0:00

FOSL: One, two, three, testing one, two, three. This is an interview with Anne Braden on June 17, 1999 in The Braden Center.

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: Now we had gone to see Martin and Coretta, or, no, we'd gone to see Martin, basically. And it was when it was, it was a whole series of communications between him and us, mainly me, on the whole issue of the Red Scare. And he was instinctively good on it. And he did do some of the good things I think you and I have talked about before on Carl's petition--

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and, which is in my book. And, um, and other things, too, that he did. He did, and I think I've told you this. He, um, they had me speak SCLC, at the, I think you know about that, at the 1962 SCLC Convention. It was very strange. And they had me speak on nonviolent direct action.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Now there were a lot of experts on that ----------(??). They didn't need me speaking on that. And the Carl ran into--on airplane 1:00after they'd asked me to come and do it. It was in Birmingham, you know, it was right before ----------(??) the big movement there began to build up. It was '62, I guess in the spring or summer, I don't know. But, um, and a lot of stuff was going on in Talladega. That's when they all got in -----------(??). But I remember Chuck Morgan was there in the hotel room talking about what to do. But Carl had run into him on an airplane, and he'd mentioned that he, they were expecting me to speak there or something. And he had done this, he had looked at the program, and there weren't any women on it, which is interesting.

FOSL: Um-hm

BRADEN: And he put me on. But I think it was more than that. I think it was just his way of spitting in the eye of the people who said, "Don't associate with SCEF." Because and that picture got into the Louisiana American files. Because when they called me up to speak, um, I guess he introduced me. Yeah, I know he did. And, no! Somebody else did. But they called Jim Dombrowski and Carl to come to the stage, too.

2:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they sat there. And, uh, I guess he was there, too. And then they said that Martin would give some appreciation or thank me or something like that. And he did. And I can't even remember what he said. But he got up, and they had him there, you know, it was just a, to me, it was just his way of saying, "They're not gonna tell me who to associate with." You know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, 'cause I, it wasn't a very good speech I made, either 'cause I didn't-- (Braden laughs)--but, um, anyway, so he was good on that. But we kept trying, and I think maybe when we went to see him one day, it was on a Sunday afternoon, I think, but I don't remember for sure about that. It was during the day. Um, Aubrey and Carl and me. And Aubrey just was so negative about Martin originally.

FOSL: Right. I knew that.

BRADEN: And he'd write these letters, which we did, maybe hoped wouldn't get in some committee--(laughs)--where we'd publish 'em and embarrass everybody about how Ella Baker had more sense in one little finger than Martin had in his whole head. And that was, you know, from Montgomery.

FOSL: Yeah, I said--

BRADEN: And then--

FOSL: ---------(??) Sorry.

BRADEN: -- and then Aubrey got positive about Martin after he came out 3:00against HUAC and all that. But I think it may have been when we were trying to have that ill-fated conference on civil liberties that that woman, oh, a nice woman who was with the Southern Regional Council, with the Atlanta Council on Human Relations. What was her name? I feel like maybe we've talked about her. It was her idea. She was gonna get everybody involved, you know.

FOSL: Dorothy Tilly?

BRADEN: Unh-uh.

FOSL: Um.

BRADEN: No, I've never even heard of her. Um, ------------(??) come to me. She was head of the women's divi-, Human Relations Council, Atlanta. And she was real good. She was very friendly with people like us, very close to the Southern Regional Council, she may have been 'cause the Human Relations Councils were affiliated with--of course, they were scared to death of us, and, um, they did all that negative stuff. But she was sure she'd get them on board, we'd get the ACLU, we'd do all this, and we were gonna have this huge conference. And were, I guess she started talking about it in '61, '62 because of the red thing, you know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: To bring everybody together, that we weren't gonna be divided by things like that, and all that kinda stuff. I was always skeptical 4:00------------(??). But she thought she could do it, you know. And that was, I know I told you this story, when Wyatt Walker was very much ----------(??).

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause Wyatt was good on this issue, absolutely. He's the one who--(laughs)--went to that second SNCC meeting and fought for us to be a part of the observers, you know.

FOSL: Right. The meeting.

BRADEN: So he was working on it, and he, and Do-, I remember Dottie Zellner, who, I've told you this, talking about, you know, when he was in New York. And he went to the ACLU to talk to them about it and he never got in. Sat and cooled his heels all afternoon. He was, never got in to see the top people at ACLU in New York. He had told them what he wanted talk about and was furious. And, and I remember- -(laughs)--Dottie saying, "Got an open door of the White House and he can't get into the ACLU," which was really true.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So of course they didn't do it and neither did SRC. And that was when we ended up, Ella was, we'd asked Ella to coordinate it 'cause she wasn't there with us that day at Martin's, I'm pretty sure. But Ella coordinated. We had that good conference that June in 1963. Pretty sure it was three, yeah. That was sponsored by SNCC and us.

5:00

FOSL: And that was the one in Birmingham?

BRADEN: No, Atlanta.

FOSL: Oh no--

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

FOSL:--at, in Atlanta, right.

