, that L & N strike was?

HONEY: Nineteen twenty-two.

BRADEN: Well, I could figure that from Carl's age. He said he was eight. Yeah, that would be right, Carl was born in 1914. So it was '22, right?

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: So, okay, well the Ford plant was already there and I don't know when it had been built. So it was one of the early Ford plants, right, 'cause I don't--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --when they started making those Fords. And--well, you know the story of Ford. Of course this was supposed to be good pay or something--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: --compared to other places. And terrible speed up. And, um, and he went to work there. You know where the Ford now-- there's still a big Ford plant in Louisville, but they closed that down and moved out south of Louisville.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: And it's one of--

HONEY: The old one was in the West End, though?

14:00

BRADEN: Um-hm. Just, uh--on Western Parkway just a block and a half from where I lived. And right next to the, you know, in the Black Six case, Mike, what they were accused of was conspiring to blow, blow up those oil refineries, remember--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --which were on the Parkway. And God knows, it's too bad they didn't blow 'em up. (Fosl laughs) They, they closed--really, they closed those oil refineries a few years ago and there's all this stuff sitting there rusting, I think putting fumes out in the air and everything. It's just--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: -- an eyesore they've got. But right next door to that was the old Ford plant. But you-- by the time you were here, I think the new one was built and so forth. But anyway, that's where he worked, I guess, until he died. And, um, he died very suddenly, as I recall, on Christmas or Christmas Eve. And just dropped dead of a stroke. But, but he would--he about worked himself to death, like everybody did in the Ford plant. And Carl, I think, um, but he remembers him just coming home from work and not--being too tired to eat supper. He would just fall asleep.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, but he wasn't any leader in his union or anything like 15:00that. He was just a, a rank and file worker, I guess. And, um, um, but he was also--considered himself a socialist and follower of Eugene Debs. And I don't-- you know I don't think he was any, um, he certainly wasn't any scholar.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I don't know how much he read, you know. But he knew about Debs. And, and he was a socialist. And Debs--and Carl remembered at least once and maybe more, as a little boy going with his father to hear Debs speak when he'd come to town.

HONEY: Oh yeah?

BRADEN: Um-hm. That's what he says.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Well, maybe that's the kind of thing you can imagine later. But he thinks so. And there was, you know, there was a Socialist Party in Kentucky. That's why they passed the state sedition law here.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It was aimed at the Socialist Party after--during the Palmer 16:00Raids after World War I. And, um, and they had a hall, I'm not ----- -----(??) where it was. I think it was probably here on Main Street. That's where a lot of things were. But, um, oh, I remember Carl telling me one time that his father's idea of socialism or the way he thought that what he--they were all thrilled by the Russian Revolution.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he can remember his father and some of his friends sitting around their kitchen table counting the money they'd collected to send to the people in Russia.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: But his, but his father's idea was that, this, that we would have a socialist revolution here and they would take over city hall.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That's what he was thinking about, was taking over city hall. I mean that's the way that he thought.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um--

HONEY: He can remember them counting money for, to send to the Soviet Union around--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --the kitchen table?

BRADEN: Um-hm. (Honey laughs) Yeah. Reminds me of, um, this, you know, 17:00the other thing and I, I--as you-- ----------(??) did I dream that, because there's another story, but yes, Carl talked about that.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But this--I've heard the same kind of story from Rosa Parks who remembers her husband [knocking sound] who really went to pieces later, you know, but it was--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: --active before she was in the older days. And she wasn't too much. As a young woman she remembers [knocking sound] her husband and his friends coming in and pulling the blinds down to make sure nobody would see, and counting money they had collected for the Scottsboro case. So I was trying to think if I imagined that, but no, Carl did say that. But that's what they'd do.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: --so, so by the time I met Carl, which of course was much later, and he had been married and so and was married when I met him actually. And how old was Carl when I met him, 'cause I was, he was in his early thirties. I was in my early twenties. But--and you know, working for the paper and everything for a long time. That's that, but, um, it 18:00was--well, as, you know, as it came across to me, see it was all so new to me 'cause I had never been around unions. I had never been around the working class, really. You know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean I grew up in a privileged setting, not rich, you know, ----------(??) at all, but privileged.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. Working people were people who lived on the other-- white working people, let alone black ones--lived on the other side of the tracks amongst the textile mills. But I didn't know 'em. Well, I did a little bit, 'cause some of 'em came to my church. I knew this, this minister at the church in Anniston at that time had some sort of a social conscience. I loved him. I'd heard since in relatively recent years, I ran into one of his sons in New York who'd gone through a lot of changes and I often wonder what's happened to him now, but he had-- he was kind of a musician and he had married sort of a progressive left wing woman. And I went to have supper with 'em and, and actually we put on a little fundraiser thing for SOC. And he told me some stories 19:00about how racist, looking back, his father was, this minister I'm talking about.

HONEY: Um-hm.

FOSL: You're talking about Stoney?

BRADEN: Stoney, Jim Stoney. And, um, but he also had this thing about poor people. Now I don't know how was, you know, impinged on me at the time, black folk, but these were white poor people. And he set up missions on the other side of town, from our church. But those kids would come to our Sunday school, although they never were really accepted obviously. But they-- nobody was hostile to 'em. But generally, you know, this was a remote world, I mean it really was.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean, see, I think people just don't want to admit sometimes what a class structured society this is.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And if you live the, the tensions between the classes like I have, my--a friend of, you know, Yvonne Pappenheim--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --so, she's a good friend of mine still.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And she, she was gonna write a book, not a book, but something 20:00about this one point. And maybe somebody--I'll ask her. I thought she told me somebody had written it, and maybe you know about it, but the class struggle within each other's.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because there is such a chasm in the way people think. There's obviously a chasm between black and white, which is, I think, in some ways has gotten deeper in the last few years.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It's contradictory. That's a whole another subject. I better not get off on that. And, uh, a lot of people are aware of that. But there is such a chasm in thinking depending on what class you're in.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Now the people want, uh, if they are born into a poor or working class, most people want to rise out of it. And you can, I guess, and you do, yes, you can still, you know, in this society. You can get the right breaks, get a scholarship to go to college and stuff like that. But there's a deep chasm and it's like moving from one world 21:00to another. And when I came to Louisville I knew, you know, I'm--I don't want to get off my story right now. But I knew a lot of things were wrong. I was kind of running away, as you know. But--and I felt like--and, and then you see, I stayed, I ended up staying here, not only because I ran into people who were doing things about segregation, but also I ran into the union movement for the first time and working people--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --through Carl, because Carl was, by that time, labor reporter on the Louisville Times. And he, I guess, got interested in me before I was thinking of him in, you know, sexually--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --or romantically at all. But he would arrange for me to go cover things. He didn't work on Saturday. He actually, he would not work on Saturday. That was his labor rights. So, but he would arrange for--and I worked on Saturday 'cause I was still willing to work for nothing if they'd ask me to 'cause I loved newspaper work, you 22:00know, and it always surprised me by giving me a paycheck and told--and actually Carl finally influenced me on that. He persuaded me to put in for the time and a half, for overtime.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: On Sunday they sent me somewhere and he says, "You put in for double time." So I said, "Okay." And I did. They never sent me on a Sunday assignment again. (Honey laughs) But I was, but I had, you know, growing up I hadn't needed any money. So I--when I got my first job I couldn't believe somebody was paying me to do something I really enjoyed doing, you know? But--so but he would arrange for me to go cover some of the union meetings, and there were strikes going on. This was post-World War II, strikes still happening when I--

HONEY: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: --came here in '47. And there would be strike meetings and stuff, and he would arrange for me to go cover these. So I got to know some of those people. And this was just a whole new world ---------- (??). And there's--and then I met blacks who were fighting back. And it was absolutely a new world. And I went through this thing that I had to--(Fosl clears throat)-- psychologically totally break with the world that I grew up in. And if you--if people hadn't done that, I 23:00don't know whether they understand that. That tears your insides out, 'cause you have to-- and I had to break with my family. And I didn't, in any way, but I mean I kept in touch with my family. And I'm glad now I did. Now a lot of people, you know, a lot of white southerners who went through this on the race issue broke entirely with their families. You know who tells the story about that is, uh, Stetson Kennedy.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean, he wrote Southern Exposure.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know? He's, he, that man is, what, in his eighties or nineties and he's still active in Florida. And I hadn't, I don't, I think I met him for the first time when he came to a SOC conference a few years ago and we had that conference on history. You were there.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So, well, he came to that.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he's gotten kind of active with the Center for Democratic Renewal and he'd like to be more active in SOC ----------(??). But he tells about when, when he was, I guess, doing the--well, you know, he worked undercover in the Klan. You know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And then wrote that book. And he was a marked man. And he was--and he got--it was a pretty prominent thing. And so his family 24:00was from Florida and he was an embarrassment to 'em, which is one thing we do to our families. It's not just they disagree with us, we embarrass them. But he was, but he said he was at Thanksgiving dinner or something with some of his sisters and, I don't know, his family, and one of his sisters says, "Well, I think you'd rather be with them than with us," meaning black people. You know. And he said, "Well, as a matter of fact I would." And he said he got up and walked out and never saw them again.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: Well, I didn't do that and I made a point of keeping in touch with my ----------(??) and that was pretty painful for me and my parents. And I'm glad I did. And actually that's a whole another story too. My father really went through some miraculous sort of changes in his later days. But--

HONEY: It was painful for you meaning that as you got involved in these things that when you would go back and see them and talk about things? Or how did you, how did they--do they know what you were--

BRADEN: Painful in that I really loved 'em. You know, I didn't have any, just, natural need to rebel against my family. But I loved 'em 25:00and they loved me. And painful because I knew I was hurting 'em.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: And that's, and that's the pressure that people sometimes use on people. You know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You're hurting other people. And, um, um, I had--and all sorts of things, people-- that's one of the pressures, social pressures. You know, totally different example, just s-, um, has nothing to do with family. Here in Louisville when we brought Angela Davis here to speak--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --when she was still so contro-, she's still controversial in Louisville. But it was like bringing a devil in. It was during the-- one of the early ----------(??) marches, '76 I think.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Couldn't find a church to get her in. Well, black Catholic Church, black Catholic priest was gonna have her. And then the right- wingers in the Catholic Church started to picket the dioceses in office and the bishop said, "You can't," the archbishop said, "You can't do it." And he cancelled that and we couldn't find any church to take Angela Davis, except this white minister which, I don't know if you 26:00remember him, Gil Sherlicky (??), he was involved in the open housing markets and stuff, had a, well, predominantly, maybe all black church in the West End. So he said Angela could come there and that's where we had it, it was a tremendous rally and overflowing into the streets and so forth 'cause there had been so much publicity. But he was under this, all this pressure, and he had a heart attack--

HONEY: Oh my.

BRADEN: --behind that. He lived. But, but the pressure, you know, from other Methodists. And these Methodist Churches out in the suburbs would call him up and say, "What you're doing, he--that they're gonna bomb our church 'cause we're Methodists." He said, "That's your fault." You see? And that's really what got to him. It wasn't the attack from the--saying you're just bad to do this. But it was that you're, you're gonna hurt us.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: So there was that kind of pressure. And, um, and my mother, you know, she would write these long letters. And finally I just thought I'd just sort of pull the letter out, file 'em, rewrote it, you know, how I was hurting my children, I was gonna destroy my children, all that. Maybe I did. I mean in some ways I guess I did. But I'd write 27:00back and say, "You know, my children are gonna live most of their lives in the 21st century. It's a different world. Just leave 'em alone." And then--and see, but part of that was they couldn't understand what made me do what I was doing and, and, well, they did sort of. But it was also embarrassing. You see, if I'd been doing it and hadn't--my name hadn't been in the paper and stuff, and Mother would say, "Just stay out of Alabama. You can have the rest of the United States, but stay out of Alabama." And sometimes I did. I didn't go on the Freedom Rides.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Partly that was 'cause Carl was in jail that year and it was hard, you know, hard to get away ----------(??). But, um, but she--and then she would get so upset and she'd write that she, you know, if there was any more publicity, she would actually threaten me with suicide. She just thought--

HONEY: Oh no.

BRADEN: --that she would just kill herself. You know. And that kind of stuff.

HONEY: Was that during the fifties or late-, later than that?

BRADEN: Well, it was into the sixties. It was certainly during the fifties. They sort of-- see, they survived, it was hard enough, the 28:00sedition thing was a terrible, wrenching thing to them. But after that was all over they kind of hoped that it would fade back into the scenery and things would--we'd get from their viewpoint more normal. By that time they had sort of accepted Carl. Um, and then in the sixties--but we didn't, you see. And there was more publicity and all that sort of stuff. So it just went on and on until they mellowed with time and, and I guess I did too. But, but--

HONEY: Was--

BRADEN: --anyway, that's, that's a different story. But ----------(??)--

HONEY: -- was part of their--her not accepting Carl was his class? Or was it more?

BRADEN: Oh yeah. Well, and what he thought. No, to go back, see, that was later--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --um, but when I first fell in love with Carl, when I realized I was in love, we decided to get married. And actually, well, actually we had lived together for some months before we got married. But, um, I remember I told Mother and Daddy--see, my mother's mother was still alive then, and lived some years after that, actually, and had, and her 29:00home was out at Eminence, Kentucky, which is about thirty miles from here. I used to spend the summers there when I was a child. And, um, so Mother and Daddy, and Mother and Daddy both, uh, graduated from the University of Kentucky. Well, Mother never graduated, but Daddy did. And they still-- they used to come to the Bluegrass, to Kentucky to football games and, you know, reunions and things like that. And then once I was here they'd come to see me. And that was, you know, I was-- seemed like a, to them, a normal daughter at that point. I was working on a newspaper and had a good job and was all that. Was living out in the Highlands in an apartment. And then when I moved down on Fourth Street in an apartment. And, um, and I can remember--I can't remember what had brought them here, but I guess they picked me up and we went out to Eminence, and I had decided I needed to tell 'em I was gonna get married. But it wasn't just tell 'em I was gonna get married. What I was really telling 'em was that I'm, I'm, I'm leaving your world, 30:00basically. And that's the way I felt about it.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: As a matter of fact, I was going through such a turmoil at that point that I had decided that if I was gonna handle life at all, I had to totally get away from my own background. I had decided that pretty consciously before--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: --Carl and I decided to get married, before I, before I even knew I was in love with Carl. See, I, I admired him. Carl was older, was ten years older, and he taught, was teaching me so many things, you know, that I really admired him. And to me it was a totally platonic relationship. I didn't think about him that way. And, um, and it's just a fluke that we turned out to be sexually compatible and other things, 'cause I, because I remember when, after we were living together and decided to get married, I, um, I made a special trip to see Harriet Fitzgerald, who you're more familiar with, and tell her I was gonna get married, 'cause she was my best friend. And as I said, I think I was really in love with Harriet. You know. I didn't call it 31:00that at that time, but, um, and she was, but I think it was Harriet's sister Ida, these were teachers of mine in Virginia. Well, Harriet was my role model sort of. Um, and her younger sister, who was at Stratford, um, ----------(??). Might want to close that. Um, said, "Are you marrying a man or are you marrying a movement?"

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And it could have been that I was marrying a movement. And a lot-- you know, people did that even, even in your day, right?

HONEY: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: You know. And those marriages didn't usually work out too well.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And I think that in a sense I was. But, and but for some strange reason, Carl and I turned out to be compatible, I think not just sexually, but, um, psychologically, 'cause--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and we were so different really. You know. We were really different personality-wise. And, and you remember him. We used to 32:00have a lot of fights--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- um, about how you handle things. And Carl used to say that he'd beat up people and I, and Anne buttered up. He'd beat 'em up and then I'd come along and butter 'em up. And he thought I did. You know, Carl would write these short, nasty letters to people. He'd get mad about something. And I'd have to spend two hours a six page letter explaining to somebody that, you know, we really wanted to get along. And so--(both laugh)--we had different, you know, we were so different.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I think the other thing that I used to say, and I watched this in other people, I'd say, you know, there's two kinds of people. There are people if something goes wrong, and I'm one--I'm like this, their first thought is, oh my God, what did I do wrong?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Then there's--the other kinds of people, and Carl was like this, if something goes wrong, well, why did that son of a bitch do so and so. (Honey laughs) You know?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And so we were, we were so different, and yet I think it was-- maybe we complimented each other or something, 'cause we really enjoyed living together.

HONEY: Um-hm.

FOSL: I think we--

BRADEN: Um--

FOSL: --call those the blamer and the shamer. (all laugh)

33:00

BRADEN: Yeah. One or the other. That's it, yeah.

FOSL: Will you just check that tape? Just, just to make sure it's going.

HONEY: Um-hm, yeah.

BRADEN: If, um, and it may be because we were separated a lot now. Maybe if we'd seen each other every day for twenty-eight years--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: -- you know, we'd a gotten on each other's nerves. But because we were traveling and gone and separated a lot. We weren't together constantly, although we worked together. See, our jobs weren't different. That--and, uh, but the--to go back to that class thing, so what I was going through and had, before I realized at all that I was in love with Carl or he was in love with me, I just thought he thought I was a smart young woman that he was sort of tutoring. Um, I had decided that I had to--I got this passion and actually I, I carried this out in a way, but I didn't, that I had to prove to myself I could work with my hands. I've always worked with my head.

34:00

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: And, um, that I should leave newspaper work and, and get a job in a factory or something. I wasn't thinking about colonizing and being an organizer, you know, as a lot of people did in those days. But I wasn't in any organized movement at that time or anything, it wasn't that. I just thought I had to, for my own something, that I had to get away from this privileged world I had grown up in, and that it was--and I knew it was a different world. And in-- as a matter of fact I was planning to leave Louisville and go somewhere where nobody knew me.

FOSL: And weren't you--excuse me for interrupting--

HONEY: Um-hm.

FOSL: --but you should hear this though. Tell him about--weren't you, like, going through the phonebook or--

BRADEN: No, Carl gave me a book.

FOSL: He gave you the book.

BRADEN: I've still got it. It's a book I, I've never looked at--

FOSL: I'd love to read it.

BRADEN: --such a thing, because Carl, Carl loved statistical sort of things. He'd sit and read tables and he'd read the dictionary. I remember ----------(??) he'd sit and read the dictionary.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, but I had talked to him about this, that I felt like I just had to get away. And because I couldn't really be a different person 35:00here, because I knew too many people and ----------(??). And I thought about other places to go. So one day Carl comes to the newspaper and he gives me this big book, I think I've still got it, called the County Data Book or something.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it's a whole compilation, at that time, this was '47, '47? Well, maybe, well, no, I came here in '40--yeah, it was late '47 or early '48. Um, of statistics about every county in the United States, I think. I don't think I ever looked at it. I think that's what it is. So I could decide where to go. (Honey laughs) (coughs) Well, anyway, along about that time was when various things sort of happened that brought it to a head. And he and his wife separated. He had been married ten years. Well, that's one thing, you know, I didn't think about it. In those days you didn't, or I didn't, maybe some people did, but fall in love with a married man.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. I mean you figure--I thought he was happily married 36:00actually.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, but he--well, I mean they had, they had grown apart I think. And, and she was, um, my sister-in-law, his, Carl's sister really kept in touch with her, and their daughter--well, it wasn't their daughter, she, when she and Carl married, she had a baby by a previous marriage.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Sonya. And Sonya, but Sonya grew up from a baby till ten years old with Carl and Virginia. So it was like he--she was Carl's child. They had one baby of their own who died as an infant. And, um, but you know, and I would go down to his house sometimes, not very often, but I'd take things down there, something. He lived in Portland, right at--he lived--they lived right across the street from where Carl's mother lived in Portland and where Carl had grown up in that house. And, and when Carl was a little boy, I think they lived in a place called Highland Park, which is one of those neighborhoods Bill Allison 37:00tried to save from the airport--

HONEY: Oh.