BRADEN: Right, yes. And somebody else, oh, SCLC, SCLC did co-sponsor it. And I don't think all those people, Martin certainly wasn't there. And I don't, not a lot of people came. That white guy, Terry Boyd's father, worked on the staff of SCLC. And he was there, very much taking part. But, uh, was some good people. Staughton Lynd was just great in those. Bob Moses was there and I remember he and Staughton got into this long discussion, and Bob said some interesting things. But they could really take on this issue, because they were--might have a few black Congressmen from Mississippi soon ----------(??)----- ----- had to do it. Staughton really talked well to him. And, and Jim Fullman (??) was there, giving a lot of leadership. And, um, uh, John Lewis. I remember John Lewis and some people had had an automobile accident on the way down from somewhere. They were in Tennessee, coming down for it. But they got a ride and came on. A lot of the, the SNCC people really came out. But, anyway, that was the upshot. I 6:00think we may have gone and talked to Martin. But it was something to do with that issue. And I would write him long letters, I don't know. They recently wrote me from the, well, back in the last year, from the Papers Project, California wanting my commission to print a letter I'd written Martin, which was just the letter, actually, the one that he answered and made the comment about my book. ----------(??)---------- about his book. And I, and I wondered if they had any of those long letters I wrote him. Um, because I remember I ran into him somewhere and he said, "I read your letter, Anne, flying 40,000 feet above the Earth in South America," something. So he read 'em. But, anyway, we went to see him. And it was something to do with that issue. So we were sitting around the dining room table, weren't there for dinner, but we, that's just where we were sitting, we used the living room a lot. And, um, Coretta wasn't in sight. She was out in the kitchen cooking dinner, I think. It may have been Saturday. She always cooked Saturday night for Sunday dinner so that they could spend the day in church, do that. So it may have been Saturday, I don't know. But, anyway, um, so it was Carl and me and Aubrey, I think, was all. So, 7:00and Martin. And I said, I said, "Why don't, why don't we wait until Coretta's here to talk about this, and let's get her ideas?" And he looked a little startled. But he didn't object. But it had never occurred to him to ask her to come. So I remember he called, "Cora?" He--(laughs)--"Cora?" She said, "All right." She came in and sat down and listened and made a few comments. So he had, he didn't protest at all, like some men do, in that situation. But it had absolutely never occurred to him--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --to ask her to come out of the kitchen and sit there when people were discussing ideas in the movement. So it was, we just--

FOSL: Huh. So that would probably have been in '63, then?

BRADEN: I think it was earlier, if it had to do with that conference, it would have been earlier than that. Because the conference was in June, '63. It may have been something else later. May have had to do with the abolition movement. And, um, then there was the SCEF raid in the 8:00fall of '63.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: It could been after that. But it was in the early '60s.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because after the mid-sixties, I didn't see Martin much. He was just, I didn't try to get in touch with him. He was just so pulled, you know. But it was in that period, in the early '60s, when Carl and I often stayed there when we went down there--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know, they asked us to come and spend the night there. But I didn't have that sort of, I just didn't stay in that kinda touch later.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: So it would have been early '60s, that's all I know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, uh, and it would have been after 19--February, 1962, 'cause that's when Carl got out of prison. -----------(??).

FOSL: But you wouldn't want that to be in the article.

BRADEN: I don't think, not in this article, no.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And I don't even think in your thing. 'Cause I, I just don't know what Coretta, I might talk to Coretta about it some time, if I ever get to see her.

FOSL: Well, lemme just--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --wasn't there. But he mentioned it and so forth. But she was speaking at lunch. And so they had, and they had, I was sitting at the table with her. So didn't, not much chance to talk about something like that. But I was talking about the Black Belt, and I said, "Martin talked about it this morning." But when she got up to speak, she went on and on about me. (Fosl laughs) And she wanted to specially pay 9:00tribute to Anne Braden, and, who was here and all that. It was really unnecessary. It wasn't, didn't fit in with what she was supposed to be talking about.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And I think she has some guilt feelings about me or something, I don't know. I really don't know.

FOSL: Hmm

BRADEN: But, I think, but it's friendly. And she, how I've been a pioneer, and I don't know, she just went on and on for four or five minutes in sort of the introduction when she was saying she was glad to be there and all of that kinda stuff. So, it's strange.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I, but I'm, I've really gotta do that right away, of calling her, calling him. I gotta find out his name, if he's still there.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Or Bendi (??) can get to her. See, she and Bendi (??) are good friends.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And, um, and she's told, she had another assistant once that I had written her about something. This was just a few years ago. And the woman called me and she said, "Oh, I know about you when and after Ms. King got your letter, she said she called me into her office and sat me down to tell me her about, me about you."

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: So there's something there, it's, it's strange. And I think she must be pulled in so many directions.

10:00

FOSL: I'm sure.

BRADEN: And I don't think, and those kids are straitlaced. I'm not sure they're as straight as she say-, well, I, I guess they are, in a way. But they're all fighting among themselves, you know--

FOSL: Right. I know what you mean (??).

BRADEN: -- and fighting over the center. And it's interesting somebody, none of them ever married.

FOSL: Is that right? I didn't' realize that.

BRADEN: And somebody asked about that. And she said, well, she thought one problem was who wants to get into a family like this with the spotlight and all that--

FOSL: Um-hm

BRADEN: --which is certainly true. And, oh, I don't know. Oh, I've asked you this. I, King later told his wife he could not believe such a white woman existed. Um, and I ask you where you got.

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: ------------(??)----------- women in Montgomery, Ms. West and all them. I guess Virginia probably took me. Another awkward paragraph starter. I don't know what, I don't know what's awkward about that.

FOSL: See, I felt the same way.

BRADEN: I would want you to spell out something--

11:00

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: The following material has to do with the NWSA manuscript revisions.

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: --you know, very, uh, it, we don't need a lot of length here. We just need some very meaty quotes and some maybe help with clarifying a few points.

BRADEN: Well, you took some notes on--

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: And they had some questions back there, too, that one guy at ------------(??).

FOSL: Right. And I meant I've put some of his questions on here but not all of them. But you talk about where I introduce the Other American, you said maybe you'd say a little bit more about that. So would you do that? Maybe we could start there?

BRADEN: Well, I don't know whether you may--(laughs)--you, whether you can really, I guess you could. But without crediting where I got it. And that would clutter, right there. You do mention Patterson back there, I guess, with the CRC--

12:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --and the whole region whites. But, um, but if you want, I mean, well, lemme just tell you to the side. But it wouldn't how, you wouldn't have to name him there. But when I was just getting into things that, um, an older, and I think you'd have to say African- American--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --leader that I respected highly told me I had to make a choice, and that I had a choice, that you could be a part of the world of the lynchers, as he put it, or join the Other America. And that the Other America was the whole, um, syndrome, I don't know if I'd use that word, of people from the very beginning of this country who opposed injustice, and especially opposed racism, and, and, and slavery. And it was black and it was white. Now, you know, unfortunately, nobody talked about other ethnic groups then. And that, that is what I could be a part of, and that it existed today, then, and that, you know, that 13:00that was, offered me a home to live in.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Um, I didn't put it that way then. But that's what I felt like, well, that's what I wanna be a part of. And so it was a very real concept to me all my life, and it still is.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And it, in the sense that it, uh, that it's what I call, you know, you know, the epilogue I wrote for the book, that you helped with that sentence. Um, its, its present incarnation, I think that's my word, in the movements for social change in my time.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: That that's a whole world to itself. And, um, but it's also the connection with a past and a future.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And like you're part of a long chain up struggle that was here long before you were here and it's gonna be here after you're gone. And that gives life a meaning. But it's also is a place to live, and that people do need roots. And I know I thought about this. I, I, I've thought about it different ways all through the years. That it became very conscious with me that I, I, I met people who I thought 14:00were part of the Other America.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And you always know the minute you meet 'em.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: You really know--(laughs)--whether they are or not. And not everybody who's in social justice movements is.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they come and go. But the consistent people are. And I call it the scattered brotherhood and sisterhood, too. Um, but it's there. And I thought about it some when Ron Chisolm with The People's Institute, you know, he has this thing that people have to have their roots in a culture. And he, he used to say, "the whites." And he's good on racism in some ways, but he doesn't understand whites. He's never been white. Just like I don't really understand blacks, I've never been black. Um, he said, "Well, you all have a culture, you, you know, you come from somewhere. There is no white land. You know, ----------(??) come from Ireland, you come from Germany, you people come somewhere, you got a culture. And you, you need to have your roots in your culture." Well, that was crazy to me. I said, "Ron, that makes no sense." I said, "I can't have roots in my culture." I said, "The culture I grew up in was fascist. It wasn't just racist, it was literally fascist." I mean, the people that I grew up with really believed that the, their south, their south, was the last stronghold of 15:00Anglo-Saxon civilization in this country.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they did. And, and I said, "I can-, I can't grow roots there." So I had, and he, so he never, I don't think he ever got it. But, you know, I gotta think there, well, so I can't do that. But you do have to have roots somewhere. And there is another world in this society to live in.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And it's real. I mean, that's where you move. And you don't, 'course if you get too ingrown, that's all you ever talk to. And you gotta go out and talk to other people. But that's your roots. So--

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: So that's sort of it--(laughs)--if you can put that in a sentence. Now, what else?

FOSL: Uh, remember the, the, uh, suggestion, or that question, about the ideas that you got. Uh, were they Carl's ideas, just that you recycled, or--

BRADEN: Oh, that was earlier. ----------(??).

FOSL: Could you say a little bit more about your ideas?

BRADEN: Well, and it was also bears on that thing at the end about the -----------(??) somebody ----------(??)

16:00

FOSL: Right.

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

FOSL: Like understated, like.

BRADEN: Yeah. Well, there isn't any doubt that Carl changed my life. And I don't know what would have happened. I was certainly looking. And, you know, I had decided that I was gonna leave Louisville. I think I've told you all this before, haven't I?

FOSL: Um-hm. Yes.

BRADEN: And just start life over somewhere. And, uh, because I needed to get away from that privileged background. I don't know that I used the word "privilege." But it was a class thing. By that time I knew we were classes. And, and I needed to prove to myself I could work with my hands and not just my brain. That's why I took all those jobs, like in the tobacco factory and stuff later. I wasn't really trying to organize. I didn't know how. But I did that 'cause I had to prove that to myself. But I, that was before I knew I was in love with Carl, before I knew he was in love with me. But I figured I just needed to get away and make a total break with my past, but I'd have to go somewhere else to do it, where I didn't know anybody. So I remember, and I told him that that's what I was gonna have to do, because I had 17:00to start life over in a different world. Because you just couldn't get away from it being in the same place and knowing the same people. And that's when he brought me that book on counties, which you've probably seen.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Which was ridiculous. I never even looked at it. And Carl was so statistical. And he said I could look at different places--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --decide--(laughs)--where to go. And then he said later that's when he decided he'd better do something about getting us together because I was gonna leave.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I was. I wasn't, hadn't decided where. But I really was gonna leave. So the point is that I think, and, and I think it's poss- , I don't know what would have happened to me if, if I hadn't hooked up with Carl. Because obviously, I would have already decided I had to break with the past. And, in a way, I thought about sometimes, in a way, he was a shortcut.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I might have found, had to find my own way a little bit more. Um, because I, you know, I've said a lot of times I married into the working class, basically.

18:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And, um, I would have had, and, you know, so I might have taken a different directions. I think I'd a stayed on that path. But, um, but, but he had already opened--(sniffs)--up a lot of that world to me. Because I, you know, I looked up when I came here to the NAACP and things like that. But the whole class question I got from him. And, um, and not just in books. But the fact that he came from a different class. And I think this whole thing, as I've said many times, that the whole class, um, thing is harder than race, because it's harder to see. You can see race. It's color. But you don't see class. And there's such a conviction among upper classes that there is no class--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --no classism. And the people in lower classes always know there is, whether they call it that or not. And, um, um, so, and, you know, I think I told you Ben Chavis said one time, "People aren't born racist, but they're born privileged."

FOSL: Hmm.