BRADEN: --out there.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But they moved to Portland, which is a very distinct neighborhood, still is. And then, absolutely all white ----------(??). One of the places--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: --that they said blacks shouldn't stay after sundown. They didn't have any signs up, but that was what sort of what it was.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I think, I think in that same house, um, on Rowan Street, a little shotgun house they called 'em. That's a little shotgun house where you could shoot a shotgun right through.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And then so Carl and Virginia and Sonya lived across the street in another little shotgun house. And I remember going down there a couple of times and he would show me things and Virginia would be there and I'd talk to her. And I thought they were happily married.

HONEY: Um, can you remember this--the cross street? It was, was on what street did you say, the house?

BRADEN: Oh, I remember the number I think. Mom's house was, um, twenty- three; it was the twenty-three hundred block. Hers was twenty-three something. If you ever want to see the house I can show it to you. She had a, she had a pretty yard. She loved flowers and she would, 38:00she would make ----------(??) and there were two trees out in the front. And you could always spot the house 'cause it was the only house on the block that had trees in the front. And I think after she died or after she moved up to Ohio just in the last couple of years of her life to live with her daughter, Carl's sister, some--they sold the house eventually and, and I think, and somebody cut those trees down.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: She--and I don't think they kept up the yard. But she always had these beautiful flowers in the back. Twenty-three something. 2319. 2319 Rowan.

HONEY: Rowling?

BRADEN: Rowan, R-o-w-a-n. And Ca-, and Carl and Virginia and Sonya lived across the street, I think in 2310. So anyway, I, as I say, thought they were happily married. And then some things happened, Virginia got very upset. See, things were really, um, heating up. Well it was really the Cold War--

39:00

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --then and in the labor movement, the split in the C-, and the CIO here was already split. And it hadn't formally split, but there was a left wing of the CIO in Louisville, like I guess there was everywhere.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it was made up, and some of that's in my book I guess, ----------(??), of the what were looked upon as the left wing unions here in Louisville. Not that they were all so left wing, but they were identified with the national unions at work.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And basically there were four of 'em. And there was the Farm Equipment Workers Union, which had--was the biggest and had the Harvester claim. And I'll come back to that, 'cause that's the one we worked with most. And it was about three thousand people worked on that. And then there was, um, the Transport Workers Union, which was tied in with Mike Quill's transport workers, and had the bus drivers and had won a major strike here in '46, which Carl helped 'em win. He was back here--see, Carl had come back from Cincinnati to work on Louisville Times in '45, and became lever--labor editor. And of 40:00course that's where his sympathies were. But--and he was a good labor reporter. And he--and nobody, he often bragged, that nobody ever complain-, management never complained about his stories. That he just, he told the facts both ways because he had total confidence that if union side was told, they would win public opinion.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And the problem was, usually it wasn't. So he played it down the middle and, and, um, um, and the unions considered him their ally there, see? So and they would tell him a lot of stuff. And he, and, and that strike, they had been trying to--the bus drivers, this was in '46 before I got here, um, but the bus drivers had been trying to organize since the twenties. And every time they'd broken the strike or broken the union, I don't know whether they struck before. But--and this was a new effort in sort of the labor upsurge that was going on after the war, you know. 'Cause I--people, I guess, didn't really realize that the, the repression was gonna descend like it did. I mean, you know, 41:00I--and my impression was, and I was just beginning to be aware of these things, and then having written as much about it later, but that there was a rash of strikes after World War II. ----------(??) what--

HONEY: Biggest, biggest strike wave in American history.

BRADEN: Yeah, 'cause it was pent up from the war.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, and labor was feeling pretty strong and they did, and they were organizing. And that's when, of course, the CIO announced Operation Dixie, right? And all that.

HONEY: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: So, um, so they, they--this was a new organizing drive and they got the--and they went on strike and I don't know how long they were on strike, I've got a picture somewhere of Carl riding in one of these cars with 'em during the--they had some kind of jitney service or something during the strike. ----------(??)----------. Um, but--and he, and he said--told that the union people said later that it was one thing that helped 'em win was that for the first time that the, the, uh, transit company couldn't mess up their publicity. They were able to get their story to the public.

42:00

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Anyway that was one. There was the Farm Equipment Workers. The Transport Workers Union, which were pretty strong then, wasn't as big as FE. And the Public Workers, United Public Workers, which nationally was part of the left of the CIO.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they were trying to organize the city garbage takers, and did. And they had garbage strikes. They had stink-ins and things-- (Honey laughs)--like that. And, and then there was a very small local of United Furniture Workers, furniture plant. But they were a part of that because the national United Furniture were, so that was it. But there was already a division. And they hadn't formally left the CIO or been kicked out, but--and I don't, can't really, I'd have to, maybe if I racked my brain, what identified them as different, but people knew it was going on. And there was conflict within the CIO council here. And Carl knew all of the people on the other side too. And, and he kept relationships with them for some time after that. There was a guy named Keillor (??) once that was ----------(??) probably died. But-- 43:00who was head of the CIO. And he and Carl had a lot of respect for each other, although he was on the other side of this. And he gave--I may, I wonder if I still have that. He gave Carl a copy one time of Ten Days That Shook the World and wrote an inscription in it. If I still have it, I can't remember the guy's first name ----------(??). For Carl Braden, whose ashes like, whatever his name was--

HONEY: Joe Hill?

FOSL: Joe Hill?

BRADEN: Huh?

HONEY: Joe Hill? Or--

FOSL: John Reed.

HONEY: Oh John Reed.

BRADEN: John Reed.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: The author of this book should lie in the Kremlin, or something.

HONEY: Oh yeah?

BRADEN: You know, that's where his ashes were or something. So Carl did, you know, so they had that kind of relationship. Um, but that was getting Carl in, in a controversial position at the paper, which he had never been in before, because even and, and the other thing that happened, um--

HONEY: What, what was getting him in a controversial position?

BRADEN: Being identified with the left wing of the CIO. And that was coming out in the open enough that there was, there were meetings that 44:00would be very stormy and that kind of thing.

And Carl was becoming known as being identified with, not just with labor but with the left wing of the CIO.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um.

FOSL: Excuse me, but how long had he been covering labor for the paper? Do you know?

BRADEN: Since '45. He came back here in '45. That's when he came--

FOSL: Oh, okay.

BRADEN: --back and took that job, pretty sure, right--I think almost, if not when he came back, pretty soon thereafter. Um, well, and there had been a, a big strike, um, also before I came, I think. Then there was another one after I was here at the, at Harvester.

HONEY: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: See, International Harvester had come in here and built that plant after the war. It was a new plant. And the Farm Equipment Workers Union colonized it from the get-go. I mean, I guess I can use that word. ----------(??) use that word. They had, they, they had the 45:00Harvester plants in Chicago and some other places.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: ----------(??)--(coughs)--and they apparently got in touch with, I don't know exactly how they did it, but they got in touch with people here the minute they knew Harvester was gonna open up the plant. When I say they built the plant, I may be wrong about that. They--it may have been a, a war production plant, some-, something else, but Harvester--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --bought it and was getting ready to make tractors here basically. (Fosl clears throat) Which is what they did for many years until they closed--(laughs)--a few years ago. Um, but the, the Farm Equipment Workers were headquartered in Chicago and they, some way, got in touch with people here and some of the first people who filed applications to work there were aligned with FE, including Sterling Neal, he was one of 'em. A black guy who had worked in the shipyards over here in, uh, during the war. There was a big ship building thing across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. And I guess Sterling-- 46:00see, that's the thing, we never got an oral history from Sterling, but I think he'd gotten active in union things there. And probably that's why the FE people got in touch with him and some others and they were the first people hired. So they were organizing there from the bottom up. And, um, and that then I believe it was a strike for recognition, which by the time I came here in '47, they were recognized. But there was another strike, I think while we were still at the paper. Yeah, there was. Well, you never knew, they, they were striking all the time. See, Harvester--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --was a vicious company to work for.

FOSL: And it was a very militant local apparently. That Chr-, uh, again, pardon me for jumping in, but that's another interview that gave me a lot of information about unions, Chris Gastinger.

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: I, I talked to him at some length.

BRADEN: I haven't seen Chris in a long time.

FOSL: He said they were constantly walking ----------(??)--

BRADEN: Oh yeah, they were always walking out. See, the way that--what it was, and, and the, the image of, of 'em in the community was that they were just super militants that didn't want to stay at work and all that. But really they had to. I mean--well, they didn't have to. A lot of places didn't. But, uh, the way that Harvesters, I recall it 47:00and I understood it, they worked on what you--piecework prices. And they were always cutting the piecework prices. So you'd go in to work and think you were working at one rate and it was changed that day. And they, they were so militant, they just walked out. A department would walk out. Well, I remember Department, Department 42 was one, and I think Chris was maybe a steward in there. And what--by the time later, of course, that Carl and I were working for the union hall here all these people would come trooping about nine o'clock in the morning. And I said, "Forty-two's out again, again." They'd say, "Yep, add forty-two."

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: You know, they just were doing that. And um, so it seemed like, when I said--I can't remember whether it was a big, big strike after I came here. And I think maybe it was something else. I think they, you know, they had a contract and all that and there was a question about what they could strike about even in those days. But I remember Carl writing a story about it, because the--and I was there by then, because it--they, they call all, they had a sick-in. They all called in sick that day or something.

48:00

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: The, that whole plant. I remember that three thousand workers called in sick and I-- and, and then the second paragraph was the company called it a strike, which of course it was. But they won. And they had had a, a really wonderful guy, apparently, that I've never met who was the first president when they were organizing who dropped dead. And that was before I ever came here. And I guess there was always some feeling, there was something maybe foul play about his death. But I, I, you know, that never what it was. But he--they--he was so revered and everything, one of the biggest parades that ever went down Broadway was for his funeral. I mean so the point is in contrast to the anything later, that union was the force in this town, but was seen by just people outside of it as just these impossible, radical militants, sort of, including by the time Carl and I were there, I'm jumping over some things that I wanted to get into, but he--it, it was raided by the UAW after the national split from the CIO. By that time 49:00they had merged with the UE. But in that election, in '49, Carl and I were there then, and everybody thought they were gonna be defeated. And the Catholic priests were getting up and saying it was a mortal sin, telling people if they voted for FE this communist union and all that. And um, and I remember Sterling saying, um, you know, "This is- -we're gonna win." I said, "Do you think so Sterling?" "Yeah, we gonna win." And, and one thing was, he said, "We're gonna win," not 'cause of any ideology or anything like that, but people know it--that if the UAW wins tomorrow, that the next day they--there, there will be no contract and they, they do, they know they can't work one day in that plant without a contract. And that's probably what it was. And I remember he called up that day while the elections [knocking sound] Sterling did.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Room service.

BRADEN: Did you want room service? Did you call--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --finish that because ----------(??) coming up I guess. (laughs) Anyway, yes, that, you see, the--everybody in town thought FE 50:00would lose. And--but they knew they were gonna win. And that's what I was saying. I remember Sterling calling the union hall that day and I said, "How's it going Sterling?" He said, "Oh, we got it. We got it." They did. They won two to one.

HONEY: Really?

BRADEN: It just really set the town on its ear. And then, um, I guess it was two--not more than two years later, we had left by then for various reasons. Um, still a great friend of 'em. The UAW tried several times--

HONEY: You say had left the union--

BRADEN: Left the union. We were working on the staff.

HONEY: Yeah, what, what was that--full-time for a period?

BRADEN: Well, you know, it wasn't really on staff of FE. What we did was, see the--those four unions had their own union hall right down here on Seventh Street and they would call-- everybody called it the Seventh Street unions. I don't think that building's there anymore. It was a two-story building and, um, and we, we were working with 'em, they put out a, a little paper called Labor's Voice. And I remember I was working on putting that together while we were still at the newspaper.

HONEY: Um-hm.

51:00

BRADEN: Just as a sideline. And, uh, you know, it got me sort of involved. And then after we left the paper, which I can come back to if you want to, there was an interval in there.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: We were trying to decide what to do. But eventually we set up a thing--and they asked us to--called The Labor Information Center upstairs in that union hall. 'Cause they said they needed, you know, more of a public information program. And we'd trained our--Carl really did this, trained a wonderful guy that stayed in the labor movement who's--I think he's, he's still living and talking to people, Jimmy Wright in Chicago. He called me recently and I totally lost-- he's a black guy. He left here--well, and he--because of--but anyway, he was just a worker in the shop. And Carl trained him to edit the FE Cub (??) they called it, which was a newspaper, and he became really good and he did it.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: So we were training them to put out leaflets and stuff like that, by all the old methods, you know, running the mimeograph machines and stuff. But, um, ----------(??) so, so we were, and we, we were 52:00there, we really weren't there that long. I, I could rack my brain. I can't remember how long it was. Maybe not more than a year. And for various reasons they sort of ran out of money to keep the thing going. It wasn't any, um, break or falling out. But we--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --weren't there any longer. But, but, and it's not because we--but they lost the next election, not because we weren't there. What happened was, I think Harvester provoked a strike, and it wasn't hard to do, a, a chain-wide strike. And they provoked it, I think that became clear later. And in the midst of that strike, UAW filed a petition for an election. And people were tired of being on strike and stuff and UAW won that election and kept the plant from then on. And it became--it went through some bad times, but it became pretty militant then, you know. And they were there when Harvester closed within the last decade, I sup-, I guess, you know, a number of industries around here have closed and gone. And, uh, I forget what- -who's got the building. But the UAW, and even before that, UA-, at, 53:00at, uh, Harvester had built, in addition to its main plant, a foundry. And, and UAW came in some way. That was while we were still there, I think, in ----------(??). UAW always had the foundry. But, um, anyway [noise] I think how I got off on this really was because there some other things that I guess I wanted to say about--you wanted to know what shaped Carl. Um, I'm gonna go back to that. But the thing--

HONEY: And also about what the possibilities seemed to be in the forties, uh, after World War II--

BRADEN: Oh--

HONEY: --you know, that--

BRADEN: --of organizing?

HONEY: For organizing.

BRADEN: Well, I'll, I'll come back to that. I was still talking about Carl.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, the thing, of what I was saying to, uh, I was really saying what--I, I really was trying to [door closing] make that point I guess, about the can-, the, the class struggle within and how different the--

54:00

HONEY: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: --worlds are. And my feeling that I was totally changing worlds. And, um, um, and Carl was certainly a factor. I would have gone through all that, uh, oh, I don't know, if I hadn't met somebody like him. But I could a, could gone, could have gone through it without falling in love with him and getting married, you see. In a way, in a way that--I sometimes thought later that sort of cut short my own journey, because I was sort of trying to find myself. And I wanted to become a part of the working class. And that was gonna take some doing. As it turned out, I did it by marriage. I married--(Honey laughs)--I was going to say, I married into the working class. That was kind of a shortcut.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, um, I think psychologically. But, um, but, uh, his marriage broke up, which apparently hadn't meant as much anyway for some ----------(??) really when he became somewhat--bye-bye, well, I hope I'll see you again.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh yeah, we'll be back.

BRADEN: All right. Um, the, um, there was some big brouhaha at a CIO 55:00council meeting, I think. And I know I was in Frankfort covering the end of the legislature. And I hadn't been covering the legislature. They sent me over to write sort of story about the confused state of our--(laughs)--legislature on the last day or something. And I was just writing kind of a funny story. And it happened while I was gone. And there was a big story in the paper about it, and I think they--and Carl got thrown out of the meeting or something. And so it was in the paper. And the paper wasn't too happy about that. But I don't--they weren't gonna do anything about it. Carl was-- the paper needed Carl worse than he needed them at that point. But his wife got pretty upset about it and she was, um, she said, you know, ----------(??) 'cause she didn't want him to lose his job. And, and truth of the matter was, he didn't care. 'Cause by that time he had decided he wanted to leave the paper anyway, you know, and did within six months later. And, um, 56:00but, and she, she let him know that they, they're not gonna put up with this. And so they'd had, so they separated at that point, and that was when Carl and I got together.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: But, um, but that gap, and I know that I, I felt like it was a different world and, and I, you know, and I often thought about my children, never really understood how deep that gap was. And they were always conflicted, I think, between their love to their grandparents-- they spent a lot of time with their grandparents because--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: --my mother and father just adored 'em. They wanted 'em whenever they could get 'em. And even though later, and that's a whole another story, Mother and Daddy wouldn't come to my house after the neighborhood turned from white to black. They never said so, but they just didn't come. And we'd go to Nashville to take the children or they'd come right as close as the airport, which was ten minutes away on their way to Lexington and I'd take Beth out to--for them to pick her up and pick up Beth when she had been there. But so--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: Um, but you couldn't bridge those worlds. And they would, 57:00uh, and, and, and I'm s-, not su-, well, I'm, I don't know whether they still understand it. Uh, Jim does more. He's thought about it these things more. Um, to the extent for example that when Beth got pregnant, the first time, and her grandmother was still alive and we--I knew it was just gonna be an explosion if Mother and Daddy knew about that. And they were old by then. They were in their eighties and they didn't--and it was just better if they didn't know, because not for us, but they were living with my brother and his, his wife by that time over in Virginia. And it was--they had wanted 'em to come over there and live. They didn't live in the house with them, they had built a little addition onto their house. But they were taking care of 'em and, you know, when, when parents get old it's always one child that usually gets the main responsibility. And my brother had taken it on and they sure didn't want to come live with me. And, uh, but I always in--of course my brother, I hadn't seen my brother for twenty years at, 58:00you know, because he was in the Navy and they--(laughs)--they stayed away from us.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: But, um, that's, but--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: --but we had met again. And they--so I was running back and forth between here and the Tidewater, Virginia all the time to see 'em and, but, and, and it was getting to be a strain on my brother and his wife because they were getting old and cranky. And they didn't want any more tension. You know. So I--we, we just won't tell 'em about that baby. And, um, in the first place, the father was black. But the other place, she--they--she wasn't married. And I don't know which they would have considered--well, I think, for Mother, the worst part was they weren't married.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That just was trashy. You don't do that.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that would be her word. And, because, and Beth wanted to tell her so bad. And as it turned, and even after the baby was born, Alice was born in 1982 and I think my mother didn't die till 1985. So 59:00that was three years.

FOSL: Wow.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: She never knew about that baby, I don't think. I'm pretty sure she didn't. Um, but Beth wanted to tell her and she couldn't understand why it would make so much difference. And at one point, and oh, and Alice was born on my mother's birthday--

HONEY: Oh. Hmm.

BRADEN: --September 27th. And Beth says, you know, that Neeno--she always called my mother Neeno, "Neeno would like to know she's got a little granddaughter born on her birthday." I said, "No, she really wouldn't like to know that Beth." (laughs) And, um, but she did talk to-- she'd go over and see 'em, and she'd leave the baby with me and she, she went over there a few times. And, and they really adored her. See, Beth was, you know, younger than my other children and they had her a good bit and they felt so close to her. And so apparently Beth talked to my mother once, uh, something about having babies when you weren't married and, and she said, you know, said, "Well, 60:00you know, just, uh, ----------(??)." Mother, Mother was such a snob. She was, Mother was smart as could be. But she was really just a snob--(laughs)--in many ways. But--and she could have been different too, you know, I think. But, um, much more than my father. He wasn't snobbish, he was much more overtly racist than my mother. But he wasn't a snob. But Mother was a snob. And I think what she said to Beth was something, like, well, you know, "You just don't do that. And you don't have a baby when you're not married." And just, um, um, poor white trash and I think she'd gotten away from saying niggers by then, but "Negroes do that." You know, I mean it, and, and that upset Beth. But even at that, said she just thought, well, why can't we just all get along. She didn't realize how deep that gap was, and I don't think she still does.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Well, as it turns out, that's a whole another story, but after Jim, who's just, totally honest. Alice is like that too, she just kind of--everything is, he's, he's totally honest. We really had to tell 61:00Granddaddy about this baby. Said, and it, he said, and it's true, as I have gotten older, he said, "You wouldn't want to get old and people aren't gonna tell you something 'cause you're old." And eventually she did tell her grandfather. And that's a whole another story, I'm not going to get into now. But, but Neeno died, I think--and you know, I had the strangest dream the other night. Um, and I guess--(laughs)- -after Mother died, um, let's see, I was at a gathering of some people I knew. And for some strange reason, Karen and Joe Mulloy were there, and I hadn't thought of them in years, isn't that strange? And I, I did see 'em a couple of years ago, but, you know, they've moved out West, I've lost touch with them.