19:00

BRADEN: So that's a really just constant.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they are. And, you know, breaking away from that. So I think the emotional pull of Carl, and I was in love with him, I think as a ma-, well, I was in love with him in the sense, it, I felt no physical attraction to him in the beginning at all. I mean, I didn't think in those terms. He was sort of a mentor and a teacher. He was older. Didn't seem real old. But he was more mature than me. He was in his early thirties, and he was thirty-three and I was twenty-three, I guess. And, um, so I really looked up to him because he was, he seemed to know so much, and I could learn from him. Which was true, he did know a lot about the things he knew about. And, um, so I kind of worshipped him, I think. But it was also a very, and that's what I, I went to about the relationship, a very exciting relationship. You know, I've never had a relationship with anybody like that except Harriet. Because I didn't ha-, certainly I didn't, you could have that kinda relationship till I met Harriet. But intellectual excitement 20:00with somebody.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I just, you know, I can remember, and I guess I did have some fantasies about really spending some time with him before things really came to a head. But it was, but I didn't think of it, still didn't think of it even as a physical relationship, and certainly not being in love with him. But it was looking up to him. So I think that, um, that it was that emotional pull to him that helped shake loose because it's so emotional, your ties to your past, that I think that that made a difference. Um, and--(pause)--so then when, when he told me he was in love with me that night--(laughs)--we sat and talked in that restaurant, I really couldn't believe it. I was just kinda shocked. And I realized that that was the answer to what I was looking for. And it probably wasn't. It was like, and I remember telling Lucile Schoolfield, I remember I was trying to tell her about it, that it was like everything in my life had been tied up like a knot. And 21:00it was like your shoestring, people don't have shoestrings anymore, get tied in knot, and you find one string, and it all pulls loose. And it was like the way I felt, that it pulled loose, everything had come clear. Well, it was a shortcut in a way, um, when it happened. And then I found I was physically compatible with him, and I f-, and I was in love with him. And I think it was. And then, but I didn't think of, I wasn't analyzing all this then. And then when Ida Fitzgerald, I think it was, said, "Are you marrying a man or a movement?" I got, you know, I thought, well, I don't know. I really don't know. But it's a man. So it was a combination. But, of course later, you know, I developed a lot of different ideas from him. I think that, and somebody said they asked him what, what we fought about. We usually fought about tactics on things. And, and I think for about two, a year or two, I really had stars in my eyes about Carl. I didn't think he could do anything wrong. And I remember there was some other people I was working with here by then 'cause we were in all sorts 22:00of organizations. And I was at a meeting or something, wasn't a big meeting, but I remember quoting Carl like this was gospel. And I remember this friend, who said, "Well, Carl isn't always right." And it hadn't occurred to me that everybody didn't know Carl was right. (Fosl laughs) You know, so I was really kinda worshipped him. But that didn't last too long. And that was when I quit smoking.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: 'Cause he had quit smoking. He didn't ask me to. And, and quit drinking. And I didn't drink that much, although I was a sl-, I did, too. I was a social drinker. I'd drink at late at night and talk and stuff like that. And, um, 'cause he had totally quit drinking. And so I did those. And I, well, about two years, the stars had worn off enough that I wanted a cigarette, and I started smoking again. (Fosl laughs) And, um, that was one of the first mistakes in my life. (Fosl laughs) Um, and of course I quit for two years in the '60s and started again. But, um, and I don't remember about the drinking. That never was that much of an issue. But I probably did. And, um, he never did. 23:00He never did ----------(??).

FOSL: He never did drink anymore?

BRADEN: Oh no, he never drank a drop.

FOSL: -----------(??)

BRADEN: No. He was probably, he was an alcoholic probably, you know. He couldn't, but he didn't even want it. He didn't want a cigarette, either.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: 'Cause he told me that he had had, you know, he told me after he, when he quit smoking, I think it was harder than quitting drinking. And he was working on the copy desk at the, um, Cincinnati Enquirer because they were doing everything, everybody's gone to war. And he--(Fosl clears throat)--The Enquirer got him an exemption, I believe, he got a deferment. And that he was just having to do everything. He would sit there and write every headline in the paper, just working real hard to take his mind off the cigarette.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But he said after about, oh, he said after two months he had a dream one night that the mattress was on fire, which of course it wasn't, but it was a terrible smell. And he woke up. And of course it wasn't. And he always figured that was his unconscious letting go of smoking.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: He never wanted a cigarette after that.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But mine never let go.

FOSL: So did he, did it get on his nerves that you smoked?

24:00

BRADEN: He never said so. And I don't think it did. And he didn't even nag me about health, because people didn't think about that that much then, you know. So I don't think it did.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: He didn't say so if it did. And he, but he, he probably did (??) on a lot of things. But, but I think he would have said if it really bothered him. And, and, you know, all you non-smokers have gotten so much more paranoid. I mean, people just kinda, smoke was part of the scenery.

FOSL: Right. -----------(??)

BRADEN: So you did manage, you know. But, um, anyway, the, but this, the stars kinda--(laughs)--got out of my eyes. But I always res-, you know, I, not the respect I had for, understood, I mean, Carl was just, um, he was a pillar of strength. And I'm not sure I would have stood up to, I don't think I'd have had the kind of activist life I did. I'd a done something somewhere, I think. I don't know what I would have done. But he was the one who, you know, barged ahead on things and totally, like, like I said, my, seen, everybody thought he was made of iron. That's why they were shocked when he died. And he always 25:00thought he was so healthy. And, um, but he was just unbendable in terms of taking a stand.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Nothing ever scared him. He enjoyed a good fight. Carl and, and Arlene Avakian (??) asked me that, said, "Did Carl have a sense of humor?" Because she thought it sort of came through in what I'd written, and, which I was glad it did, 'cause he did, you know. He really enjoyed a fight. And he was always telling jokes about things that involved the movement and stuff like that. But he was also very firm and all that. Where we disagreed, and-----------(??), when we began, when I began to develop my own ideas, we would argue about things. And usually he didn't mind, he didn't seem to object to that. Um, we'd discuss, we always discussed ideas until the real later years of his life. I think Carl was so tired toward the end of his life, we didn't as much. But, um, but it began to, that I had, I was just, we were such different personalities. And he was very abrupt and could 26:00be, I used to s-, I'd say sometimes that I spend half my life, he, that he writes these letters--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --these short little letters insulting people, and then I used to write a two or three page letter buttering 'em up.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And Carl always like, and he said, "I batter 'em, and she butters 'em up." Which is true. I just had a softer approach to people.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It was my upbringing, you polite, you say nice things--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know. And he didn't have that, right? And he, and he enjoyed a good fight. So that whole thing about how, you know, he led-, he was the leader of the gang on his block.

FOSL: Right, you told me that.

BRADEN: And he'd bully the others in the school yard and beat hell out of 'em. And he never quit thinking in those terms. But, but also, he was, he could be real abrupt. And yet, he wasn't mean and nasty. He was, like Joey Portugal (??) used to say, he was like a, what, what did she say? He was a iron on the outside and soft on the inside. She, she'd say he's such a softie, really. And he was.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He really cared about people, and little things. I mean, he would--(laughs)--when he was trying to run SCEF, and it was, you know, 27:00and growing with all those young people coming in, and it was such a strain raising the money and everything. But he was trying to-- (laughs)--and poor Bob Analavich (??), who later--

FOSL: Yeah, the dog.

BRADEN: The dog. He wanted--

FOSL: You told me that story.

BRADEN: --the dog. So when Carl got him a dog. And we deducted from the dog from his payroll. And this woman that used to work for the office said, "Well, you can't have a dog on the payroll. (both laugh) The warden won't stand for it." And the dog would come in and, and Analavich (??) used to laugh about that. And Carl would get all these papers. He read all the time. And he'd get all these papers he's gonna read, and he'd sit there and tear out things and read 'em and put all the papers down and, and Deacon, the dog, would come pee on the papers. (both laugh) And he would, he'd just push him away. And, and Joy, when she came down here from Canada, paid ten dollars, which was a lot of money then, to ship this two-dollar cat, Eeyore. She loved Eeyore. And Eeyore lived in the office over there, 'cause she did, too. And she'd say, Carl, you know, Eeyore would sleep on Carl's desk, on the Patriot ----------(??) and everything. Carl had just come in ----------(??) put Eeyore over there. You know, so he was that way. 28:00But he, but he, but he could real-, really be abrupt. And especially in writing. Well, no, he got explosive in talking to people, too. But mainly, he'd write these sharp letters to people. And I'd say, "Well, you know, we gotta get along with that person." And I'd try to butter 'em up. So, and, and, and there were some serious disagreements, I think, as time went on, on tactics. Because I was much more collective than Carl. I liked working with a collective.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And I liked consulting and stuff. And Carl was just a rugged individualist.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And he never particularly, he'd do it. But he, it, you know, it just bored him to death to have to sit in all these lengthy meetings, trying to reach some kinda consensus. And he tended to go on and do things, which would upset people. And I think he was, I think the contribution he made to the social justice struggle was related to that. Different personalities are suited for different times. Like I thought about Fred Shuttlesworth, who's totally, you know, nothing democratic about the man--(laughs)--at all. He's, he modified some, really his association with SCEF and later with SOC (??), sometimes 29:00listens to other people now. But he was a total dictator in the movement in Birmingham. And he never developed any leaders to come after him, you know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He had the masses behind him.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But Fred was the leader. He left the ----------(??) Christian Movement never, he kept going back for many years. But never was the same. Um, but that's what, but he had total courage--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --moral and physical. But to go out and confront people like he did, as an individual, he'd do it by himself, which was actually what Birmingham needed at that point.

FOSL: Right. ------------(??)

BRADEN: And, and the movement wouldn't develop without him. But he's not the person you'd pick to organize an ongoing movement--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --that was gonna be here forever. Well, in a way, Carl was the same way. But it was obviously different circumstances. But fighting the witch-hunt and that kinda thing, needed somebody with that just plain guts and courage--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and a rugged individualist.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause you're not gonna get a whole collective--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --if you're doing that. But, there again, in more peaceful times--(laughs)--that, you know, he might not have made that much of a 30:00contribution. 'Cause he really did have a hard time. Wasn't he didn't get along with people, it was just he didn't like sitting around--

FOSL: Process.

BRADEN: Yeah. Right.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: So, and we would have arguments about things like that. So, we never really disagreed on the issues or on children or, you know, any personal things.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But anyway, we, that's enough on that.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: I think.

FOSL: So, you said you were gonna say a little bit more about, like, this, how you really saw it as--

BRADEN: Oh, I didn't say--

FOSL: --whole different thing in terms of the vow. Remember this week's--

BRADEN: Oh yeah. Right.

FOSL: --paragraph they ----------(??)---

BRADEN: I didn't say that. But the other thing about when Carl died, I mean, it was just devastating to me. But I didn't have, I didn't take time to think about it. And that's when I really should have say and done what I said I was gonna do, decide what to do with the rest of my life. And I'd made a lot of mistakes since then, I think, not issue-wise, but tactically on priorities. I think if Carl had lived, I wouldn't a gotten into a lot of things, too many things. And, um, 31:00that not doing any of them well sometimes and stuff. He, and they're just kinda tactical mistakes I've made. I wouldn't have made. Just in planning things, I think, of what was important and what wasn't. Um, so that's water over the dam, but I think that's true. So--

FOSL: Can I move you a little closer? 'Cause you have such a--

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: --low voice. I see you're not picking up as well as--

BRADEN: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, I hope I don't have to say all that again.

FOSL: No, no you, you--

BRADEN: All right.

FOSL: I think it was going pretty well. So just--

BRADEN: So what, what else? Now which is the next thing?

FOSL: The vow.

BRADEN: Well, I never even thought of it as a vow. (laughs) So, you know, I don't think I ever used that word that way.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: But it was just that I wasn't gonna get married because it seemed like a very sterile life as, you know, as I've described it. And you've got that in here somewhere. And somewhere it's just going back to Anniston, going to the country club on Saturday night and bridge parties in the afternoon. And that's what marriage was. So it wasn't so much that you didn't wanna associate with men--

32:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --as far as I was concerned. Although you didn't want your identity through a man.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Which I ended up, probably to a certain extend, finding. But that was because of class.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: I couldn't have broken that. I don't believe I could have broken out of a class thing without somebody that had a different viewpoint, and where there was an emotion involved. And I don't think many people do.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: One way or the other.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But, um, although they think they do. But I think, um, and it does change your whole view of the world. I mean, I've never, you know, and Carl talked about the class struggle. He didn't let anybody tell him you didn't talk about those things in the '50s and '60s, you know. And he'd say, "Well, the cla-," and he'd, and I remember, I would meet somebody, and, and, and tell him, "Oh yeah, this guy's a pretty good guy, you know he-," and Carl says, "Where does he stand on the class struggle?"