HONEY: Oh, they did?

BRADEN: They--

HONEY: Oh.

BRADEN: --just recently. They lived in West Virginia for years--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: --but I was out of touch with before West Virginia, except Karen came to a couple of SOC workshops. But, but for some reason they were at this gathering and the doorbell rang or something. I can't remember 62:00whether it was--it wasn't for me. We're sitting in my house. And it was my mother, much younger than, you know, her last years. And she had Alice, my little granddaughter with her. And she had, she was bringing me Alice, for some reason. I don't know where Beth was. I told Beth, I said, "I don't know where you were in this dream." But she was-- she had had Alice out on an outing or something and she was bringing her to me. And I remember introdu-, this is my dream. I was introducing her to the Mulloys. I said, "You remember," I talked about it, "this is Karen and Joe Mulloy." And she said, "Oh yes," she was so glad to meet 'em. And she gave me Alice and everything was just fine.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: (laughs) I said, what's that dream mean? And I said, um, you know, because--(laughs)--I think what it was that I was, it was something in that--it was putting some of my worlds together, Karen and Joe represented, you know, people I was politically involved with I guess--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --who never could have communicated with my mother. And she certainly couldn't communicate with my granddaughter. But I--was 63:00something in me wanted to put it together. You know? So my dream did it, I guess. I mean I don't think it was her spirit or anything. You know, how I feel and think about those things. But, um, that's--I told Jim about it and he said, "Well, that was wishful thinking. You wanted to get people together." And I guess I did, because to me it was just a total chasm and, you know, making that break.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I'm glad I did. You know. But I just think that you--that people have to recognize it's not an easy step. And I think--

HONEY: And it sounds like you were gonna make even more of a break if you hadn't--

BRADEN: Hadn't married Carl.

HONEY: --been married to Carl.

BRADEN: I think I would have, yeah. Because I say, it was a little bit of a shortcut to marry into the working class. You know?

HONEY: Yeah. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I think that, um--

HONEY: That's interesting. And what was driving you to do that? You were working with these unions and stuff and you felt that you wanted to be a part of that in a real--

BRADEN: Well--

HONEY: --much more real way?

BRADEN: --yeah, see, I think the things that I've--of course I've written and talked about this a lot, I think, you know, I went through the thing, I've said this so many times, it sounds trite to me, but I'm 64:00trying to explain to other people because I think people need to see, and I, and I say now to people, you know, I think those of us who grew up white in the South in those days, um, had, um, had something to say to the country. 'Cause I think what we had to go through, this whole country needs to go through in many ways. Because we really had to turn ourselves inside.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I wasn't the only one. You know. I was dealing with class as well as race. But the first thing is race. I mean that to--for white southerners, well, I think and still, it's just that the South isn't that different than the rest of the country, you gotta deal with race first in this country, I think, if you're white. And that's what we saw. I mean what I began to see was that, that, well, I began--I, I really couldn't articulate it when I was still in Birmingham. I just knew, and that's all in my book, that it was getting me too. And I was gonna be destroyed if I didn't get out of there. And I didn't know anybody was doing anything about it. I knew blacks were, none of the whites were.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, and, you know, Carl and I came here and I found people 65:00were doing something about it. But, but also the, the real turmoil (??) in my life was the first year here in Louisville, 'cause that's when I really began to analyze, to a certain extent, not the way I would now, but think about it consciously. I just knew I had to get away when I was in Birmingham. And I didn't plan to stay here but two years. I thought, you know, I was a very ambitious young woman. I wanted to be a great newspaper woman. You know, I was really, I was really ambitious.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So, and one of the things happened during that year, I totally changed my value system. I said I didn't want to be a great newspaper woman after all. (laughs) I wanted to be a part of this movement that was changing things. But before I got to that point, it was here I began to really deal with the fact that the whole society, and this is what is a universal experience. You know, I've talked to many white southerners who've been through this same thing, Sue Thrasher was talking about it at Connecticut College last weekend. She, she had her little presentation.

Um, coming to terms with the fact that, that my society, that, that had 66:00nurtured me, had been pretty good to me, was totally wrong.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that the people I loved were wrong, my family and my friends. They were just plain wrong on race. And I think that what you're dealing with is that, and that, that I'd had a lot of good things in my life. And coming to realize that that I had 'em because other people were suffering, with the things you have are because other people are suffering, you know?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Well, that's pretty universal. And it's, and in terms of dealing with racism in this country, it's like Scott Douglas always says-- (laughs)--you know, that you, that you can be racist with--in, in, in the United States without even trying. (Honey laughs) You know. It--

HONEY: ----------(??) just look it.

BRADEN: --if you just walk out your--(all laugh)--front door and do what comes natural, you're a racist. You know, because it's--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --so well--and, um, but dealing with that and coming to terms with the fact that it's wrong is painful, 'cause you don't want to admit that you're own government's wrong, your own society's wrong. And what, and for those whites in the South in that period and I'm 67:00trying to think how this translates today, but that once you've done that, it's no jump at all to figure out the rest of the society's wrong. That's the, the, race is the open sesame, sort of--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know. And for me, see, that was, you know, when I was going through all of this, the Cold War had started, we were --------- -(??) it, and after, you know, I had been wrapped up in World War II, we were gonna have this great world of brotherhood afterwards. And, you know, all of the sudden here we're building more bombs and, you know, all that was going on. And so but once I went through that and figured out those people in Alabama were wrong, it was no jump at all for me to figure out the people in Washington were wrong. That wasn't hard at all.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And see, when I, I know Cate's probably heard me say this before, that, um, I'll say it to you that it, that really came back to me a lot in the sixties because so many people during the Vietnam War went through those same tortures of coming through to terms with the fact that their government was wrong. And you project your ego to your 68:00own government. You know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, and, you know, the, the people who resisted the draft and went to Canada and also their parents, I--and it was hard with the people, I think to some of the parents, 'cause they were older and it's harder to change when you're older, and some people didn't. But they suffered to do it, to come to terms with that. But it struck me at the time that I don't think I ever encountered one white southerner who was active in the Civil Rights Movement. And by then there were a good many who were who hadn't any problem with that at all, of recognizing the fact that their government was wrong--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --'cause they had been, like me, had been through it all before. And once--I don't think you have to do it but once in your lifetime.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And I--and, you know, I don't know what can do it for people now. But I mean it's the same thing. I mean people have got to recognize this damn country's wrong. See? And well, in a way it was easier for us because it was so obvious. Well, for me, I think, and you start with race. The first thing you see is what this, this society that nurtured me done to black people.

69:00

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Somewhere along the line I realized it hadn't just done to black people, that it had done it also to people who were white, but were poor and were in a different class from me.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I don't know where I made that jump, whether I--well, I didn't really think consciously about these things till I got to Louisville. But then you see, when I got here it wasn't just realizing that I had been privileged and my privilege was at the expense of all these other people, I found out these people were, damn it, doing something about it. And they didn't need me to help 'em, you know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, you know, I could be a part of these things, maybe, if I wanted to. But it wasn't they needed some missionary like me to come save 'em. And I got that from some of the things that were going on in the black movement here then, which was mainly the NAACP, and the Progressive Party. The Progressive Party was quite viable in the beginning--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --during the Wallace campaign. And that was attracting a lot of the young blacks, including Andrew Wade, by the way. Um, but the, 70:00but the NAACP was on the front line, sort of, and which seems a little strange now, 'cause that's about all there was. And, and then the unions, you see--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and like I say, it was a very militant period in the labor movement. And here were working people who of course had been oppressed, and I'd probably put this in different terms from what I would then, but they weren't just poor people waiting for a missionary to come save 'em, they were organizing and, to me, like a new wor-, it was like, it was just, like, this wonderful world that I've never known before.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And as far as--and the black, white thing, that it seemed to me, and I know there were a lot of flaws in it, but you had black and white people working together. You know. You did in a lot of these unions. Certainly did in the FE, and we'll come back to that, 'cause there's a lot of ----------(??). And it was just like this, here's this wonderful world that I didn't know anything about. And I got to be a part of this sort of. And I don't know how people put up with me, 71:00'cause, you know, I wasn't quite dry behind the years and I'm sure I was terribly racist. But people like Sterling, that I really learned from, and I often tell people that it--I learned more about racism from Sterling than I think any person--I don't know whether he knows that- -I've said it to him. Um, because partly 'cause he was a strong black leader. And he didn't put up with any shit from somebody like me, you see. It wasn't--I think one thing that happens to whites, or did in that period, and now, it doesn't happen like that anymore, I don't think. Or sometimes whites expected that, that white--but it certainly happened in the sixties, that sometimes whites who, who had gotten active in these things get sort of lionized and appreciated, and then they get real upset when they're not appreciated ----------(??). And a lot of people in the sixties had that, even though, you know, and that's why they were so hurt by black power and stuff, you know, I think. Um, and certainly when I came into things in the forties and fifties the 72:00whites were who were active were pretty few and far between. That's one reason we got charged with sedition, we stood out like sore thumbs.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But in many cases, I think whites who were active, and certainly in things in the thirties, I think, and I think that's one of Virginia Durr's problems, she never got over sort of being lionized and during the black power period in the sixties when she went over to Tuskegee and people booed her and stuff, I mean she hasn't gotten over that yet.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: Um, and I think I was lucky because the people I ran into weren't like that. They were communists for one thing. See, I think the communist thing had a big, made a big difference.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: Some of 'em were communists. And um, and there weren't any African-Americans around that I remember in any of those movements who were, who were kow-towing or deferring to any whites, you know? And I was just pass--sort of sitting at their feet to learn. And, um, and I think that, and I think that made a big difference. And I think the 73:00whole, um, well, that was--I think you asked what made me want to do that. Well, it was just like this was a whole new world out there--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that I could be a part of--

HONEY: Can you talk a little bit--

BRADEN: -- ----------(??).

HONEY: --about the Communist Party here? I never have found out much about--

BRADEN: I don't know how much to talk about it 'cause there's still people around I--who I don't think want to be talked about. That's--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: -- the prob-, you know, it's ridiculous. I guess it's ridiculous. I don't know whether it is or not. It never was--I will say, it never was big here. But there was one time--

HONEY: But, like, in Memphis the party in this period was about a dozen people. And there was, um, a number of important union people and, uh, like Red Davis was one.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: Um--

BRADEN: His wife did that time. But I don't--

HONEY: --Carmen.

BRADEN: --I met in the Jackson jail, you know, I met Carmen.

HONEY: Oh, that's right.

FOSL: Interesting.

HONEY: Um, so--and there were some store owners and a few university, Red's told me, "Oh this person and that person." It wasn't a big group at all. It was a very small group. But they were really important 74:00because they were sparkplugs in the union movement and they--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --also worked Grendel (??) and McGee and they worked around the peace petition in--

BRADEN: The Stockholm--

HONEY: --and the Korean, Korean War--

BRADEN: -- the Stockholm Petition. Yeah.

HONEY: Yeah. So, you know, I mean in a way they were no threat to anybody in a Memphis. They weren't big enough to be any threat to any-, anything, but they were the activists.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: Other than them there wasn't much happening. And so it was easy to target them, uh, and when they did target 'em, then anybody else in the NAACP or any other group was intimidated, as you say in your book--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --you know, the Red Scare has to target somebody, but that they're not really the target, it's the--all the people around them that are--

BRADEN: Right, right.

HONEY: --the target.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: Um, so, but that group of people it seems to me, the Communist Party in the South was very small. But really a critical group, but maybe not the only critical group.

BRADEN: I think that's what--I think that's probably true. In some places it was bigger too.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I don't think we'll ever know. But I think, um, Roy -------- 75:00--(??) sort of brings that out in his book, uh, and of course his was confined to Alabama. But remember how he says in there in his preface or afterwards or something, that what he did in that research in Alabama could have been done, could be done all over the South. And it's been buried history that this was going on.

HONEY: Yeah. Except it's bigger--

BRADEN: So--

HONEY: --in Alabama than anywhere else.

BRADEN: --probably it was bigger in [telephone ringing] places than ----------(??). [telephone ringing] That may be Sally. She's on the ----------(??) it's one--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: Okay, I really can't remember where we were when it broke off. But you were talking about--I mean in terms of Carl and what made him tick, um, I think one thing, Carl really enjoyed a good fight. And he didn't--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I think that's why it--one reason that it didn't get him down when we were so under attack and things. He just loved it. (laughs) And I guess it--the attacks, he didn't love it in that we could have- -you always felt like you could do so many other things if you didn't 76:00have to fight these battles and fight for your right to exist or be part of the movement, which we were fighting half the time. But, um, but on the other hand, he knew how to, you know, I learned a lot of that from him, how to turn the attacks into a platform--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --which is what we learned how to do. And, and it seems so simple when you say it, but we learned. And, and I--and, um, and struggle--(laughs)--'cause that's what we did with the sedition case here, basically, was we turned it into a platform to--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --argue for, on the housing issue really at that time. And segregation, as we called it then. Um, and I say that because, you know, we--I can't remember talking about racism much in those days, I mean, using that word.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I can't remember that anybody did. And I should read more stuff, but I, I mean I'm sure the word was used, but we talked about segregation. And--(laughs)--and now, you know, it's so obvious, of 77:00course, that has been for a long time that ended segregation didn't end racism, you know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But I think people--and I've heard Fred Shuttlesworth say this, we've talked about this or he was in a group when he was talking about it. I mean he said he never talked about racism. We, we thought segregation was racism. I mean that's--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --it was interchangeable in people's minds. That's--it, that was the form it took. But anyway, um, so you know, he knew how to fight back. And as I say, I think Carl--and I didn't particularly enjoy a fight. Once I'd get into something, there's a certain what do you call it, adrenaline or something that keeps you going, but I'm--I didn't enjoy it. I would much rather get along with people. Whereas, um, I think, um, that Carl really enjoyed a fight and I--and to the extent, as you well know, that he spent, I think, sometimes too much of his energy fighting people who were his friends.

78:00

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know? It was alright as long as he's fighting the ruling class. (both laugh) But, um, and I think, and I think that goes back to his childhood. And I think, you know, I may have put that in my book, Carl was the leader of the gang on his block. And there were gangs in those days in Portland. They didn't have guns like gangs do now, but there were gangs. There were serious gangs. And he was the leader of the gang on his block and their greatest joy was beating up the gang from the next block over.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, and Carl, uh, who used to tell me about how they'd, they'd lure the--how do you put it? They'd lure the other gang into the schoolyard and beat hell out of 'em. And this-- there's a school right down the street, it's still there, it's a middle school now, from where he lived. And, um, um, so he kind of grew up fighting with his fists. And then when he was a reporter, you see, in the early days, 79:00see Carl--well, you know all that, he, you know, he went into what they call proseminary. Which isn't a seminary, but it's the prep school for the seminary.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he was real smart and he went to the parochial school there in the neighborhood, Saint Anthony's Church. And, um, and the nuns thought he was real smart. And he would, and he, and he, um, when he was in the first grade or something he had read all the books that you're supposed to read through the third grade or something and he got in the second, third grade, they'd have him come read to the younger children. So he was kind of a star. And apparently in those days the nuns were on the lookout for bright young boys to be priests, you know. And decided here was a--material to be a priest. So they picked him to go to the pra-, and he went to the proseminary until he was thirteen years old.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: You know, and went over to live over in, what was it, Saint Francis something over in Indiana. I've never been there. But I run into priests now who knew Carl at the seminary.

HONEY: Was that an early age to go into that? Or--

80:00

BRADEN: Well, I--no, I--it sounds early to me. But I think they did that.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That's when they--and I'm sure he wasn't the only one.

FOSL: So he was raised Catholic?

BRADEN: Oh yeah, yeah. Grew up in the Saint Anthony's Church--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --during, um, and I think that's in my book. That--I'd say I've kind of forgotten what's in there. His father was, I guess, more or less an atheist. He wasn't a church person. And his mother was a Catholic. Although she became inactive in the church. By the time I knew her she was never going to church. Although I think in her later years she did, Catholics tend to go back when they think they're getting close to the gates of whatever--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know. And this younger brother who just died was a pillar of the church. And I think it was very important to him that his mother go back to church. And I think she did, maybe. And I don't really know what his mother really thought, in terms of religion. But I guess she was, um, somewhat active in the church when they were children. Anyway, she was, she was the Catholic and he wasn't. But, 81:00you know, I think by when he, he never was anti-Catholic either.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And his--and I meant to say that earlier. See, the whole thing about race, and I said that--and I think that's in my book, but I--that the, um, that I think I may have been the force that made, that led Carl to make that a priority. Because what he had grown up with was what he, himself, called the old socialist tradition that he got from his father, which is that black and white workers together, black and white unite and fight sort of thing.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And really no consideration whatsoever of the particular situation blacks are in, in this country, because of racism. I mean that may be an extreme statement, statement. But that's pretty much-- it's, that's was the old socialist position. We're all workers together and we'll unite.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that doesn't really cut it. You know?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It didn't in the--any time. It sure doesn't--(laughs)--now. But, um, and I think the-- and so Carl didn't articulate that like a theory or an ideology, but that's kind of what he grew up with. And 82:00he, and he says, and what he remembered was, that his father and, and his sister who doesn't--never agreed and still didn't, um, didn't never agreed with Carl politically in the adult years, but she's told me the same thing. That their father wouldn't tolerate any sort of racist statement or anything or any--now and he wouldn't, he wouldn't have used the word racist either. But any derogatory comments about anybody, because of their race or religion. It--they were just told you didn't do that. And that was unusual in Portland where there was such anti-Negro sentiment at that time. You know. Um, but that was his, as Carl saw it, that was part of his socialist beliefs, that you, just, everybody's equal.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And you don't do that and you don't talk bad about other people and you don't have-- you don't look down on other people, that we're all brothers in the working class sort of thing.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, he got that from his father. And then, and his father was not anti- religious either, anti-Catholic. 'Cause--and Carl says 83:00he can remember, and I think I put that in my book, but they--see, it was a big family. His mother had sisters. His father didn't have as many sisters. His father, his father's sister, his father's sister ran a high class whorehouse here.

HONEY: Oh yeah? (laughs)

BRADEN: Um-hm. Um, I mean for the really high, high class people. I guess some low class people--(laughs)--came there too.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: I never knew her. I guess she had died by the time, you know, I was in the family. And then his mother had several brothers and sisters. And so it was a big family. And cousins. And, and they are still around. When I went to this funeral or memorial for my brother- in-law last week, you know, you see all these cousins. And I haven't seen any of 'em in years, some of 'em never. Carl, no, Carl always went to the funerals. I mean it was a big tradition. You just go to a funeral--in fact I changed a trip, because I knew there would be hell at the Braden family, what's left of the immediate family, if I--(laughs)- -wasn't there. Um, so it was a big family. But and the--in that generation. And there was--they, they apparently gathered at Carl's 84:00house a lot. And they would sit around arguing politics and religion, talking, as Carl remembers it as a child. And then it--and his father would say, "Well, what was all the arguing about." It seemed-- sounded to him like Jesus Christ was a socialist, so what are we arguing about.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. Um, but they--but I was--so Carl was a smart little boy and they decided he should go to seminary. And his father was not a, was glad of that because it was an honor for a poor boy like this to be picked to go to the seminary. And, um, and so, and apparently it was not a bad education, because see, Carl, you know, he dropped out when he was sixteen and he never went back to school. And he really was self-taught and the way he read like crazy. But there were a lot of things he never have read, you know. And when I met him, and, you know, he wouldn't read a novel. He said it wasn't a use wasting the time on novels or poetry or stuff like that. He read things to learn facts. I'm not arguing. But, um, but he was really well informed 85:00'cause he had read so much, just about a lot of things that weren't that important to--(laughs)--even to him.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But he did that a lot of that himself. Although it was a pretty, apparently, rigorous academic setting for thirteen to sixteen- year-olds. It was more like probably a prep school, 'cause he studied Latin and you know, stuff like that--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --uh, until he decided he just didn't--the seminary wasn't for him, and he dropped out and went to work on the newspaper. But getting back to the church, I mean you've heard the story about the naming of him--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: --you've heard me tell that. You've heard about that, haven't you ----------(??)?