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: I said--(laughs)--"I don't know." But, you see, and he'd get up in the morning. I know I've told you this. And say, "Well, let's see what the ruling class has done to us overnight, and get the paper."

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: and I do that. I don't say that. But, and I, if I read something, but I know immediately which side I'm on.

FOSL: Um-hm. Right.

BRADEN: You're either on the side of the oppressed or the un-, or the oppressor. And there's no middle ground on that, either. And, 33:00usually, and it's not hard to figure out where you stand. So it's a change in viewpoint. But, um, anyway, it wasn't, I didn't wanna find my, I wanted a career, didn't wanna find my identity through a man. Well, I decided I didn't want a career. See, that's the thing I've said a lot ----------(??) that I, when I went through that kind of change I did when I came to Louisville, I changed my value system.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I said I didn't really want to be some great, famous newspaperwoman. I wanted to be a part of this movement, just a foot soldier in the trenches. And, um, um, so, I, and then when the thing developed with Carl and I realized he was in love with me, and I realized I was in love with him, it was just natural we were gonna live together. We didn't even talk about getting married at first. But it was sort of a lifetime pledge we'd made--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --to each other. And this is who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And I didn't relate it to any previous vow or anything else.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: I'd found somebody I wanted to spend my life with. And, um, 34:00and that we had a, this wonderful intellectual relationship that, fortunately, was also physical. But that we were gonna be a team.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that, and he always said two and two make more than four.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: We'll make more than four together. And I think we did, as long as there--(laughs)--were two of us. Um, and so I didn't think of it as breaking any vow. And we didn't particularly even, even cross the bridge in the beginning. I think -----------(??)------------ gonna get married, but it made sense to get married, and we did. We weren't gonna have any children. And you know that story, you know.

FOSL: Right, no, I do. Yeah.

BRADEN: And, um, you know, that was a class thing, too, that Bill Sentner talked us into that. That talked me into it, and then I talked Carl into it. He wasn't that enthusiastic until after we had one. Then he wanted another one. But, um--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --so, that's--

FOSL: okay.

BRADEN: --kind of all that.

FOSL: I think that, well, just, although you did say that to me at one point, I, I, I mean I know you--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --believe me on that of saying--

BRADEN: Oh yeah, probably, yeah.

FOSL: --well, you did marry a man and a movement.

35:00

BRADEN: Well, I did. Yeah, I did.

FOSL: Are you like not comfortable with that as the--

BRADEN: No, I don't mind. You can say that.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: Yeah. Um-hm.

FOSL: Um, and then what about this other fella's question of how you felt about the fact that, uh, uh, he was the one going to jail?

BRADEN: Oh, I didn't have any--

FOSL: Versus your--

BRADEN: --feelings about that. I didn't think about it that way at all. And what we were always thinking about was how you get what we're trying to do done. And if I was out of jail, I could do things I couldn't do in. And when they postponed my trial in, you know, February '55, and then March '55 and April '55, and I've often said I still don't know why they did it.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: It's the one aspect of the case I've never understood. They lost their nerve. Maybe it's 'cause I was a woman, I don't know. But I didn't think of that at that time. I don't know why they did it. But if they had put me in jail then, it would have certainly crippled us.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I wouldn't have been out. And you imply there, or somebody does this, that I'm the one who sort of fought this case. Well, I did while 36:00Carl was in prison.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But after he got out, he was doing more than I was.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You know, we were doing it together. But, um, but if we'd both been in jail, I'm not sure he'd a gotten out, then we wouldn't have raised the bond, and stuff like that. So it did make a difference. And we just, and so it was more we were thinking about how we get things done. And like when, then when we decided to stay in Louisville, so we were gonna have to have a way to pay the grocery bills. And we had ra-, I don't know how we lived those few years. People gave us money.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And--

FOSL: The Bill of Rights Fund gave you quite a bit of money--

BRADEN: Well, they gave us some. And we had some, we had to have money to print the brief and stuff. We had money for travel. And we had money to live on. And that's what people were giving it to us for. We weren't misusing it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So we could fight the case. So we didn't have any guilt feelings about it. But we always had enough to get by. So we weren't even looking for a job until we said, "Okay, well we gotta settle down." And we were gonna stay here. And, and we just assumed that I would be able to get a job more than he would--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --because I was a woman. And that seemed okay. Then that's what we should do. I didn't have any bad feeling--

37:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --about it. 'Cause we gotta have a way to live. If I can do it, he can stay home and take care of the kids. And he did. You know, while I worked at the Clean Company (??). And, um, so, and then when the--(laughs)--the thing about the subpoena, you may be right, 'cause it was a woman. But the way it happened was that when we drove up that day at the O'Conners' house and, um, no, Harvey drove to meet us. We'd been eating (??), we hadn't been up to the beach. We'd been up to the Common, I think they call it, or down to the Cove. We'd been out somewhere in the neigh-, in the area, and here came Harvey and his car. And he said, "There's a federal marshal down there looking for you." (Fosl laughs) And we thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. So we got down there. And this fairly nice guy, he didn't know what it was all about. And he had these subpoenas. And he said that the Un-American Committee, well, we knew, 'cause of course we'd organized the protest, or been a part of organizing it, against the hearings in Atlanta. And there were, he had two subpoenas. And, um, he said that Representative Walter would send us money to fly down. And I said right then, I said, 38:00"Well, you call Representative Walter." He was the chair, you know.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Right back and tell him, or he would send his airplane tickets, and tell him to send two more airplane tickets. 'Cause I said, "I've got two children. And I ain't gonna leave 'em here on the beach. So, you just tell him to send four airplane tickets." So he said, well, he'd call him. And it was about an hour later I got a call that my subpoena had been postponed. So, you know--(laughs)--maybe it was 'cause I was a woman, I don't know. Or maybe they couldn't justify flying two children to Atlanta. I don't know. But I didn't think I was--(laughs)--being cut out, because, and it turned out it was quite convenient. Because, there again, if we'd both gone to jail--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --who would a carried on the educational campaign that SCEF carried on while Carl was in jail? 'Cause we, by that time, see, and it was fairly conscious. But, well, it wasn't very conscious by then. But I've mentioned that so many times that what we'd learned, one of the many things we learned from the sedition case, basically, and we just did it then as a matter of surviving. But I realized later what we'd done is that you use every attack as a platform--

39:00

FOSL: Right. Right.

BRADEN: --from which to reach people. And we did it on every attack that was ever made on us throughout the South. And we did it on that. This was something we could use. And then Jim Dombrowski was all for it. Jim was there at the hearings. And, and, 'cause when we got our subpoenas, I remember we called Jim. Jim loved a good battle, too, as quiet as he was. And we called him from Little Compton, told him, you know, we had the subpoenas or, and stuff. And he said, "Well, here we go again." (laughs) And he came to Atlanta. And he saw this as a, you know, chance to, um, organize this thing, and it was his idea to have the big conference we had in Chapel Hill while--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- Carl was in prison. And he said, "This is the time we can do something about this," you know.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: We used it that way. So, you know, I didn't think about, wasn't too bad 'cause I'm a woman. I didn't get put in jail. I was out and could do these things. And Carl was just kidding when he said, "Well, I go to jail and she writes the books and pamphlets."

FOSL: Right. So y'all never really even thought about it, do it, having to do with your being a woman, too much?

BRADEN: Not that much. Not that much, really.

40:00

FOSL: And so in a way it was just--

BRADEN: Although it may very well have been. But it didn't give me any, it was just that we were looking for a way to get things done.

FOSL: Right. Right.

BRADEN: And if, you know, if getting things done meant we go, me going and getting a job and him taking care of the children, that's what we did.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You know?

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: So--

FOSL: Okay. Now, this isn't necessarily gonna go into this piece. So maybe we should bracket this. But you did say you were gonna tell me a little bit about the Socialist Women's Caucus. You think we should?

BRADEN: Oh yeah. Well, I can do it fairly quickly, I think.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: See what happened, that was, there was no women's movement in Louisville. And there had been, well, Carol Hanisch and the people that started the, started the wom-, new women's liberation movement. And I got a pamphlet the other day from this woman who's applied for this scholarship to the Davis Fund, the Redstockings that they were apart of--

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- has put out, has done, is developing a whole archives. You know, Sarah's (??)--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Cathy Sairchild [Editor's note: Fairchild.] ----------(??) ?

FOSL: I did know that. Yep.

BRADEN: And, so that, of course Carol was part of that. And I think Carol, it must have been late '60s, early '70s, was, um, already sort 41:00of agitating SCEF. -----------(??) that's the whole question about the women's thing and SCEF. Now I think we have talked about it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Okay. But, so I think there, maybe she had formed some c-, quote "consciousness raising" groups here. But there was no visible movement.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Then Bella Abzug called a conference in Washington, out of which eventually The Women's Political Caucus grew.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But it was, I don't know what, I can't remember what it was called, although I'm sure that's somewhere. Maybe it's on my stuff. But, of women to deal with issues, and not just women's issues. It was a very rad-, it had a radical start, which it soon lost in Metropolitan Women--or the Women's Political Caucus. And I wish I remembered the program, because they, they, they defined the sort of four issues they were gonna look at.

FOSL: Now you're talking about the national caucus.

BRADEN: I'm talking the national.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: But it came to the, down to the local on--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --tell you how that happened. 'Cause that was what stimulated it here was poverty, racism, and I guess sexism. And what would the 42:00third one be--fourth one? There were four things they were gonna fight about: racism, poverty, sexism. They may have put sexism first. But they were all sort of equal. And there was a fourth one. And that's, and it may be at some of the Patriot's (??)--

FOSL: Maybe war? No, I bet not.

BRADEN: Yeah, it would have been war.

FOSL: Really?

BRADEN: Probably. Yeah.

FOSL: Well, that's good.

BRADEN: Yeah. And that was what they were gonna do. So we knew Bel-, I didn't, I don't know whether I met Bella, except when she was down on the thing on the Willie McGee, but I didn't really meet her. But we knew Miriam Kolkin, which she was when we first knew her, and then she became Miriam Kelber. And she was very close to Bella. I guess she's still living. I haven't seen, I just wonder if she is. But she worked with Bella over the years. And I think she wrote to us and said, "Can you send me some names of people from, well, from the South?" I guess, not just Louisville."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And we did. We always did things like that. And we sent her a whole bunch of names, including people from Louisville. And, and I remember, and didn't think anything more about it. And one night, 43:00I ran in-, I was in the Post Office, ran into Dolores Delahanty, who was the wife of Bob Delahanty, who was a white lawyer, who was one of the three lawyers here who would represent civil rights people in that period. Neville Tucker and, um, Ted Taylor. Neville was black, of course, and got run out of town eventually. And Dan was a clown. Well, he was courageous, but he got disbarred for a while. But he's still around. And he's intertwined with our life, too. But, um, but Bob became a judge, actually. Now he's got a couple of sons that are judges. They had a bunch of children. Anyway, Dolores had never done anything. And she so, looks so young. And I ran into her, and I believe Bob was with her in the post office. Carl and I were there together. And she said, "Oh, I'm going to Washington." And she said she was going to this meeting.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And she said, "I'm so excited." Well, she had never really done anything like this. She, and she had five or six, maybe more, children, and had been a housewife. She became very active in it. But she came back all steamed up. And then she and Suzy Post--

44:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and some other people, Johanna Halchel (??) worked on it, and--

FOSL: What's that person's name?