HONEY: What I remember is that he was named for Karl Marx, but somebody made them change it from a--

BRADEN: The priest.

HONEY: --K to a C.

BRADEN: They, see, they took it to--down to the, um, church to be baptized and, and his father, you know, went along and everything, and said they wanted to, um, name him Karl Marx Braden. That's what his father--

HONEY: Oh, the, the whole ----------(??) name.

BRADEN: Um-hm. And the priest said, "No, now, Mr. Braden, you know 86:00we're not gonna do that. We're not gonna name this boy ----------(??) Karl Marx." And he, he said, "If you, um, now you can name him Carl, but we'll spell it with a C." Yeah.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So then when his--the next child, that was before Ruth I think, it was just--there were three boys and one girl, Paul came along, they took him down to be baptized and, um, let me see, what did his father said to name him? Um? Paul Marx Braden. And the priest said, "Now you're still trying to name these children for--(laughing)--for Karl Marx and we're just not gonna do that. So we'll name him Paul Mark Braden." And that was his name. And Carl always said, "And they always said at our house that the gospels were written according to Matthew, Marx, Luke and John." (Honey laughs) So anyway, but he--but you see, he liked to fight. And as a matter of fact I think--you were here at the 87:00memorial service for Carl, weren't you? And I think I told this that day, because there was a black preacher around here who died long ago, but who I, who used to introduce Carl if he was gonna say something at a rally or something. And he'd say, "Carl is like the Irishman, who when they sang 'Brighten the corner where you are,' he thought they were saying, 'Fight in the corner where you--(all laugh)--are.' He started fighting." And that's--he used to tell that. So, and, and that led to a lot of disagreements between. Well, I always said that--see, when he went to work for the paper as a--when he was sixteen, as a police reporter, him and Barry Bingham Jr.--

HONEY: Oh yeah?

BRADEN: --you know, who, um, was the son of the publisher at that time and was Carl's age and, you know, eventually took over the paper and was there when the empire split up and so forth and died some years ago, um, a few years ago, was there too. He was the--his father had sent him down to learn the ropes by being a police reporter. And 88:00Carl used to talk about that and say, well, you know, he got to be the publisher later and he didn't quite climb that high. But then his father wasn't the publisher--(laughs)--of the paper. You know. (Honey laughs) But they, um, but he got to know Barry then and--but he worked there, and he was, and, you know, it was the old-fashioned newspaper days. Not like today I guess where, I think it's--it was probably better, you know, newspaper offices are something else today, really sort of. I don't know what you'd call it, sanitized, you know?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Insulated? But he was working--he, you know, in the police, around the police beat and all that. And there were just a lot of rough stuff and carrying on and he was always fighting-- he got arrested for fighting and being and drank. You know, he drank very heavily.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: He'd be drunk or he'd be fighting. And finally--see Carl went through some ----------(??)--

HONEY: He would be fighting like when he was on the job? He'd get into some situation--

BRADEN: Oh yes.

HONEY: --or just in bars or something?

BRADEN: Yeah, just in bars or with the other reporters. I mean it wasn't--nobody was gonna kill each other, but they just got in fights. I mean the--at least he, he got arrested.

89:00

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: And, um, Carl went through some kind of change that I never--I tell you, I don't totally understand, before I met him where he rethought his whole life in his early thirties. And, you know, if I'd known he was gonna die, I'd tried to get him to explain that to me better, because--(laughs)--I'm trying, I've tried to remember different parts of it. Um, it had, there was, it came after he was involved in- -he was in Cincinnati still. See, he was, um, he had left--he worked here as a police reporter. It wasn't on the Times. It was on the old, old Herald Post which went out of existence. But they had the same press run and stuff around the city hall with the Courier-Journal and Times, it was both, they were both in existence, owned by the Binghams. And this was the competition paper, Herald Post. It was apparently a 90:00pretty good paper. And I guess he worked there several years started when he was sixteen. I don't remember the years. I could find that somewhere. But then he left here and he worked in Hazard for a while, for the paper there, and he ----------(??) there. I mean he was always, he knew what side he was on even in those days. But, from, you know, I guess from the time he was growing up, because he was at Hazard on the paper there when John L. Lewis led the people out of the AFL, the CIO ----------(??). And he was making up the paper and he had told me this, and he put a big headline of the-- about the organization, the CIO, and the publisher just about lost his mind. And I can't remember whether Carl was fired or just left after that. But he said, "You can't be putting that in the paper here. We live on coal down here." You know, he was furious. So whenever that was, it was early thirties sometime. And he went to Knoxville and worked a while. But finally--none of those, neither of those things was for too long. And 91:00he ended up, of course, in Cincinnati on the Cincinnati Enquirer. And he was living and I don't think he ever lived in Cincinnati, he was living across the river in Kentucky, in Covington, Kentucky, which a lot of people go back and forth. And, um, but he became editor of the Kentucky edition basically, of the Cincinnati Enquirer. And he always told me he left to come back. He was, you know, the--he was getting ahead sort of in the newspaper world, but he didn't like being a boss, which he was, being--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: --editor of the Kentucky edition of the Enquirer. And that that's why he left. And he took a pay cut and everything to come back. And he had gotten involved, he was involved--and you see, when you talk about white workers, Carl was never a factory worker. He descended from that, but he worked with his brain.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But he was active in the newspaper guild up there. And, um, you know, was identified with all the stuff that was going on with the CIO 92:00as it was forming. Um--

HONEY: Is it safe to say that he didn't--when he was in proseminary and all that, he didn't do laboring jobs or something like that in the summers, or--

BRADEN: Oh, I don't know what he did in the summers. That'd be a good-- I don't know.

HONEY: I wonder if he had, you know, some first-hand--

BRADEN: I don't know.

HONEY: --factory work or--

BRADEN: I really don't know.

HONEY: --other kind of--

BRADEN: I, I don't know.

HONEY: --laboring experience.

BRADEN: Too bad I never asked him. But something happened that he began to rethink his whole values or life or what he wanted to do with his life. It happened after this, um, sensational murder case he covered. ----------(??) political case, it was this young woman, a teenager I guess, or very young, who killed her parents and her little brother, I believe. And he covered it for the Cincinnati Enquirer. And he got very interested in her. And eventually she got out of the thing 93:00because on the reason of insanity or something. But she was still held, you know, that happens sometimes. Eventually people sort of get out on this. But I, I can't remember. And he had a whole scrapbook on it. I remember he showed it to me once when I first knew him. And it was a big case up there 'cause it was apparently a pretty prominent family. And she was examined by all kinds of psychiatrists who were sure it would have been one of those things that would never happen again, whatever it was she--it had been resolved in that incident. She wasn't gonna be a murderer. But she was declared insane or something and was somewhere. And he was a part of a I guess there would be other people involved in it who spirited her out of there and brought her to Louisville--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: --and gave her a new identity. And she's still around somewhere.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: And I never met her, but she, she, occasionally she would call him. And she had a totally new name. I think, they, they got her a job working in somebody's house, you know, as a maid or something, 94:00so she'd have a work record and stuff like that. And, um, and she'd call--I remember she--he didn't keep in touch with her really. But at--when we were charged with sedition and we was, you know, under, you know, publicity and everything and everybody was scared of us, she--I remember her calling up to, to express support and stuff. I don't even remember her name now. But they, they gave her a name. It was sort of similar to her original name, Kyla (??). Yeah, her name had been Categore (??) and the, the name was Kyla which I find it kind of ---- ------(??) close. But now I, you know, the lin-, the missing link that I just can't remember, well I wasn't thinking about that I'd have to be writing about Carl some day--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --um, of, between that and his rethinking his own life, but he did along in there somewhere.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because I, I think that, you know, there was never any doubt in Carl's mind about-- 'cause he would have put it which side of the class struggle he was on. And you and I talk about that all the time. He, he used to--if you don't understand the class struggle, you don't 95:00understand what's happening in the world. You know. And even when it wasn't popular to talk about class--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --he always did, right? He didn't like people talking about the, the power elite. You know. He said, "Aren't they just talking about the ruling class? Why don't they say so?"

HONEY: When he, he interviewed me and Martha for the job--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --remember we were sitting in your living room and he said, "What's, what's the real problem in America?" And I said, "It's, it's the ruling class that's running things and the rest of us that are getting screwed." "You're hired." (laughs)

BRADEN: Had, had somebody told you what to say?

HONEY: No. No, I just thought that. But--

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: --we had been talking about class--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --and, and so those were the right words, you know, that came--

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: --out of the conversation that we were--

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: --having. (laughs)

BRADEN: Yeah, well, you know--(Honey laughs)--he really, really, and he's really right about that. And I tell people--you know, because people obviously in the fifties and sixties didn't want to talk about class 'cause it was subversive.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: And now they don't want to talk about class 'cause they don't hardly know it exists, often, you know? And, um, and there's a good 96:00reason, I get into arguments of--I was just at my friends. And I don't know whether you know these people, Ron Chisom and these people who do the Undoing Racism Workshops with People's Institute, which we helped start. And I--but I disagree with some of their approach. But I was just in one of 'em. They're pretty good really. They do, they do a good job with it. Racial Justice working for the International Council of Churches that I'm on, met down at Waveland just last week and had them do a whole thing. And I--so it was the first time in a long time I had been sat through or participated in a whole weekend of what they were doing. And the--it's a--this African-Americans and a couple of whites working on this training team. I'm supposed to be one of the trainers. They never asked me to come to anything. I--Ron and I kid about that. I said, "You know, oh, you're too busy out getting the awards you, you won't get in touch." I said, "You never asked me." And we kid back and forth, but I think it's serious that they know I don't quite totally agree with their approach. So, but so during this thing, 97:00but I know him well enough to say so, and I said, "You know," see, their theory is that if you get to talking about class in a swarm of people, white people or whites-- they like to get a mixed group really, but with whites, then people are gonna, not gonna talk about race, and that they ought to. And, and that after--it was Jim Dunn who died who pointed that out to me a while, you know, ten years ago, well, longer than that. He's been dead longer than that, I guess. But--and I've watched it since and it's really true--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that you get into a meeting where somebody's trying to deal with the issue of racism, and some white brother or sister in the back row is gonna raise their hand and say, but the real issue's not race, but class. And the truth of the matter is they don't want to talk about race. You know, they're try, you know, whites are gonna avoid that. So the People's Institute people are right on that. But, but I think they carry it so far that they don't mention class at all. Now they claim they do in, quote, more advanced workshops. And, and we 98:00were talking about that. I, I said that, I said, "I don't understand that, you're right that people are gonna avoid." And, and, you know, I've never quite seen the argument opposing race and class against each other. You know, because in this country your race determines your class.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know, it's not really opposed. But it is an out for some people. And yet if you don't see the class relationships, you're gonna find yourself on the wrong side of a few struggles. You know. It happens.

HONEY: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that's what Carl always said. And, and remember, and like when you said that he--(laughs)--hired you, or whatever it was, I, I heard of the word ----------(??) I guess for the ----------(??) thing. (Honey laughs) I always, you know, I'd meet somebody and, and I'd come home and say, "Well, you know, I met this wonderful person." "Does he, does he understand the class struggle?" That's what Carl would always-- (laughs)--ask.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it's, it's really true. Because--and I think that I developed a, a gut feeling about it. And I was saying--actually I was telling Martha this morning, but also in that workshop with the 99:00People's Institute, I said, "You know, I got this from my husband, that he," and I find myself still doing that, he would get up in the morning and pick up the paper and say, "Let's see what the ruling class did to us overnight."

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that's the way I pick up the paper. You know. I know what side I'm on. I may not know all the facts yet, but I know what side I'm on. And it's a gut thing that I think I got from him. And, and I think it's valid. But interestingly enough this--Barbara Majors, this black woman who ----------(??) to in New Orleans, works with the People's Institute, she'd kind of laugh. She says, "Well, but see, when I get up and read the paper I'm reading the paper to see what the white folks did to us last night."

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: "Overnight." So but--

HONEY: But the thing that Carl was driving at, I think when I was talking to him, was--I was coming out of SDS--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --and a lot of student ridiculous at that time had no connection at all to the earlier movements.

BRADEN: Um-hm, yeah.

HONEY: And no understanding of them at all. They were quite arrogant about it.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: And, um, so he was really kind of testing around to see if I had 100:00any ideas about this at all.

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: And I knew--well, I was reading Marx at the time and, you know--

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: --everybody did. But, uh, I could imagine that he probably got a lot of responses that completely washed out as far as he was concerned, you know?

BRADEN: Oh yeah, because people--

HONEY: From that generation.

BRADEN: Right. And it was the red hunt. In a way it was class i-, ideas of class were subversive. That's the rea-, and you know, that book wrote--that guy wrote that book about the power elite. And that was just a little more acceptable term to use for the people running things.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: Um, and Carl thought that was silly. And I think he still would today. I think the fact that we just--we were--and, and his idea was that the class struggle, well I guess it was Marxist too, but, you know, Carl--I think--you see, my point is, I think he got that from his father. And who was, whether he was sophisticated or not or intellectual at all, but he had a, um, real gut level feeling about 101:00being working class, and so did Carl. And it was, and he got it there more than from reading Karl Marx, although Carl read Marx. You know. But I mean it was just a gut sort of thing that you live it. And that was the class you were in. And you were proud of it. See? And one thing that he always quoted Debs on that you--that Debs said he didn't want to rise from the working class, he wanted to rise with it. And that you didn't want to-- and see, that's where Carl was so different from his brothers and sisters and why he and Ruth, this one who survives up in Ohio and is ----------(??), she and her husband who died a few years ago, they never had children, um, had a struggle for many years. But in the latter years of life, I think he made a good bit of money, and they got this real, really nice home in Yellow Springs and, and Carl had this great feeling about family and keep in touch with family. He wouldn't drive through Ohio, he would stop to see Ruth. And, um, but she, she, well, Ruth, Ruth and I had, do not get along 102:00very well. But I just, I just don't get into arguments with her, I think. I have not got energy when Carl was alive to waste, you know, arguing with people. In a way I, I felt like she had more hostility toward us than my family. And she considered herself a liberal.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: And she'll tell you now about when she marched in the civil rights marches and the peace march. And she never marched in anything until it was a popular. She went on one march, anti-Vietnam march to Washington. I know she did that one. But--(coughs)--she was always really hostile to Carl and me, and I think because, um, he was the smartest one in the family, supposedly. He could have gotten ahead, he could have made a lot of money and he didn't. And why didn't he, and all that kind of stuff. But, and his, and his brother, younger brother, not this youngest one who just died, but the other brother, was working class all of his life. He worked for Coca-Cola Company, you know, on their, one of their trucks. And he never made a lot 103:00of money, but he married a woman who also came from the working class, I think, but was very upwardly ambitious. And they move out to St. Matthews, which is fairly fancy, not the fanciest suburb out here. And I think poor Paul worked himself to death to try to keep up that lifestyle. And then when, and, and he, of course he was here in Louisville, so when Carl and his brother gets charged with overthrowing, trying to overthrow the government and all that, it's terribly embarrassing, Paul goes to the doctor and gets, gets--he has, has a terrible case of hives 'cause he's so upset.

FOSL: Um-hm.

HONEY: Um-hm. (laughs)

BRADEN: Doctor couldn't figure out why he was having hives. And some way he clicked on the name and he said, "Are you kin to Carl Braden?" And he said, "Yeah, he's my brother." He says, "Well, no wonder you got hives." (Honey laughs) So--

FOSL: Wow.

BRADEN: --but so the rest of the family didn't get that. But that was just very important to Carl and I think he--and, and Carl never really did, you know, he didn't want to make any money. And--(laughs)--he sure didn't. And, uh, except, well, he made a pretty good salary on 104:00the newspaper. But not, you know, he never did after that. And of course the mistake we made, because we were both ----------(??), we got married, when we decided to get married, you know, and I told you about my family and the first thing when they finally saw--yeah, well, I was gonna get married to this person, obviously, and they hadn't met Carl then. They met him later. Who obviously was out of their world, so what. But then once they--well, one, they weren't gonna stop me. So we had the wedding at my grandmother's house. But then, and then I--that just didn't work out. And I guess that hurt them, because I just can't, we just went and got married one day because it began to grow. And my aunt was gonna come down and do the flowers and this sort of thing. And Mom, Carl's mother, was gonna feel very uncomfortable with these people ----------(??) and all that. So we just went and got married and left ----------(??) that. Later they really got to like Carl, but that was a good bit later. But, you know, he--we'd go see 'em and all that and, and Carl, for the most part, would sort of control his temper around them. He would get into fewer arguments 105:00with them than I did, or with my father. My father, because, there's an emotional ----------(??), but we finally quit talking about things we would argue about. And it'd ----------(??) there. But my father would--he was ----------(??)--he'd come to the breakfast table and he'd say, "Now we're not gonna have a discussion this morning. I just want to say one thing. (all laugh) I just want to say one thing." (Honey laughs) He just wants to say one thing.

HONEY: Great.

BRADEN: But later they really got to like Carl because Carl paid more attention to 'em than I did. He, if he would be in Alabama he would stop by and see 'em, this was when they were beginning to get older, they were still in Alabama. He was nice to 'em and, um, and sometimes when I just couldn't talk to 'em about things he would. So they got so they really liked him on a personal level. But, um--

HONEY: You know, I had a in-, insi-, insight about Carl one time. We were at some conference in North Carolina, I think it was, together. And Frank was there with us. And, and Carl and I had, had, you know, run into each other across purposes a couple times earlier. But then 106:00this was when I was down in Memphis and we got to know each other a little better and--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --got to like each other and stuff.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: And we were at a conference and, um, Frank had to get to Nashville and Carl had to get here and we had two different cars, two different sets of rides for some reason. So it was, like, deciding who to go with? So I was gonna go with Frank 'cause he was my boss, you know?

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: And Carl said, "Well, I guess that makes sense really. Um, you know, you really got business to do with Frank, Frank. And so I guess I'll just go on my own." And I could tell he was hurt, his feelings were hurt.

BRADEN: Oh. (laughs)

HONEY: (laughs) And so I said, um, "Frank, I, I think I'll see you later anyway. So why don't I go with Carl?" So then Carl and I drove together and we stopped at the Blossoms (??) on the way--

BRADEN: Hmm.

HONEY: --there and we stayed overnight at the Blossoms. And that was the first time I realized that he was a sensitive person--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: --who really liked people. And we had a real nice time on the trip.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: You know. And we talked and we really had a good time.

BRADEN: Well, you know, Carl was--

HONEY: Before that I always thought he was just this real--(laughs)-- 107:00hard as nails guy, you know.

BRADEN: Yeah, no, he had a, he had a really soft heart, sort of, and people didn't 'cause he would get so explosive and I don't know and I think sometimes--well, as I say, I think he, well he, he just couldn't- -sometimes he didn't fight the right people. Now when he was fighting the ruling class, he was great.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. Because he wouldn't bend an inch, nothing scared him. And that's what people in Louisville, a lot of 'em, black people, remember. You know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: When, like when he died, um, I remember Sterling, who was more functional then, Sterling Neal, ----------(??) we weren't seeing Sterling much and Sterling had come down. And, um, and he said, "You'd be surprised there's people talking on the street how blacks feel about Carl." And I said, "Well, you know, they don't know him." He said, "Well, the thing," he says, " 'cause he," says, " 'cause he, he was totally uncompromising. And they knew it." You know, he, so he was that way about any battle he was in. Um and I think--

HONEY: Hold on a second. [noise] Okay.

108:00

BRADEN: I think that was, uh, that was a great strength for the period we lived in.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause you think about people who were, who were qualified to fight in the period that we were all in, which was the police state of the South, number one, and the police state of the witch-hunts, number two, superimposed on it.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Took somebody with a lot of guts and courage. I don't think, I don't know how Carl would have been another--I mean Carl wasn't much on collectivity. You know--(laughs)--really

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Although he respected other people. I'll say that. But, you know, Carl would--had a tendency to go on and do what he wanted to do. You know. Without having a lot of consultation.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I think about, you know, people, sometimes their strengths, the other side of that coin is their weaknesses. I thought, you know, take somebody like Fred Shuttlesworth who, um, he was an old-fashioned 109:00Baptist preacher in many ways, you know? And had not too much ideas of democracy, ----------(??) like when he was president of SCEF. Well, he's a co-chair of SOC now. You know, Fred is still active. Fred has learned a lot. I mean I've seen in recent meetings he really let's other people talk. He listens. He doesn't try to rule the roost. So he's come--but basically he was very authoritarian. You know. He didn't fit in really to the sort of sixties participatory democracy sort of thing. But the kind of quality he had of just individual guts was the only sort of personality that could have confronted Birmingham like he did.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. Really. But it might not be the best for some other period. So I think Carl, you know, that had that, you know. And he could have learned to be more collective. But there wasn't time to learn and change in those days. And for example, you know, there was that terrible spat that he, he, and I guess I was involved in, but I don't remember what it was with you and Martha. I can't remember what 110:00it was about. He got furious at you all.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: I remember you all were at home and came home to talk about it, but I don't know what it was about.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I mean I guess I knew at the time. But he was absolutely furious. But I know whatever it was, it wasn't that important. So he sometimes wasted his fury. And yet, you know, and I said earlier--

HONEY: Well, I actually made some, some blunders in my work. But--

BRADEN: Was it? I don't know what it was.

HONEY: Yeah, well, I did a couple things wrong. But, um--

BRADEN: But the--

HONEY: --but he didn't know how to just sit down and ex-, --

BRADEN: And say, well--

HONEY: --and, and teach me what I was doing--

BRADEN: --now ----------(??)--

HONEY: --wrong and explain it.

BRADEN: -- just got to explain it. Yeah.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: What he would do, and um, the, there was a succession of people he got really mad at and, and he'd get over it. You know. But it's- -oh, I was saying earlier, you know, that I think underneath all that bombast and bluster, he had this sort of inner core of calm, which is what made him brave, I guess, in taking on the ruling class. He 111:00wasn't really so brave, he just, you know, he just wasn't gonna bend on anything. But there was some kind of core of calmness. But he could explode. And, and I, and over and over--well I think he was a, he was a peg, a duck out of water or a peg in, a round peg in a square hole, you know, to be an administrator of--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --something like SCEF. He didn't really want to do that. And what he was good at was what he had done before for SCEF, you know, just going around and meeting with people and talking with them and that kind of thing, but not being responsible for spending people's money and--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- and, and developing a staff. And, and SCEF was growing so, you know, like a weed and all those factional fights were developing and all--and SNCC was sending us all these crazy white people, you know, half of 'em ----------(??) intelligent ones. But sending us all these crazy white people, SNCC told whites to organize whites. Well, they'd come to SCEF--(Honey laughs)--some of 'em were pretty good.

112:00

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But some of 'em were nuts. And so it was--and Carl just wasn't like, when he the Cincinnati Enquirer, he left 'cause he didn't like being a boss.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: You know. Nobody wanted a boss in SCEF or in the movement, but you did have some responsibility of, you know, managing the work of other people. And he really wasn't cut up--out for that. Didn't like doing it. And he would--he had these repeated episodes of getting all sold on somebody and then being terribly disappointed.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause I remember poor Al McSurely that he was all--and when he first met Al, he was so impressed by Al. And, um, and Al had written those--or was writing those organizers' library things, you know, which SCEF sold and made a lot of money on. They were phoney as a two dollar bill. (Honey laughs) Because I remember Al saying that he wanted to put together this organizer's library because if you put out something like this and it's in print, then people think, you know, about organizing. And this would be a good image builder for SCEF. I remember him saying that. Well, it was and we sold a lot of 'em. They got into ----------(??) and people bought 'em. But Carl thought 113:00that. But--or Al was clever. He wrote good things like that, he wrote out, he'd draw little stick figures. And he wrote the, um, and when Kentucky finally set up the Kentucky Un-American Activities Committee, it was Al's idea to call it QUACK (??) and he wrote a little pamphlet about it and all that kind of stuff. He was smart. He still is. I, I think I told you he ----------(??). But and, and Carl was so impressed by him. And this, and this pattern repeated with other people. And I don't think it was true of you. I don't know whether he really got so mad at you about. ----------(??) you can remember. But he got totally disillusioned by it.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And got furious [noise] and, and I think, um, because he felt like Al was down there in Pikeville not doing anything. And he wasn't. You know. He didn't do much in Pikeville. Now sur-, sure there was a, you know, fear and all that. But there were things you could try to do. I mean I think Carl was right. But it was such, you know, it, it 114:00was like he kept looking through people that were gonna be just great organizers and whatever. And then he'd get so disappointed and he would ----------(??)--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- kind of get furious with people.

HONEY: I think he was aggravated by having to raise money for other people, and then--

BRADEN: And feeling like they wasted it.

HONEY: --then they just wasted it. So he--

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: --thought, you know.

BRADEN: And I don't know, I mean I don't know that people wasted that, well, some people did. We had that guy who, in West Virginia, who bought new sets of tires supposedly about every month, something would happen to his tires.

HONEY: Oh yeah.

BRADEN: He had some deal with a filling station, they'd give him a-- (Honey laughs)--kick back on the money or something. You know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: We had some crooks. But for the most part people probably weren't wasting money. But when--but, and you know, that's why I still say that in our kind of organizations, um, the people who spend the money ought to help raise it, 'cause you have a totally different attitude toward money.

[Pause in recording.]

HONEY: --and it cost SCEF six hundred bucks or something.

BRADEN: Hmm.

HONEY: --and didn't really include him on the decision-making, but then--

BRADEN: He had the money.

HONEY: He had the--somebody had to pay it because we didn't have any of 115:00the money.

BRADEN: Yeah, well, he had--

HONEY: Stuff like that, you know.

BRADEN: Yeah, but, well, I think, and you know, he was tired. And, and I, and I was too. You know, I lost my temper about a lot of things where I shouldn't have, and especially if I had a few drinks and stuff. And we were both under so much tension. Not from the outside attacks- -we always survived them fine, they gave you adrenaline. You felt good. I remember when--actually, it was when you and Martha were in jail. I remember, um, there'd been a lot going on. And within the organization a lot of tensions that were tying people up because the factual stuff was really starting to--

HONEY: It was terrible.

BRADEN: --it got much worse later. But I remember that we were trying to figure a way to get you out of jail without looking like we'd done it, to get your bail.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Well, we had the money for the bail. But I don't know, it was some-, and Carl remembered that Martin Luther King used to always say, 116:00"I'm going to stay in jail until the cows come home or segregation is ended at Albany." And then, first thing you know, somebody's gone and bailed him out, right? I mean, it happened over and over. So we went down and talked to--

HONEY: Did it happen a lot of times? Like, I know the one in--

BRADEN: Well, I don't know how many times. But it did happen.

HONEY: Yeah, yeah.

BRADEN: So we went down and talked to Eric Tachau, you remember Eric. But Eric is a fairly respectable business man. He's still around. And told him, you know, that just because of various things, that the battle was important to go on, and we wanted to--somebody else to put up the bond and we worked it out that he was gonna do it. And he was also gonna to do something for Joe Mulloy then. Maybe it was when we went to talk to him about Joe. Anyway, I remember we'd gone and the Mulloys went with us. Maybe it wasn't your case. Maybe it was something on the Mulloy case. We did get Eric to do that.

HONEY: Yeah, I remember that.

BRADEN: But maybe this was, this was in the same period. Maybe it was when we went to Eric on something on the Mulloy case. Because I remember Joe was with us, so it must have been--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- a different occasion, all about the same time. But anyway, we came in back down at the SCEF house. Joe was in good spirits. And, 117:00and I remember Joy was standing there. And Joy said, "How are things going?" And Joe, Joe says, "Just great. Everything's going, he's gonna to do this, that, and the other and everything." "Whew," she says, "Well, sounds like the organization's moving again." You know, once we got to doing something instead of that turning inward where, but it was so much strain that was internal. And I think neither one of us being cut out for that sort of a job. But, you know, I got nasty with people too. And so, he was--

HONEY: Well and, be-, before that in SCEF, wasn't it more just kind of you two working sort of semi-independently and doing things that needed to be done, but you didn't have to deal with all this other--I mean, you raised money. But there wasn't any big staff--

BRADEN: Oh, no.

HONEY: --at that point, was there?

BRADEN: Most of the time, see, we went to work for SCEF in the fall of '57 when th-, there wasn't anybody else there but Jim--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: --Dombrowski and a secretary in the office who got scared in the '63 raids and left. But that was sometime later. And they had decided 118:00that they really needed somebody to get out and talk to people. This was '57. Try to find white, find white people who were willing to do something.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, and they were around but they needed to be found, not a mess of 'em, but they were there. And, um, but they didn't have any money to speak of. But they had, um, they had a little reserve fund--I forget how much it was--that Jim had been saving thinking they might have a tax liability, which they never did. And I don't know why they thought that because, see SCEF had been tax exempt, and lost its tax exemption through ----------(??), correspondence about that, through ----------(??) because quote they had a point of view. Never forgot it, never applied for it again. But in some way, he thought, I think coming out of that they might owe taxes, which they didn't. And I, I don't know why he even thought that because tax exemption just means things are tax deductible. Anyway, he did. So he had the reserve fund. So by '57, it was pretty, seemed pretty sure they weren't gonna 119:00to have to use the money for taxes or something. So they committed that reserve fund to pay us, Carl and me, to begin working on outreach.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, well actually, what had happened was--I don't know whether you're interested in this or not. You see, I had written to Aubrey. We had met all these people during the sedition case, so I didn't, we didn't know anybody outside the lawyer who worked the sedition case. But we went to, we--except Al Maund. Do you know that name? He, he edited the Southern Patriot back in his--

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: Just, uh, as a sideline. He was a newspaper person. He was working here on the copy desk for the Courier-Journal when Carl went back to the Courier after we both left the paper right before the sedition case. But he had left here before the sedition thing happened. Was working in Alabama at Livingston College or something. He was a good friend. He's still in New Orleans. And him and his wife, Dorothy, they were good people, and we got to know them. And that's, I think, maybe where we heard about SCEF was in the early fifties. He was on the staff of the Courier with, um, Carl. And, um, 120:00maybe that's how he got on the Patriot list, I don't know.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: But we got the--they, well we were working on the hospital desegregation campaign and stuff. They helped. They would send us information. They even had some names in Kentucky, sort of like that. And we were able to plug into a regional sort of set up, which is one of the things, I guess, convinced me--and I'm still working at it--of the importance of plugging in to, having something regional to plug into. And, um, but we had never met any of those people in the first- -and, um, I guess on the school, we were working on school desegregation here too in '52 and '53, but there was, um, there were people they knew, and we were in correspondence with Jim Dombrowski and so forth, and Al kept up with it. And Al was real supportive after our sedition case started. Um, and then, at one point, when we were traveling around, it was three years between '54 and '57, raising money and hell about the sedition case, we decided to do a southern tour. And Carl 121:00thought it was useless because we didn't think we was gonna raise as much money for one thing. But I thought it was important. You see, I was more committed to the South, by far, than Carl was. And I thought it was important, and, and he was glad later. (Honey clears throat) We met a lot of people. We went to Montgomery, by then Al Maund was living in Montgomery. And, um, he, um, called Aubrey Williams to come over and meet us. And then, I think, Aubrey called Virginia Durr, said she had to go meet these two interesting people. So that's where we met Virginia and Aubrey and all those people. And we went to New Orleans and met Jim. And he, and Jim had a little gathering for us to raise some money and stuff.

HONEY: Yeah. Um-hm.

BRADEN: But we got to know--so we kept in touch with Aubrey, you see. As you, I'm sure aware, Aubrey and Carl got at the dagger's points--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- later. And I never understood all that either. It's in, it, some of it's in the book about Aubrey, I think, which I've never read.

HONEY: I haven't either. But I was just reading Klibaner's dissertation on SCEF--

BRADEN: Um-hm. Maybe--

HONEY: --and it comes up in there that they had completely different 122:00sensibilities, that Aubrey Williams liked to schmooze with, you know, well to-do and high-powered people and--

BRADEN: I don't know what it was. Aubrey always liked me better than Carl because, you know, I was sweet and polite, a nice southern girl. And, and Carl just told him what he thought. And Carl, you know, Carl was, you, you know, he didn't, when they passed--(laughs)--out the tact, he wasn't there, right. He was out to lunch or something.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So, I don't know, he just kind of--

HONEY: I read a letter by Aubrey Williams in your collection that's--I forget exactly his words, but he was talking about Carl, and he says, "We gotta do something about this boy," or something like that. (laughs) You know, this guy is not, not easily controlled.

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: Something like that.

BRADEN: Well something, they just got at dagger's points, and Carl--and I don't know how it even started, but it, but that's before, that was after we went to work for SCEF. And for one thing, I think Aubrey felt like--well, I can see that we neglected him, which was part of it.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he put us in touch with people in New York with money. And then we didn't consult him on everything. And he and Jim were good friends. And Jim, oh, Jim was such a saint. Jim loved us. And he 123:00said, you know, he said, "Carl was his best friend." But Jim, nobody got very close to Jim. But he loved Aubrey too, and he and Jim would, you know, he would just lay back. He just didn't get into it. He figured these things will work out, you know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, but, that all came later because after we met him originally in Montgomery--let's see, th-, this was along '55 or something, was '57 before we--and I think the first year we worked with SCEF, it was fine. But we had kept in touch with them. And along about that time, see our case was winding down, and a lot of people were suggesting that we come here or there to live because we met people all over the country. See, that was, what we--one of the things we got out of that battle. You know, we found, I, I call it the, the, the fifties underground. We met people all over the country that were doing things.

124:00

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Or the other America--the resistance movement of the fifties too. So we knew people everywhere, including Frank, that's when we met Frank. And people on the--and there was some people in Chicago. Well, Carl went up there when HUAC went to Chicago about, along about that time was about '56, or any, no, maybe, maybe '57 and stayed s-, several weeks, I think, when HUAC was getting ready to do hearings. It was, and I forget who all it was. But they thought it would be good if we moved to Chicago and help, I guess they were just maybe starting that committee up there or something. And I think Carl wanted, was kind of thinking, wanted to go because it didn't look like we could ever do anything here. I mean, we couldn't have called a meeting in a phone booth here let--because people were so afraid of us. And I didn't wanna leave. And I, I didn't and I really, I had no idea what we could ever do that was effective. But some way, I just had a feeling in my gut, you don't leave. That they also s-, serve, the longer we stay. And, uh, I was determined to stay. And, of course, it was years 125:00before we could really do anything much here. And, you know, the fear of us here, you know how it persisted. That's a story in itself to me, because I don't understand. It didn't persist like that. There were a lot of people under worse attack than we were in the fifties. But it wore off. But here in Kentucky, it didn't. And I think part of it was we stayed, for one thing. Witches were supposed to leave and disappear, and we didn't. And the only reason we didn't have to was our, the grocery bill was being paid from New Orleans, you know. Although, I got a job for a while in '57. I don't think Carl could have, but I got a job. And, you know, like, um, but, but some way I just felt like it was important to stay. And I think, life has borne me out. I think I'm really glad I stayed in one spot, now with the, and I'm pretty provisional. ----------(??), I always wanted to visit a socialist country, and I'm really too late! (both laugh)

HONEY: They're all gone.

FOSL: No idea.

BRADEN: But, you know, and I've never been out of the country except when I went to England to see Jim and stuff. But, but I've certainly been all over this country. But in terms, you know, I think if 126:00you wanna be political, it is important to put down roots somewhere because the way I feel, in Louisville last month, just the, you know I--my longevity's kicked in. And I get awards now and stuff. But even before that started happening, I, you know, I know everybody in Louisville. I mean, I feel like there's nothing I can't get done in Louisville, which is probably pretty cocky. But I could be, if I wasn't so stretched now being, trying to do something about SOC and other commitments. If I had the time, and this is how I may be overly confident, I think I can accomplish anything I want to in Louisville just because I've been here so long. I know everybody. I know what, what pedal to push for this and who knows who, and if I don't know that person, somebody does. And people know me. And they've almost gotta talk to you 'cause you've been around a while. So just in political terms, I think it's important to put roots down.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know, we overcame a lot to stay here, you know. And at that stage, I think Carl was tempted to leave. And so I was looking for moral support, really. And so I wr-, wrote Aubrey a letter--it's 127:00probably in a file somewhere. You know, people talking about--say what do you think? I'd like to have your advice. Well, I wrote him 'cause I knew what he was gonna say. I didn't know how he was gonna say it, his language, but I knew he was gonna be on my side. And that's when he wrote back, and he said, "You shed your blood in the streets of Louisville," which, of course, we hadn't shed any blood. And he said, "The only way you should leave is in a coffin." Stay there. So he liked us at that point. That's before he and Carl fell out. So I think at that point, he talked to Jim, and said, "Now these people are getting ready to leave the South. We really ought to get 'em to work for SCEF." And they began talking about it, ----------(??) and that's the way it came about. And, and we, and they never had to go into the reserve fund because we started helping raise money. We just assumed--you see, we had raised money during the sedition case, and so we'd learned how to raise money. I was always a little shy about it. But I got over it, more or less. Finally, Carl used to say it was my middle class hang-up, not wanting to ask people for money. And I said, "You know, now that's not a class thing," and I think it's a, a, this country hang-up. You know, we're taught, so you're supposed to stand 128:00on your own two feet. Don't ask anybody for anything. Be a rugged individualist. And Jim, of course, was, you know, Jim was the best fundraiser, Jim Dombrowski. He said because he never felt like he was asking anybody a favor when he'd ask them for money. He was doing them a favor because he was giving them a chance to do something worthwhile.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But we started raising money. And Carl, of course, was really good at it. And Carl didn't mind raising money or spending time raising money. What irritated him later was he didn't like people who were wasting the money, he called it the people's money. And, um, needless (??) to say, I'm not sure people were wasting it, but it does disappear pretty quickly. But we never had to go into that reserve fund.

HONEY: I wonder--

BRADEN: And they assumed that we were gonna raise money. But the thing was that Jim was the main fundraiser. He took responsibility for raising the money. So for ten years, about ten, yeah, almost '57 to '66, Carl and I were the freest people in the United States.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: We were able to do what we wanted. Now, of course, we were under all the attack. It was in there that Carl went to jail, and people were afraid of us, like I was referring to last night in all those stories. But we could, we were able to get out and really work 129:00for what we wanted to. I believe that. And, of course, we weren't making any money. The stupid thing we did was that Carl and I had this egalitarian notion that we would work as a team. Two-and-two made more than four. That's what we used to say. Or one-and-one made more than two. So we worked for the joint salary. When we started working for SCEF, we were making forty-two hundred dollars a year, which--well, that was in the fifties. It wasn't that that was pretty low then. But we didn't--we divided it. I made two thousand, he made two thousand. And we did that all through the SCEF period. We divided our salary. I can remember when we were making, we were making six thousand. I would get three and he would get three--craziest thing in the world. And I found out when I filed for Social Security. You see, because if all that money had gone into his record, right, I'd be getting more Social Security.

HONEY: Hmm.

BRADEN: Well, that was really stupid. But who, who in those days was looking ahead to when you're sixty-five and that kind of thing, you know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, um, but he, but, oh, getting back to your, yeah. Jim, he 130:00was such a dedicated person. And we were as responsible. I'll say that. I mean, we didn't just go off on our own. We did in the sense that--and the board, such nice, good people on the board at that point- -most anything that we wanted to do, they'd have thought was great. But we kept 'em informed. And I mean, Jim, you know, we'd both write. And Carl wrote reports every week. I mean, he didn't call 'em reports. And he'd sit down and write Jim a letter. You know, and I would too. And we were pretty careful with money. Jim could never understand our phone tickets. You know, and I would disguise 'em on expense accounts. I'd put part of the phone bill under this and part of the phone. And Carl would say, "That's not gonna be ----------(??), he's gonna notice," (laughs). Because to us, the phone was an organizing tool. And I, and I still feel that way about it, you know. ----------(??) and I'm not sure Jim ever quite saw that. But he never got mad. And he was willing to raise the money, do most of it. Now, we'd go on fundraising trips, but he was responsible for it. And then when we 131:00got Ella Baker, you know, became sort of part-time on the staff and she never really worked full-time, but she was around to help.

HONEY: When did she--

BRADEN: She organized a conference for us.

FOSL: When?

BRADEN: Early--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- um, '62, until she moved back north. And then even up there, she worked with our support people up there.

HONEY: So this was after she was done with SCLC, or?

BRADEN: Oh, yeah.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Oh, well she left SCLC in 1960, long after the time these things started. Moved back.

FOSL: I have a question, just to jump in.

HONEY: Go ahead.

FOSL: Um, we talked about this a little bit before, but I just, I just wanna hear you say something more about it. Okay. You were raising children at the time. And did you tell me, you all never really traveled together very much? Is that correct?

BRADEN: True, right.

FOSL: One person was at home, another pers-,--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: How did you sort of make those choices? You know what I mean? I mean, like concretely?

BRADEN: Well, we more or less alternating sometimes. And, and sort of 132:00what--I don't know. We didn't have any particular criteria. And I got along with some, now, sometimes other people, see, I think some people- -there were a number of people who liked me better than they liked Carl. Now, some people liked Carl better than they liked me because I, you know, because he was more of a fighter. And, and he had, and he was better organized than I was, and really, and, and that kind of thing. I was just, I was nicer. I, I was just [clacking sound] and it was my nice bringing up. And, you know--

HONEY: Hey.

UNIDENTIED FEMALE: I don't believe you guys! (laughs) I don't believe ya!

HONEY: You shouldn't be surprised.

UNIDENTIED FEMALE: I am surprised. Oh, look, can't sing (??) this, restoration of--

[Pause in recording.]

HONEY: Here we go.

BRADEN: Now, then?

HONEY: Yup.

BRADEN: Yeah, because there was, as long as we were talking about Carl. I was just trying to remind-, thought about Carl. Well, I think about him a lot. I think about how much better organized my life would be 133:00if he were still alive. I mean, I am so disorganized. He was really organized. Carl filed everything. And he did it because he filed things, I mean, he'd write a letter, and he'd file it right away.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I don't. You see, I let things stack up.

FOSL: --it's a ----------(??)--

BRADEN: And then it becomes a formidable job, and the first thing, you know, you've got stacks here and stacks there, and you say, oh good God, what I think I may just throw it all out. Of course, I think he wouldn't have done what I've done in the last twenty years; it's just taken on too much and stuff, so--

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, so I think about him all the time, but things like what he was like. But I think some people didn't know. Because I mentioned a minute ago, you know, he was so blustery and he'd get so mad at people. And also he had this real soft heart. He did. See, Carl, Carl was really into helping people as individuals, besides changing the society. He did a lot of things that nobody ever knew about. And he, and to him, I guess it was a little ideological. He says that, well, I mean, when people would get in trouble, well, that was the class struggle, really. But, I mean, there was an instinct of his, too. It was at two levels. I think he really kind of, he wanted to help 134:00people. And you know, we didn't-- never had any money, but he'd give away what we had if somebody needed some money. (laughs).

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He also was into tithing, not for the church, but he said you had to tithe for good causes. And he kept our books because I didn't want to. You know, he kept the checkbook, which until he went to prison, and then I had to do it. And I, I never b-, balance my checkbook now. I had a hard enough time balancing SOC's and the organizations. My checkbook's never balanced. I, I call up the bank all the time, what's my balance? 'Cause I don't know.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: But when he'd sit down to pay bills, you know, we, we made pledges to different organizations, national ones, before we got involved in national things. Three dollars to this and he'd pay those. But he said do it, you do it first, off the top, 10 percent of our income, and to go to the good causes before we pay the gas and the mortgage. So he had those, and, but I know when Walter Barnett--well, actually, it was another guy, wasn't it? Two people that were active in the Progressive Party here in its later stages, back to the initial 135:00Wallace campaign, got fired over at the Jeff Federal, we called it, it was a government operation over here, a security risk. Well, you know, they weren't in any security thing at all, but it was part of a witch- hunt. One of 'em, first, was a white man who'd never done anything political, but his wife was very active. She was always out on the street corner, peace petitions and things, but he got fired. And then, the black guy, who was, um, chair of the Progressive Party here for a while, he got fired.

FOSL: And what was his name?

BRADEN: Walter Barnett. And he and his wife, Mary Agnes Barnett, they put up their house on Carl's bond.

FOSL: And they were black? Somehow, I always thought they were wh-, well who was a white couple?

BRADEN: Who put up, put the bond up?

FOSL: No, the, the other one?

BRADEN: Oh, Grzelak. Josephine Grzelak.

FOSL: Oh, okay.

BRADEN: And I, I forget her husband's name, but she was Josephine Grzelak. I just--I lost track of her, and I'm sure she died. She lived over in Indiana. But she was kind of half-crazy, but she was an ardent worker for peace. And he got fired first, and then, and Carl, I mean, we all worked on it. But it was his initiative. We just, we put 136:00on a real campaign around both of those cases. And his, and his, and, and Carl went and borrowed money from the bank ourselves to lend Walter some money and stuff when he needed it. And he said, he's there, he says, um, um, I don't know if it's in a movement, but, "You have to protect your people." Somebody gets under attack, you do something, you know. And I'm not sure everybody understands that, you know. And, but, and, it was just a gut feeling with him. But he really, but he also just kind of wanted to help people.

HONEY: Walter Barnett was a black man who put up his house?

BRADEN: On Carl's bond.

HONEY: On Carl's bond.

BRADEN: It, it didn't cover the whole bond. It was just a little house up here in Smoketown, they call it.

HONEY: And he got fired after that, or be-?

BRADEN: No, he was fired before.

HONEY: Before that?

BRADEN: Yeah, but not for that. Um, and, and he never got his job back. The white man did. We won that case. We lost Walter's. But he found a job somewhere. He lived--he was, he spoke at Carl's memorial. Mary Agnes had died. It was Mary Agnes, his wife, who came to me and, and about the man--the, the three men that were injured, and the 137:00hospital wouldn't take 'em in. And one of 'em died down here. And we started this, uh, campaign to open the hospitals in Kentucky. That was Mary Agnes' initiative. That was his wife. She was very--but she died fairly young, relatively speaking. And Walter lived until a few years ago, and I lost touch with him at the end. But he--and I would say, he got sort of unactive anymore. But he came and spoke at Carl's memorial. But he, you know, and Carl--but that was long before our sedition case. But he was just trying to help him. And part of it, partly with him, and he knew it was political, but partly, he was just help people. And to him, that was sort of a working class tradition. Working people help each other, you know. And, and Carl initial-, you know, Carl didn't like people with money. And he got over that as he began to raise money. He met some fairly nice people with money. But when I first knew him, he just plain didn't like people with money. I mean, he had that sort of gut feeling. But the other thing was that 138:00just whether it was political or not, I remember Analavage, do you remember Analavage?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: When Analavage came to work for SC-, SCEF. Of course, later Carl got real mad at him. Then he got back ----------(??). Uh, Analavage, Analavage was a very talented writer. But, you know, he'd go get drunk, and he'd do some, the most irresponsible things. But when he first came, he wanted a dog so bad. He was lonely or something. He wanted a dog. And he didn't have any money to buy a dog. And--(laughs)--so Carl said, "Analavage really needs a dog." So he said, "We," said, "let," he said, "He was gonna take some SCEF money." And we were pretty, you know, nobody really questioned us if we were still being honest about how SCEF money was spent, you know, we could sign the checks and all that. And buy Analavage a dog, and we would take and, and deduct it from his pay, which wasn't that much. And Analavage was just thrilled. Carl went with him to pick out the dog. So he got this German Shepherd, Lord help us. Deacon was his 139:00name. Deacon or something. It went everywhere with Analavage. And I'll never forget when this very prissy sort of, um, traditional kind of woman who had been on the SCEF board when, when the office was in [door opens] New Orleans--

HONEY: Hey, Dan.

DAN: Oh, you're still here.

BRADEN: Oh, yeah.

DAN: Hi.

HONEY: (laughs) Yes.

BRADEN: Um, and had been sort of a volunteer [door closes] in the office, and was familiar with the books and so forth. And some of those people were on the board. You know, the board didn't change its make-up for quite a while. And I remember we had a board meeting in Louisville. And she came up, and she was in--it was before I knew it--but she was going through the books and stuff and found this account where a deduction fro-, from his pay for I think, it was Deacon was that dog's name. And she said, "Who's Deacon?" she said to Carl. (laughs) I'll never forget that. And she, she said, "Oh." He said, "Oh, that's Analavage's dog." She said, "A dog!" She said, "You got 140:00a dog on the payroll?" (both laugh) She, she was furious. She said, "You can't have a dog--(laughs)--on the payroll of SCEF." She says, the board's not gonna stand for it. She said, "It's not gonna stand for it." (both laugh) But, you know, he would do that. And he would--and Analavage would tell about him, um, but--(laughs)--he said, Analavage used to spend a lot of time at our house for suppers. And see, Carl would sit there in that big chair, you know, in that living room, reading about fifty papers, you know, going through papers.

HONEY: Um-hm

BRADEN: And Analavage would come up and mess up all over his papers. (laughs) And he, and he said that Carl would get up and say, "Now, now okay, Deacon, get out of here." You know, and he wouldn't lose his temper at Deacon, probably because he'd shit all over the papers, you know. (laughs) He was just real, so he had a, you know, he had that side of him that was just really kind of soft-hearted. Of course, he got furious at Analavage because Analavage did do some irresponsible things. But, later, he and Analavage got back on good terms. You know he committed suicide, didn't you? You know ----------(??)?

141:00

FOSL: No.

BRADEN: That was long after SCEF. He, he was living in California.

HONEY: Um-hm. Hmm. Oh, dear.

BRADEN: He was trying to be a movie writer out there. But he was, he stuck out, but he was very talented.

HONEY: Oh, jeez.

BRADEN: Joy loved him, Joy loved him--she thought he was such a good writer.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, um, I don't think--another thing about Carl was, that was difficult for me to deal with, one of the things we always had fights about, and I think this one I was right about. And some of the stuff I wasn't right about he, in the first place, was better really. He was factional. Carl was not collective. And like I said, he was a rugged individualist, for one thing. But he would, and I know other people like this, like I deal with one in SOC all the time, 'cause I understand it. But I think it's sort of ----------(??). He would, like if--(coughs)--if somebody was in opposition to him on something, 142:00you know, within our own movement, sort of, you know. And, you know, my inclination in that is let's sit down and talk about it, and see and discuss it, and see where the common ground is and that kind of thing. Carl's instinct was to gather his horses and fight his faction. And I've seen him do it over and over. Everybod-, long before SCEF and the union. And on some of the things, we were right about. I mean, we got into a hassle with FE, with some of the people in FE, when we were putting out the, um, was it the FE Pub (??)?

Before Jim Wright took it over? Or maybe Labor's Voice, I don't remember. But it was when, um, Paul Robeson was attacked at Peekskill. And we ran a big story about it, which upset some of the people in the union. We haven't gotten to talk about the situation in the union. It was very interesting. But some people thought it was all right. But they were scared about that being in there and being played up. And, and Carl was right about that, I guess. And maybe that was the 143:00way to handle that. But he, you know, Carl immediately got on the phone and started calling people that he knew could get to him one way or the other to be on his side. He would do that. Well, he'd do it on things didn't, really shouldn't matter now either. And, and as I say, my inclination, and a lot of the clashes in the staff and stuff, was to see if we could talk the thing out. And I think more often than otherwise, that I was probably right on that. I've seen, um, you all don't know Pat Bryant. I know you don't. But, he's the guy who is director of it now. And um, and I-- he and I have gotten fairly close. But he has a way of hauling out with everybody. And I knew--he reminds me a lot of Carl. Not in his manner, but in this thing. He gets so turned on about somebody. And he'll put 'em on the staff be-, because then he gets totally disillusioned because he thinks they're fucking off or something. But the other thing is, he does the same thing. He's always, um--if there's a dispute, he's lining up his horses instead of discussing it. And I say, I said, Pat, "I'm telling you. You better listen to grandma." 'Cause he's black and I'm white, 144:00but I can pull age on him, right? I said, "I've been through this, and this isn't gonna work. You know, you've really gotta talk this out. You just keep alienating one group after another," which he had. Um, and I said, "I understand you because I lived with somebody like you for twenty-eight years." And I said, I, and I said, "That's the way Carl was." And I said, "I know why Carl was that way because that's the way he, he grew up in, in the gang culture in Portland. And you lined your gang up against the other gang, and you herd 'em into the school yard and beat the heck out 'em. And that was all right for Portland in the 1930s, but that's not where we are in the movement, you know." I said, "That's where he got it." I said, "I don't know where you got it." He says, "Well," he said, "I got it from my father," because his father was a Baptist preacher. And he says that's what you do with, in the church. When people get against you, you line up your horses-- (Honey laughs)--and fight, you know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So, you know, there was that. And the other thing I wanted, before I forgot it--on the, about who did what that you were asking about, and usually it was just sort of chance or who was home at a 145:00certain time. Sometimes we would, once in a while, we'd leave the children with a sitter to go to like a SOC or SCEF board meeting or something. And sometimes, uh, and sometimes they would be with my parents, you know, and stuff like that.

FOSL: Right. You handled so much.

BRADEN: But, um, but usually, we often, even during the sedition case, we kept on during the SCEF years. Um, and the other thing I--you were talking about how we operated in SCEF. So, well, Jim really trusted us, you see. So he wasn't al-, looking over our shoulder. We planned our own work. We and, and, and we really--I can see and this probably contributed to Aubrey's resentment of Carl. And he would have been just as resentful of me except that I was better brought up and polite. And I--which I don't think is a good virtue. I mean, the politeness, the southern, white politeness. I mean, you know, it's so hypocritical. I mean, I, I, you know, you know how people are Cate. You know, if I see you in a perfectly ugly dress, I'm gonna say, well, that's a beautiful dress. You know what I mean.

146:00

FOSL: Right. (laughs)

BRADEN: You know, that's the way we did. So I was brought up, so I know how to be polite to people. And, um, Carl didn't. (laughs) And, um, but, the, but I think it's true that when you became the field secretaries, is what they called us at SCEF, in a way, we made SCEF over in our own image. I mean, people who are the staff of an organization do that. And he kind of left Aubrey out. And it was different times. It required different things from what it had when he was, you know, younger. And it's always a generational thing. We've all been through all sides, I guess. But the, um--and, but Jim was happy for that to happen. Jim was the most adaptable person, really, you know. When I think about what he did after the SCEF split, you know, after all the years we you know, I said, the SCEF split was the most traumatic thing in my life, bar none, including the sedition case. On a personal level, it was the death of my daughter. But the most traumatic political thing because I had spent seventeen years of my life building 147:00that organization, and it was destroyed in six months, you know.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, well, Jim had spent many more years of his life, and you know, that led up to that. And I, and, you know, he had been out of things, you know. And, when he, when he retired, he retired. He didn't try to look over our shoulder. Now, he'd come to meetings when we asked him too. And of course, he had, he was in the hospital with his hip some in there. But he loved to eat--I remember, whether you were on the staff then or not--we had a great big staff meeting with our staff ----------(??), um, down in that building at the Grove (??), that Bob Zellner and them bought for a while, named the Podium (??) or something in New Orleans. Have you ever been to that building? They were gonna make a center out of that. And it was for a while. They had a great dining program. Lord, we must have had fifty people there, and Jim came. He loved it. Um, but he really liked the, he had seen young people around. And, you know, this organization he built, looked like it was growing ----------(??) direction. Didn't realize that at the time. But, uh, he didn't try to tell us what to do. And 148:00I remember, I would go see him, and say, "I'm always amazed you're still solvent," because we began spending a lot more money, we began raising a lot more money, a lot more money, and spending. And, um, but he didn't try to interfere. But then when the SCEF split came, um, of course, he wasn't at the meeting in Birmingham where it happened. But he was at the next one. Well, he tried; he tried to patch it up.

FOSL: He was at Birmingham when the split came?

BRADEN: No, he was not at that one. But he, when we had meetings that next fall, and I spent a year sort of thinking we'd get it back together some way, you know, form what, what you call it, the minority caucus or something. And, um, he had several meetings. And he--of course, he had been very fond of Walter Collins because Virginia had been so helpful to him back at the time SCEF was raided and all that, and then volunteered for years and all that. He knew Walter. And he was--he thought it was great that Walter now--I wish that first his reaction was that now SCEF has a black executive director because Jim saw earlier than a lot of white, so-called liberals, he wasn't a white 149:00liberal, he was a white radical--that the leadership had to be black.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he would really--when, when Carl and I went to work for SCEF, if he could have gotten, you know, some African-Americans, that's what he wanted at that time. And I think, and, and when we took over as directors, it was really 'cause nobody else wanted to be a director of SOC- SCEF. That wasn't a great plum, you know. Under attack, no money, all that. And, uh, John Salter wanted the job. I think he had come from the staff. He was working over in Montgomery. But, um, um, Jim really would, and we, and we did too, wanted C. T. Vivian, but C.T. wasn't ready to leave SCLC. But he saw that thing, the importance of black leadership. And he thought--well, his first reaction was, well, now, with Walter, you have a black executive director. Well, we all know it was, that issue was a little more complex than that, you know. But he tried to--at least somewhat ----------(??) helping to put it 150:00back together. But I, but already--when the chips were down, he was gonna stay with what, I mean, most of us at the time, principal was at that time. And I know, it was a big meeting--

HONEY: Where was that?

BRADEN: -- big meeting at that old, old-fashioned hotel where we used to meet in Atlanta. And, and I remember that we had a bunch of meetings there. It had been a fancy hotel down there. In about February, the year after the split, or was it--

HONEY: Well, I--

BRADEN: --well, it was the next--it was just a few months after. And, and everybody came, Ben Chavis came. ----------(??).

HONEY: Yeah. That's when we walked out, right? Wasn't that that day--

BRADEN: I guess it was, I guess it was.

HONEY: --when walked out and then we finally formed SOC--

BRADEN: --there were a couple meetings, but I guess--

FOSL: Now, when is the day on that?

BRADEN: I think it was in February. It was along in there somewhere.

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: That's right. I was thinking there was more than one meeting. But I think it was. You were there.

HONEY: Yeah.

FOSL: February of '74.

BRADEN: And see, and Jim walked out with us, which I think was hard for him to do. Well, he had made up his mind then. I remember, I talked to him the night before, and I said, "Well, you know, Jim," and he 151:00had gotten up some kind of a compromise statement. Remember, we got together before--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: --and, and I remember, he had something in it about these slender suits or something on sleeves with slender shoulders. I was marching behind Walter Collins, and Joy said, "I just can't talk about marching, I'm ----------(??) slender shoulders. I mean, ---------- (??)." And I remember, I said, "Well, look, Jim, I'm not gonna sell my soul over this. And he said, "No, I didn't expect you to." And then he really pitched in to help SOC get started, at his age, you know.

HONEY: I think it was '74, wasn't it?

BRADEN: Hmm?

HONEY: Was it '74?

FOSL: February '74?

BRADEN: Yeah. I usually--'cause the split was the fall of '73, or '74. I usually tell people SOC started in '75 because it was really by that time we got it off the ground. But, um--

HONEY: There was the meeting in Birmingham when the stuff really came out? And then it was Atlanta when there was an attempt to pull it back together. Is that right? Or what was the meeting before the Atlanta one? Was it Birmingham?

BRADEN: I guess it was. I guess there wasn't a meeting in-between, there would have been a lot smaller meetings.

152:00

HONEY: Then there was some meeting in Mississippi, I remember, where--I think there was three meetings that I remember. One was in Mississippi when Bob Zellner and other people started making allegations about Mike Welch. And there was a meeting after the kidnapping.

BRADEN: When Mike was, um, first elected--or Helen was, but that was early.

HONEY: Yeah, maybe so, that was really in the game.

BRADEN: They were out to get him, get him then.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: But that was earlier. That was when Helen and Mike took over. That was in Mississippi. That's true.

FOSL: When all those documents were submitted and they had ---------- (??)--

BRADEN: That was after the split.

FOSL: --statements and stuff.

BRADEN: That was after the split. The basic split was in Birmingham that year after the kidnapping. But, anyway, that's--we better not get into that, 'cause it will take forever.

HONEY: Yeah. Good point. There is a question about Carl in that, though. I wonder--I mean, I remember what his position was, eventually, was to, to leave. He left before the rest of us because he said he'd spent all his life fighting red-baiting, and he wasn't gonna be an organization--

BRADEN: Well, no, what he did, he and I both resigned at that Birmingham meeting. But what he did not do and he, he washed his hands of it, and 153:00he was not in favor of starting a new organization. He didn't think the time was right. He thought we ought to let the dust settle. He didn't know who was gonna do it. And I think part of it--he may have been right. We might have done better to have waited a little bit ----------(??). I don't know. Um, I think we had a certain momentum then, but, and also, Carl was tired. See, he was really sick by then, and, and we don't know about either.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: And he just was not--I think that was part of it. But he, his ostensible point of view was that he was, he was gonna go on and do his thing. He was developing tithing, he called it, you know. He had decided what he wanted to do was to share the skills he had learned with other people. And that's what he was doing. He was doing a good job of it. So he didn't take part in any of those activ-, he never went to another one. And I went to all of 'em, you know, and they were somewhat smaller.

FOSL: Were you still editing the Patriot, though, after you all resigned?

BRADEN: Oh, not after we resigned, no. But I--

154:00

FOSL: Because I, I thought there was some--again, this is just from looking at the documents-- I thought there was some point when you were still in there when he was not. Maybe--

BRADEN: Oh, well, he had resigned as executive director for, oh, a couple of years before the split. And I became the director. See, we were co-directors--

FOSL: Well, I think that's what I'm thinking.

BRADEN: Yeah. And we were co-directors. And it was obvious; he just didn't wanna do it anymore. And, and a lot of the tensions were there then, but, and some of 'em were different, and some of 'em, but, and it was just, it was just a lot of frustration. And the whole money thing, and people felt like the money was being wasted. And it was, it was really just driving him crazy. And he just resigned. I mean, he was a lot better off after he did. That's when he started the training program. But that was as a part of SCEF. But we both--and I became the director.

But he, we both resigned from SCEF in that fall of '73. But the other thing, and related to where, why, how--but the point was, we were so free those ten years that were able to just go around agitating and 155:00stuff. It was worth all the attacks, I think, that freedom. But, and then, and we did not want to take on the directorship. I mean, when Jim, when Jim decided to retire and Jim would have retired sooner except for the, um, the raid and the attacks, and then he felt like he couldn't leave till that case was over. And then that decision came down in '65. He said he was gonna, you know, resign at the end of '65 or something. And we didn't want do that because, I mean, we knew that the executive director was just a glorified title for fundraising. You know, we didn't, it was, had been nice not having to--we, we helped fundraise. And, and, and helped increase the base, but we weren't the main ones responsible. We didn't wanna do that. But we thought it was important that SCEF continue. And it was actually Jim Forman, I was sitting out, in coffee or lunch or something with him one day in Atlanta, he was still on the, of course, ----------(??) '65. And s-, 156:00and we weren't even talking about SCEF. He was talking about he was gonna take some time off 'cause he was exhausted. And I said, "You really gonna take some time off, Jim?" And he said, "Oh, yes. I'm gonna take some time off." He says, "There's a couple things I have to keep my hands on. And one of 'em was something, I forget what, and the other is fundraising that came ----------(??)." And I said, "You don't mind fundraising?" And he said, "No, I don't mind the fundraising." He said, "Because I've seen too much of what happens to people when they don't have any money, and I've seen enough of what happens when you got a little money." And it suddenly occurred to me that for the last ten years, I'd been researching (??) the South while Jim Dombrowski was willing to be responsible for raising the money. So I guess it's about time.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: So I went home and talked to Carl about it. You, you know, then applied for the job, went to Albama. But the other thing on, like, who went where--um, let's say some people were less afraid of me than Carl. It didn't always work that way. But it was interesting. You know, that whole episode with Carl and Bob Moses in Mississippi.

157:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I've gotta get--sometime when I'm at Wisconsin or I can write, you know, maybe find that ----------(??) find a copy of a letter that I wrote Bob. He never answered after that whole thing with the Jackson Daily News attack, and so forth, in '62. Dittmer may have-- Dittmer refers to it in his book.

FOSL: You know, I might have it too because you gave me a file folder full of papers on that very incident out of your house when I was--

BRADEN: Well, then maybe it's not at Wisconsin. I don't know why it wouldn't have been because the stuff from that period ----------(??). But I'd like to look at it, it was a long letter, I don't know if he ever read it. I think it was kind of a parable. But I think he was saying then the same thing, and it--but I thought of it last week 'cause Bob was at this thing at Connecticut College, you know. He was on the panel, then he and Joanne, Joanne ----------(??), ----------(??) he and, uh, Joanne and Bob, who kind of, kind of reminisced about Ella Baker. And I was so tired that night 'cause I had been up all night 158:00the night before, and somehow, I had to make a presentation that day. Managed to get through okay. And I was just--by that time I was dead tired. So I was in the back row, and it was dark, and I was literally dozing off to sleep. And all of a sudden, I woke up because I realized Bob was talking about Carl and me, you know. So I missed the first of it, right. I gotta a, I'm gonna ask Joanne exactly what he was saying. He had gotten into it, I think 'cause he was talking about Ella and how Ella had helped him through various crises. But one of the crises was this thing about Carl which I don't--Bob didn't handle very well. That's the truth of the matter. But he, but, you know, things were so scary then. What do you expect? I guess, what do you expect? But, but I remember at the time, but I know his version of that story is not my version, and, and I know his memory is wrong on it. Because what I think he was saying the other night is that we invited ourselves to come to this, and that's not true. It was his idea.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Now, what I want to check is, it may have been that he asked me, and because of various scheduling things, and I think we were in, 159:00I think Little Compton. I remember Bob, uh, Carl went down from Little Compton. Carl went. Now, that may not have been his intention. But it was not my idea because, I remember, he wanted us--and maybe, what I wanna check in that letter was whether--I'm sure I went into the whole thing. 'Cause I think he was saying at the time that, that, maybe, he asked me, and then Carl came. But what he's saying is that it was my idea. He's not making a big thing of it. But it--I think he remembers it that way. I think your memory twitch (??), you know. And, um, but there's an element that he sort of blames Carl for the furor. And it could be. I mean, Carl, you know. I don't know what all Carl, you know, he just, Carl just went around different places with him and met different people, and they had some meetings. And, of course, what happened was that Carl wrote a routine report to Jim. And he did that whenever he got back from a trip, like, you know we always, we were on our own and planned our own time, but we always let Jim know what we were doing. And it was an interesting report, and Jim sent it out to 160:00all the SCEF advisory committee, which was about a hundred and fifty people then, you see, SCEF board and advisory committee. Obviously, there was enemies in the ranks, and somebody wrote it for Jackson Daily News. That's how the thing happened. Well, at the time, all the people at the Voter Education Project, and all these people about lost their minds, literally, about lost their minds, you know. That we had sort of plotted this to put 'em in the middle, and you know, all that kind of stuff, which is understandable. But, um, what, wh-, what I think from Bob's point of view in the first place, he doesn't think it was his idea, which it was. But also, that he said, he was saying the other night, there was some off-again on-again about whether I was coming or Carl was coming. And Carl came. And there was def-, you know, the implication--well, he said, he said the other night, 'cause see, none of the people there--(laughs)--nobody realized what he was talking about. Carl and Anne are two, were two very different people, you know?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Uh, and, and, you know, and what did he say about Carl? Carl was sort of like a bull in a China shop. Well, Carl was sort of like 161:00a bull in a China shop. (laughs) But the China shop needed breaking up at that point, most of the time. (Honey laughs) But that was the way he saw it. So it was that. But, anyway, and all of these things happened. And I think the point he was getting to was that Ella helped him think this through, but I don't know that she did it too well. I think he fooled himself, his mind, about it. But I wanna see that letter I wrote him. I know he never answered it. I, I guess he read it. I don't know.

FOSL: I'll look when I get home -----------(??).

BRADEN: It was a long letter. And I think it was, I had a parable in it--a story about it, trying to get a point across to him. And I remember that very well. But, um--

HONEY: You know, and you got--I wonder if tomorrow night when I see if I could get a copy of what you give to something written out last night when you were speaking about the Red Scare and all that?

BRADEN: Yeah.

HONEY: I, I need to get a copy of that.

BRADEN: I cut some of it, just 'cause it was so late by the time--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: --my turn to speak. And I, but I wish I'd said some more things at the end, too, about the present situation ----------(??). Yeah--

HONEY: I just, I'm keeping, you know, like with this thing. I'm just 162:00keeping files of things, and, um, if we ever get this transcribed, it will go the Wisconsin, to your collection. But also, I like to have some things I can quote you from. So like something that's written down is very handy. Um, for different, you know, you, you bring up points that nobody else brings up.

BRADEN: I have my speeches--

HONEY: And so I have to quote you because you're the one that has these particular insights, like about that early seventies, you know, your impression of the movement.

BRADEN: I keep saying that. I don't know why--

HONEY: And the role of the Red Scare, and those things.

BRADEN: The thing that amazes me, though, Michael, it just, it worries me, really--well, I have a copy of the speech I gave at Connecticut College last week. I can send you too.

FOSL: I'd love to get a copy too.

BRADEN: Okay. I've gotta type that. They, they want it. So I've gotta do that, actually, this weekend, get it to 'em. Because they really want it because, now, you see, they were paying us honorarium, so we feel like we had to do something. Um, I haven't gotten the honorarium 163:00though, so that. But they wanted people to s-, you know, it was one of these things. They had panels, and they wanted people to s-, send or bring their comments in advance. Well, I didn't have time to do it in advance. So I was feeling very guilty about that. And I got up there, and I knew I had to stay in time there--I believe we had a certain time--I don't remember what it was. But I stayed in it. But I knew I had to write it out to stay in time. So I just skipped the morning panel, which was on religion. ----------(??) Hall was on it, I talked to her. We went out to the car. I had rented a car and sat down and wrote some things out in long hand. So I gotta type it up. But I made some of the same points that I always make. I'm like a broken record. I've got, you know, and what amazes me is that not, not other people, not other people besides me are saying these things. And that's why people often like what I say.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: It's like they hadn't thought at all.

HONEY: (laughs) Say, oh, yeah.

BRADEN: Yeah, but why don't some other people say these things?

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: About, you know, the whole reverse discrimination myth, and what 164:00the repression did, and what it did to the minds of white people, and that that's the basis of Reaganism and the Republican right wing. It seems so obvious to me. And, and yet, you don't hear all that many people saying it. And I--

HONEY: Yeah. Well, I, I say it in my classes--

BRADEN: -- they better start saying it now.

HONEY: I say it in my classes all the time, but nobody has--in terms of historians--nobody has sat down and documented these things. And I-- that's one of the things I've thought about in, sometime in the future that I might write something kind of semi-autobiographical about coming down south in that period when all that was happening. And tell it from a first-hand point of view, but also go research it in this, in the Braden papers, and--(Braden coughs)--actually document, you know-- (Braden coughs)--how that happened.

BRADEN: Yeah, I don't know that anybody--of course I don't read all the books that come out ----------(??) shelves. I really should. I'd like to take a year off and just read like you did and get a ----------(??). I remember once you wrote me you was going to read everything you 165:00could find about the South. Well, I haven't read half of that, and I'd love to do it.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: But I'm not sure anybody has really documented it in one place or one really good book--the repression of the late sixties.

HONEY: Nobody's ever, nobody's ever?

BRADEN: And the cases, you know, all around. Things we wrote at the time. Like, the-- remember, we put out a pamphlet. There were, I think, forty people in jail, or on their way, in, in North Carolina, along with the Wilmington Ten. That was just one of 'em.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: Um, the Southern Patriot would be a book--because every issue, we had something. And remember, I'll never forget that guy--I don't remember his name, but I was--wanted to throw him out of the SCEF house because we were getting into the white thing then too. You know, we had this, I don't know what you call it, a tiny little beech head (??) in Appalachia. This guy worked down in the mountains somewhere. I don't think he worked for SCEF. But he--maybe he was an Appalachian volunteer--sounds like something an Appalachian volunteer would say. He was in the SCEF office, and he was looking at the paper. He says, "I like the Patriot,"-- he got it every month-- "but," says, "too 166:00much in there about, about blacks going to jail and black militants. Too much in there about black militants." I said, "What did you say?" (Honey laughs) He said, "Well, you know, every, every issue on the front page, some, some other black militant is in jail." And he said, "Why don't you just have a little box score on the front, front of the page? Just a little box just so you have space for something else." And, "Blacks creamed this month." I said, I did, I said, "Would you get out of here." You know? (laughs) I mean. (laughs)

HONEY: You're, you're a patient woman, but not that patient. (laughs)

BRADEN: But really, of course, it was that way. And, and we didn't record 'em all. But that would be a good source.

HONEY: Yeah. I often wonder about people like Lee Otis Johnson and, and--

BRADEN: What became of somebody--

HONEY: --Buddy Tieger and people like that. You know, are they still around?

BRADEN: I've lost--I've forgotten some of their names. I mean, we'd have to really go back. And I'll tell ya, the, um, the Socialist Worker's Party--if you'll pardon the expression--put out a book a few 167:00years ago on the COINTELPRO against the black movement. Have you got that? Did you read it?

HONEY: No.

BRADEN: Well, I might have it, actually. But I haven't read it.

HONEY: Huh.

BRADEN: And, and, you know. And I don't think anybody's ever gotten all the--so I don't know whether anybody--well, some people must have. They've even gone through the stuff that was released in the church hearings. Jim Forman, see Jim Forman was saying at Connecticut College--he's looked into a lot of this. The problem is people don't believe Jim much anymore. They think he's paranoid, which he is, a little bit. But paranoids have real enemies sort of you know. 'Cause I think Jim was off his rocker for a while, and he still is. He seemed perfectly rational this past weekend except he talked too much. You know, he got with a student, you know that I mentioned ----------(??) a year ago said last night. These were young people, and they were anxious to do something, black and white. They got together Saturday night to put together-- talk about how they were going to Princeton, Vassar, all these different places they were going. And they've invited some of us to come and sit in. They were just having sort of a reception for us. This was after ----------(??). ----------(??) and I walked back there and Jim was in the midst of them holding forth, just talking, see telling them what they needed to be doing, which he 168:00wouldn't have taken, you know, years ago. ----------(??) says, "I wish Jim would shut up." So he does that. But the other thing is, that he gets to talking about the persecution. I think he's right and he was saying, from the floor--he was on the panel, too, but he got up there and said something on the floor during the reception--that there were things that he's forgotten-- documents he's gotten, since his book, Black Revolutionaries, that document these people who said in so many words, "We're going to destroy SNCC." You know, and he says he's got this documentation. I haven't seen that anywhere, frankly. And as I say, he, he doesn't--people don't always believe him. But I believe him on that you know. And, um, oh, McGeorge Bundy was the only person who said that, that we're going to destroy SNCC. SNCC has gotta be destroyed. Um, now, the, the book on the COINTELPRO. I guess they just worked from documents, basically.

FOSL: Which book?

BRADEN: The Socialists Workers Party one. Then there's the--

169:00

FOSL: That's not the Nelson Blackstock?

BRADEN: Yeah, it may be. Have you read it?

FOSL: Yes, I have read that book.

BRADEN: Well, maybe there's a more recent one because--

FOSL: This book's been around for a while. I might have your copy is what I--

BRADEN: Oh, really? Well, if I can't find it, I'll know where to look. I don't know. I think I have the thing--I think I've got it at home. But, you, you know, I don't think it's been--there was some book just a couple years ago.

FOSL: Um-hm.

HONEY: You get a sense of it in different things, in Clay's (??) book, ----------(??) Carson's book, or, um, Cleveland Sellers book--it's real obvious in there, but--

BRADEN: You see, I hadn't read Cleve Sellers book, that's terrible, I should.

HONEY: Well, you get-- it's an interesting book. But to actually give the breadth of it, you know, and show how much, how wide spread it was, there's not that many that does that.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: Um, and then, the other thing would be to put it together with FBI documents and Freedom of Information Act requests, really show how, 170:00uh, orchestrated the whole thing was.

BRADEN: Um-hm. Sure--

HONEY: And then the media. You know, the role of the media was so-- that's what I remember from the time. It was so blatant. Um, but that, that would be pretty big research job to do.

FOSL: And it takes so long.

HONEY: But if--that's why I was thinking of doing it from a first-person point of view, 'cause you could tell about some of those things and allude to the rest of it through the Southern Patriot and stuff like that, without having to spend ten years--

FOSL: Documenting--

HONEY: --documenting the whole thing.

BRADEN: If you could just document enough so that it became obvious of the massive pattern of it, I think.

HONEY: Yeah. But just, just establishing that basic point needs to be done. It hasn't really been done. And, and in teaching about the Civil Rights Movement, I don't think it's very clear, um, you know, why, why the movement ended when it did, and--or, not ended, but, you know, that BRADEN: That's why you hear--

HONEY: --precedent sort of ended.

BRADEN: --people with different theories about it, that it, totally opposite. That people say that, well, it achieved its objective, so it went out of existence. Or, its objectives were impossible, so people 171:00gave up. I've heard those two theories.

FOSL: Well, what do you think of those segments of the second part, in the second series of Eyes on the Prize?

BRADEN: You know, I haven't watched those.

FOSL: They're good.

HONEY: That segment with Fred Hampton is very powerful.

FOSL: Yeah, it's great. That's about the most powerful thing, you know- -it kind of cuts through it, yeah.

HONEY: Yeah. No, that's, it's pretty obvious in that film. That's, that's what I--when I teach the course on the Black Freedom Movement, that's where I do the section--I talk about, you know, my own experience and what happened at SCEF. We show that film. And by the time we've done that, people are devastated by what happened, you know.

FOSL: --questioning why--in what, what happened to the Civil Rights Movement after seeing that. That one segment, I thought was so incredible.

BRADEN: You mean, Fred Hampton?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I need to get a hold of that. I can't think where it was when they were showing ----------(??).

HONEY: And they combined it with Attica--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --about labor so, but anyway, it was C. T., um, he, um, it was 172:00in the course of that interview ----------(??) be a part of it, in Atlanta, Lyman came to my house once. I think C. T. stayed with us a couple days. We didn't talk constantly.

FOSL: Yeah, it was at your house. I remember that.

BRADEN: But, you know, but C. T. was talking about, he said--we were talking about the sixties and not fitting in. He says, "You know it's really true what it says in the Bible that you have to repent of your sins before you can be saved." And he said that's true of the individual, but it's also true of a society. He said what really happened in this country in the sixties, that the country took just the first step toward admitting that they'd been wrong on race. And creativity burst out all over the place in the whole society when ----- -----(??) new direction.

FOSL: I haven't ----------(??).

BRADEN: It's true to what happened. I think it's one of the best explanations I've heard. So, um, that was in the course of that. But what I wanted to say because you know you've gotta go-- and you may get it later, all your questions. We didn't get to it all--about the black, 173:00white thing and labor. You know, I forget what your exact--do I still have all your questions? I'm gonna keep 'em because maybe I should.

HONEY: Oh, sure.

BRADEN: I think I have 'em. I know you do. Well, you--

HONEY: Um, well I've got--no, I've got 'em written down in another way. So if you want to--

BRADEN: If you could, you could photocopy that and send it to me, 'cause sometime I'll try to answer all of 'em. But the one that--the thing about my experience--and it was limited in a way. You know, here I was--I wasn't a part of the labor movement, certainly, in the thirties, or any other movement. And you mentioned why you looked to the labor movement. Well, when I came along in the forties, all the stuff I described a while ago, I thought that the labor movement was where it was because it was where it had had been sort of. You know what I mean? And it looked fairly strong. And there were all these people that it seemed to be doing things, which they were. Um, the thing- -but I had to, you know, and I worked. You know, after I took this mission, I had to work with my hands instead of my brain. I worked in a tobacco factory here, and I worked in, worked on a big bakery line, you know, on these great big bakeries and did jobs like that. But 174:00I wasn't organizing. I was just there, and supported us for a while that way. And that was before went to work for the, uh, unions. We were still volunteering. And then, of course, I really got involved and--as much as I could, not being part of the union myself--with FE and those unions. And the thing that struck me--then later, you know, we saw what was happening. Sort of some of the stuff you were talking about, about this--wherever it was in Mississippi, joining in the Klan in mass. And you know, and, and the Klan's headquarters were in the Steelworkers Hall in Birmingham. You know, all that was happening after they ran out Hosea Hudson, you know, that stuff. But what I saw in FE and I'm not--I don't know whether--I guess I didn't write about this in my book, 'cause I just touched on that briefly, but I know I've talked about it. Um, I guess from the standards of today, you'd see 175:00a lot of racism in the FE Local, FE 236. But it was remarkable for that time. And I think even by the standards of today. They never had a black president. ----------(??) they ever did. The guy who was president was white. He finally left the country, went to England, and married a British war bride. Um, but Sterling was vice president. He's a black guy. And he was the leader. Everybody knew Sterling was the most powerful leader in that union. And the whites really looked up to Sterling. I mean, you know--I would be back there in the Labor Information Center, and some guy would come in, and something terrible had happened, and he was looking for Sterling Neal. He'd come back for Sterling. Sterling ----------(??). He just always expected this from the company. But nobody knew what to do. And he was fearless in confronting the company. And there were other black leaders that were either officers or grievance committee people or something. That was in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1949. And most of these people--'cause 176:00the Harvester plant, like I said, was new, relatively, it had only been in existence four or five years there, thr-, three or four years. A lot of the people--and, and they always said that they had the highest wages in the South. And the leadership always said this was because we, we've overcome the division of race. We--black and white are gonna stick together, that kind of thing. Um, and many times you did have- -you had white departments. Band 42 (??) would walk out because they, they, um, cut a price for a black worker, or they suspended a black worker. I mean, you had that happening, although it was predominately black. But there was a lot of blacks in it. Were no women, by the way. The only women in that local were two pe-, two women, and they were black who worked as maids because Harvester just didn't hire women. None of the plants did, you know, after the war, because they had to for the war. Um, but a lot of these people who'd come to work 177:00there--obviously, it was the best job they'd ever had in their lives- -they'd come off the farms sort of. And they would drive distances to come to, you know, work at Harvester--like people ----------(??) because of decent jobs anymore. Um, but it--I, I had thought about- -since, actually, I thought about it at the time. When I look back on it since too--that those white people who really, certainly, thought they were, um--I don't think they'd use the term racism--but thought, thought they'd rejected prejudice and so forth--whether they had or not--certainly were looking up to black leaders in the union--did have a sense of unity. The black and white workers had to stick together. Were no different--those white people were the same people who--same kinds of people who were working at the Ford plant where that was not happening. Or any other plant around here, right? Came off the same farm, same background and everything. So what was the difference? And my theory is, because they heard different things from the leadership. 178:00And the fact that the--and not that it was always that good. But that was a characteristic of the left-led views--that they saw the fight against racism--they apparently thought it was something else to-- but, um, as a, a crusade that had, that had to be fought if you were gonna have a labor movement. And they preached it all the time. And now, some of the people who came in from the outside-- both the FE, and then they merged with UE--as organizers, um, well, we had pretty good ones. I think sometimes, some of the white organizers who went south, in some of these unions, weren't so good because they, they were scared of the southern myth, sort of. They, they came to the notion you can't talk to white southerners about race, you see. So they avoided it. I mean, you had some of that. But the ones we had coming in here I think were pretty good. And they did talk about it. They preached constantly. I used to go, you know, to local meetings. You didn't have a meeting. Some--one of the union organizers, white wasn't getting up, talking 179:00about black pride union. We gotta--that's why we're gonna get ahead. That's why we got higher wages. That's how we can fight Harvester. We can stick together. Somebody black gets fired, we're gonna do something about it. You know, that kind of stuff.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Preaching it all the time. That's--until you get where that is the accepted thing where you are. People tend to--and it makes these because you're gonna, you left that union hall, and you were kind of hooked up to it. You were, uh, bad-mouthing blacks. But in there, you were respected if you treated people fairly. It's a different standard. I thought, you know, Highlander played that role. Uh, I may have told you this before, um, what's her name, who's now in California? That--the woman, she's, she's a lesbian now. Can't think what I'm trying to say. Marge France (??).

FOSL: Oh.

BRADEN: She told me one time. That was, I think I was berating her, because she spent more time raising money for Highlander than for SCEF in those days, of course. You know what I'm saying. She was a SCEF supporter, and she'd been part of the episode in Congress and all of 180:00that, of course she was. And she loved SCEF. And she said, "I tell you, I have a special feeling about Highlander." She said, "It's the only place I've ever been where I've seen white southerners change before my eyes."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, of course, by the time--by then, see, I never went to Highlander. First time I ever went to Highlander was the twenty-fifth anniversary in 1957, which is when all the shit hit the fan--the big picture was taken. First time--that was where I met Martin Luther King, too. I think I told you that, I drove him to Louisville after that. We all heard, "We shall overcome," for the first our life. But something--by that time, the people coming to Highlander--the whites were already convinced civil rights activists that came up to those workshops. In the thirties, in Highlander, the whites who came there were labor people. And that's when she was there, ----------(??). And who came because it was a labor sweep. And she said that she was in--they would have these residential workshop--people would stay for a week. And so people--whites would come, and they'd get up there and see they were gonna have to sit down and eat at the table with blacks. And they were ready to leave because they didn't do that. But they 181:00couldn't leave because there was no way to get off the mountain. I mean, it was horrible (??) up there. I mean, the buses didn't run--if you didn't have somebody take you off the mountain, you were stuck. And, and, in a week, she said she saw them totally change. And, I think, because there--back home they were accepted that they were racist, and there they were accepted if they were egalitarian. And people were taught that.

FOSL: It's totally consonant with what, uh, Chris Gastinger said.

BRADEN: Yeah, and Chris--I think I've said all this to you before, because I remember you checked this out with Chris, and he said I was right. The other thing I noticed--Mike, I don't know if I said this to you was that, that the, the outside organizers, with that perspective, which I think came from the communist perspective basically, they were communists, most of 'em. Or if they weren't, they'd been influenced by them. And, you see, this was a part of their creed.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know? So they influenced people. And I think they were doing it all over the South. And I think you know once they were destroyed, that that part of the union, you know, it was destroyed. So, of course, you had everybody--but, not that a lot of them wouldn't join the Klan anyway, but you'd have had a--more of a larger descending body when the fifties came along if the destruction hadn't happened. 182:00But there was a difference that I thought was interesting. And I, and I think this is important to today. That the, um, that these professional or-, and they weren't professionals. They were working people too. But they, they were politically sophisticated. You know, they would get up and talk about this. They would talk about and they used this term all the time, "The self-interest of the white worker." That was their term. It was sort of jargon. And that it's in the self- interest of white workers to defend the black workers' rights, you know, and all this. Of course, they said ----------(??). Um, when the white guys just from the shop got up, they wouldn't talk about it. They'd get up to report. Brother Mims (??)--I remember, Bob Mims. He, he was always getting fired. He was black. Brother Mims got fired from the place, or suspended. And this white man got up. And he was so mad--and he says, "This makes me mad! We're not gonna put up with it!" He says, "This just isn't fair. It's not fair they treat Brother Mims that way." He didn't talk about the self-interest of the white worker 183:00or anything. Just, it wasn't fair. The sense of fairness that I think people have, if you appeal to it. And I think--Scott Marshall told me, you know, Scott's gone absolutely crazy. He's--you remember Scott?

HONEY: Um-hm.

FOSL: Who is Scott Marshall?

BRADEN: At least, I haven't seen Scott in a long time. And maybe he's not depressed. He didn't always--but, you know. In the Communist Party split, most of our friends went with the people who led us. Scott stayed with the old crowd. I mean, Scott dug these things--you see, he's just red. But anyway, I remember when Scott was more like a normal human being, maybe he still is, I haven't seen him. Maybe, maybe they were right. I don't know. But he, he was going around-- he was still working with SOC before he left the South. And, in fact, we bought a car for him. Braden Memorial Fund bought a car for him, which we finally got back when he moved to Chicago. Um, but he was- 184:00-what was he supposed to be doing? He was, he was trying, actually, he was working on Labor Today, the paper, but he was doing some stuff on building the SOC network too at the Courier, but it was at SOC. But it was at the time that--what was that case, the Weber case, which was the first labor reverse discrimination so-called case. It was after the Bakke case, which really started the concept of reverse discrimination. But the Weber case--wish I could remember the details--we wrote it up in the SOC newsletter. There was a lot about it, it was a big case. It was--came from Louisiana or something.

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: It was some white worker who said he was discriminated against. And there was a big battle at Kent (??) about it. And I can't remember how it finally came out.

HONEY: Well, the union backed up the affirmative action--

BRADEN: That's right. Yeah.

HONEY: --program, yeah.

BRADEN: Anyway, Sc-, Scott saw as part of what he was doing was going around talking at local unions. Was it local unions? Or somewhere, Labor Today paper, or something, on that case. And he's claiming and he said he got a real positive response from white workers about it. Okay, and he said, he said, because he based it on fairness. And he 185:00had--and that this-- that affirmative action is just fairness. And that a-, anybody that knows anything about and--he would say this to them--anybody that knows anything about the union movements knows that it, that fairness is basic to it. We can't have a union unless it's, it's based on fairness. If you got the boss being favorite to this person or this favoritism, you don't have a union. And he said people understood that in their guts, you know.

FOSL: Gastinger railed about that same time.

HONEY: Um-hm. Well, this is interesting 'cause it's, it's recon-, you're talking about the--what happened at FE is--this is one of the debates that I was referring to earlier about, you know, what role leadership played versus, uh, just sort of rampant racism.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

HONEY: And Ed McCrea and Red Davis and people like that have always said to me that it's-- was really about the labor leadership and the change in the leadership when the left was kicked out that turned the tide in the other direction. And other people have written and said, 186:00well, that's just romantic. I mean, it was the workers themselves that became you know, that they were the ones that, uh, came out against Brown and desegregation. And they were, but they discount the--

BRADEN: The fact that people can change.

HONEY: --importance of labor leadership. Yeah.

BRADEN: That people can, that people can change. It was some--it's not, it's not just, it's not a big leadership, uh, concept. I think it's that if there is a way to get other ideas before people. They're gonna get considered. And once you remove that sort of force in the labor movement, who was putting those ideas out?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know, there was nothing to counter what people had heard all their lives which, you know, was to be against blacks all together. And I don't know that we would have ever had, under the best circumstances, at that part of the stage in history, even now, a mass movement of whites in the South that were supporting desegregation and that kind of thing. But I bet you, you'd have had a more of a significant minority of the working class, you know, if that, uh, 187:00hadn't happened. And I wrote in the Patriot about that at the time. I remember writing editorials that, you know, what would have happened if Brown had come down before the witch-hunts. And it wasn't, I wasn't writing just about the working class. You see, a lot of the b-, whites had been run out of the South.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: A lot of them were Southern Congress people--Tex Dobbs and Colleen Dunn (??) and all those people were gone that would have been a force in Birmingham and other places. They were gone. So--(pause)- -but I think and the other thing, of course, that happened as you know--you're more familiar with this, it happened to you. See, well, during the si-, the early, the late fifties, when we were first working for SCEF and the sixties, the early sixties, we didn't find any allies in the labor movement in the South. We didn't look real hard. And I guess, because we, like everybody else, I mean, they weren't there. We assumed they weren't there, and they weren't, um, for all the reasons 188:00we've just said. The left was gone as far as, you know, any union contacts. There was some--there would be people around, individuals, who had maybe gotten fired from somebody's staff or something like that, you know, but not anybody with a real base. And, and there may have been some exceptions. But, um, we just assumed, like everyone that they were against us.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But we never assumed that the whole white working class was always gonna--the labor movement as such in the South was not with the Civil Rights Movement. Walter Ruether had come down to march, but, you know. And I've often, you know, you look back, you think, well, maybe I just should have gone to see those people in the textile office in Knoxville or whatever. And maybe, you know, maybe we were too reticent about confronting 'em. But I don't know that we would have done any good. Now, I know Lou Burnham--you know who he was?

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, I remember seeing him right before he died in New York. And he was--I was talking about was SCEF was doing. And he said, "Well, you gotta get out of playing games with ----------(??) and reach these 189:00people." He said, "You gotta really reach masses of people." And we weren't. And I don't know whether it would have done any good or not, you know. Maybe we should have tried. We didn't have the forces, in a way. So that you know, what SCEF was doing was finding the individual here and there, and they tended to be, middle cla-, professional, what passed as the intelligentsia in the South, sort of. It was white, it was really what the movement was, plus the students as they came along. But then, you see the change began to happen, just from the grass roots, when--as you got into the sixties, some of this was before King died. You probably, um, where people trying to organize unions came to the Civil Rights Movement. And, like, I've got a picture of ----------(??) it wasn't one I was talking about, or it might have been on the wall, pictures ----------(??) displays on the wall. Um, of King on the picket line in Atlanta in about '66 with--what local union was that? It was in the Patriot, the picture was. Somebody, 190:00I can't remember what union it was. But they were on a strike in Atlanta. They called him, and wanted him to come down. C. T.'s in the picture. And, um, and they began--oh, obviously, the garbage men were ----------(??), but most of them were black. But white, these were white workers. Or white and black, sometimes. And then that increased as the sixties went on because what was happening was--I kind of alluded to that last night. He, basically, the, the black movement wanted the right to organize itself, broke the police state. And unions did begin to organize. Plus, the work-force was changing. Like textile mills, that had been all white, now had blacks in 'em, uh, because they had to, to get the federal contracts. That was the civil rights law, you know. And, um, so the work-force changed. And a lot of those things, like, we began to write about those things in the Patriot, where you had organizing drives in the textile mills that were succeeding in South Carolina and North Carolina, of course, a lot of those textile mills are closed now. But those mill-, those blacks 191:00had come out of the Civil Rights Movement. And they were militant. They knew how to organize. And they began organizing unions, and the whites were joining with them. There's no doubt that was happening in the late sixties. It still is. But now the problem is getting a job at all, I guess. But they, um, but they would--and then when Carl Farris, you know, that was his big thing--went to work for SCLC. He was, he was trying to build SCLC's links to the labor movement and to work or organize it. And he went--did the work around the Charleston hospital thing. You know, I really don't know--and I, I don't know the story of what happened there, because that union was, ultimately, sort of destroyed. But it was an important battle at the time. But at that time, and, and, of course, Carl had a struggle with other people in the SCLC who didn't wanna bother with the union. The unions are anti-black and, you know, all that. Plus they didn't understand the class issue. And Carl--you were, no, you weren't at the early S-, SOC meetings. You know, we had--

192:00

HONEY: But Carl used to work out of our store in Memphis. See, he used to--

BRADEN: That's right.

HONEY: --fill my ear.

BRADEN: Yeah, well see, Carl was so devoted to-- I mean, he was like-- his thinking on black and white was the, the, uh, the old socialist--

HONEY: (laughs) Yeah.

BRADEN: --motto: black and white together. He didn't wanna, he didn't wanna ca-, we had a-- S-, SOC almost bloc-, broke up in its first months over whether we were gonna--what was it-- whether we were gonna capitalize black or not. And he said that was ridiculous, and that was just a white radical fetish, and that you shouldn't capitalize black. Oh, but by that time, all the African-American papers were capitalizing black. We ended up doing it. And something else like that. I remember that when we were trying to--when we were--the, the meeting, what was that, ----------(??) small center she had, -------- --(??) Burn. And we were with her, we actually formed SOC, and we were trying to decide on a name for it, and Ben Chavis was presiding. Carl was out of the room, caucusing with somebody, because that's what he 193:00spent most of his time doing. He was off talking to somebody. And, um, so somebody came up with the title, the Southern--which we were trying to describe what we were--the Southern Organizing Committee for Social and Economic Justice. So he said--then Ben said--okay, so Carl came back in. And he said, "Carl, we wanna run this by you. What do you think? Southern Organizing Committee for Social and Economic Justice." Carl says, "Well, I'd put the economic first. Economic and Social Justice." Ben said, "I thought you'd say that." (Honey laughs) So we did. That's how we got the name. But he was, you know, he was constantly present in SCLC, and then he had that whole idea--

HONEY: Yeah.

BRADEN: --which we ----------(??) Martin Luther King. Uh, whatever you called it.

HONEY: Labor--

BRADEN: --something.

HONEY: --Institute, or something like that.

BRADEN: --which a lot of unions took up later. The whole jobs with justice thing is that idea, and that kind of a thing. But it was, um, but, at that time, by then--now, I've got some pictures in that photo album, I do still have some of those in the file of him in case--it was 194:00a strike in Georgetown, South Carolina, steelworkers. And they were white steelworkers, and they got on a bus and came to Atlanta to ask SCLC for help because they were in a desperate situation. And Carl went up there, and he's on the picket line with 'em and stuff like that. And there's a lot of that in the Patriot. See by then, Joy was doing most of the work on the Patriot.

HONEY: Were those pictures in the Patriot, do you think?

BRADEN: Um--

HONEY: Or are they just ones that you have?

BRADEN: I think we had some pictures from Georgetown, but I can remember in recent years seeing one in my file of Carl on the picket line. But the, but Joy was doing most of the work on the Patriot then, and she was traveling around a lot. And she wrote a lot of the stories. We were covering labor organizing struggles. You know, that was, what, late sixties and early seventies.

HONEY: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I didn't really--I wasn't doing a lot of that, so I didn't meet a lot of those people personally, but she did. Oh, and you remember, Joy tells a story, it's a wonderful story, about she went to someplace--(coughs)--she might remember where. She was gonna write 195:00up a story. And she went in. I guess she called in advance. She would just walk in to these union halls and told 'em she was from this paper, the Southern Patriot. And she wanted to write about them, what they were doing. And they were very cold. They didn't wanna talk to her. And they did. You know, people are polite. It was obvious they didn't wanna talk much. And, you know, we're all so paranoid because we're supposed to be communists and people don't want to associate with us. So she believed that was what was going on. They were scared of her. So she said, "Well, look. If you, you know, don't want me to write about it, it's okay." She said, "But before I leave, I do wanna leave you some copies of the new papers." So she went out to the car and got some papers, brought 'em back. And the woman looked at the papers. This was a woman. I remember she told me that. She said, "Oh," she said, "Well, come back. Yeah, I'll talk to you. This is a good paper." She said, "When you s-, said Southern Patriot," this is a white woman she said, "I thought you were talking about a racism 196:00paper." That's what she said, racism was her word. "Thought you were talking about a racism paper." And she said, "And you know, we've been struggling here to get the blacks and whites together. And we don't want no racism paper coming and messing it up." (Honey laughs) 'Cause the Southern Patriot, she thought was a racism paper ----------(??). So--

HONEY: Some people thought the name of the Patriot should be changed. (laughs) I guess that was some, some--

BRADEN: Yeah, there was a lot of talk of that

HONEY: --reason for that.

FOSL: Well, I guess the O.L. (??) kind of did that.

BRADEN: Yeah, they changed, Southern Struggle--

HONEY: Southern Struggle--(laughs)--with Mal's (??) pictures on the back looking into--first time I saw Southern Struggle, and Mal's picture was on the back. Well, I gotta quit.

BRADEN: Oh, yeah. Well, I'm, you know, what I'm gonna do, I guess, I'm gonna go down--

[End of interview.]

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