BRADEN: Johanna Halchel (??). Have you ever talked to her?

FOSL: Unh-uh.

BRADEN: Oh. Well, she's a interesting person. If you, she's, you know, she's, she's a great admirer of mine, which is kinda ridiculous. But she's, she's the one with Nancy Gall-Clayton. They always do something for my birthday.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You know. But she had moved here, and I didn't know her very well. But, and I never have. I just haven't had time. But Johanna's (??) one of these people, she'll, I tell her she's, you know, "We don't see you for months," but if it's a crisis, Johanna's (??) there.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So, you know. But, anyway, she worked on this. There were other people. A bunch of women got together and decided to have a women's conference under the aegis--aegis--aegis, you know what I mean.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Don't know how you pronounce it. I can spell it, um, of this Civil Liberties Union, which Su--

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and that was then Suzy's stomping ground.

FOSL: Um-hm. Right. Right.

BRADEN: And she was turning it into an activist organization anyway, and they had a women's committee. But she had setting up a women's committee, women's rights committee of that, which maybe already it was doing some stuff. But it was that group that I think called us together, or was the catalyst. And they got different women to working 45:00on it, which I didn't work on, and nobody asked me, that I know of. But the, and it was at the University of Louisville, I'm pretty sure. Yeah. And it was planned for months ahead of time. And they had a real working committee, and a lotta work on it and everything. And some of us in SCEF, some of the women, decided we need to go to that conference and present some more radical viewpoints than what other people were gonna say.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: So we decided we would. And they decided that, um, we'd make a statement that we would try to present in terms of how, 'cause we assumed that the conference was gonna be about sexism, racism, poverty, and war. If that's, if I'm right about those four. And we wanted to be sure it was. But how are we gonna solve this without a radical perspective?

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And see, this was 1972.

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: And of course the, you know, these radical ideas were all through SCEF. And everybody was trying to prove to everybody who was 46:00the most radical--

FOSL: Right. Right. Right.

BRADEN: --in a way. And everybody was a communist or a socialist or something, you know, around SCEF. So how are we gonna do that? So, we decided to get up a statement. And they decided I would present it. And I remember writing it that morning, early, because I hadn't had time before. And, and you've read it, because it was in the Patriot at one point.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And so we went. And then we thought there'd be time for people to speak in the plenary. Well, there wasn't. They had a panel, and all the people were saying all the same old things. Nobody had said anything like we wanted to say. And I remember this woman who, I can't think of her name, who was active and sitting right in front. I said, "What do we do?" And she said, "I don't know." And I said, "Well, we've got the thing, I think we better do something." So I got up and I said, "Well, there's some of us here have a statement to make." And I just broke in. And they let me come speak. And it was, I remember Johanna (??) said, "Close the door, don't let anybody out." And we got--(Fosl laughs)--and, and I gave that statement, which was a pretty good statement about socialism, you know.

FOSL: Right. Yeah, I've seen the statement.

BRADEN: And, and the, and that probably says what these four issues was. Because I think one of the points was you're not gonna solve this 47:00within a capitalist economy--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --you know. And--

FOSL: How many women were there, probably?

BRADEN: I don't know. We could--

FOSL: I mean, just--

BRADEN: --find out somewhere.

FOSL: --relatively.

BRADEN: But it was in the hundreds.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: It was like--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: --that much in those days. (Fosl laughs) It was something big like that, you know, it just wasn't, but anyway, but it wasn't me, it was the ideas that really went--(laughs)--over. And so people wanted to meet. And we, and so we sort of announced there, if people wanted to meet and discuss this further, you know, we'd set up meetings. And they had classrooms for workshops and stuff. So we did. And people came. You know, I guess forty or fifty people came to a meeting to discuss this. And so we talked about what to do. So we decided, because the idea was, because the Women's Political Caucus was already taking shape nationally--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --growing out of that conference.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And the idea was, at least on the part of some people, that there would be a local one grow out of this conference.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Which took some time to evolve. So we decided, well, let's set up a socialist caucus within the Women's Political Caucus. So we did, 48:00the Socialist Women's Caucus, which then existed for months before there was a Women's Political Caucus--

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

BRADEN: --for it to be a caucus of.

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

BRADEN: Okay?

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And then they, and then of course nationally, I don't think know how long it took. But it became, it took very much a turn to the right and eventually became just something to elect women to office no matter what they were.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You know.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And still is. Now they do some good things around here. Oh--

FOSL: It's better than something like the League of Women Voters, I think.

BRADEN: Well, maybe. And I don't know.

FOSL: Well, the League of Women Voters puts out a lot of information.

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: But they don't really take stands.

BRADEN: But they back off of being around these issues, sort of. And then Dolores was trying to, she--(laughs)--she, she was given the leadership here. And I remember going to one meeting. And they didn't put us out, or we was okay. But they, they were trying, and she was trying to broaden it out, bring other women in. I remember me -------- ---(??)----------- got all these wonderful women to be committee chairs. And it finally got itself going. And they never put us out. But we had an independent identity, sort of.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So we began sort of appearing places as a socialist women's caucus. We didn't say of what, but we had our picket signs. And when 49:00there was a, there was so much going on with the Black Six case and God knows what. So, anyway, we'd always be there, the Socialist Women's Caucus. And then we did that pamphlet on rape.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Which I think you've seen. Not the one on the Winsley (??) case that I did. This was one that the Women's Caucus had.

FOSL: Oh, I have seen it. I'm not sure if I had it--

BRADEN: I think--

FOSL: --but I think I've seen it.

BRADEN: I think I may still have some of those at home. They stacked them when I cleaned that downstairs office out. They stacked up in that closet, and I don't care, we threw 'em all away. And it wasn't all that good. But they wanted to do something on that. And I think I wrote it. But it was a lotta collective stuff in it. And we did that, and all that. And then we decided, and, and it really wasn't, as time went on, it wasn't a socialist caucus, 'cause we didn't talk that much about socialism and what could you do right then about socialism. But we, it was the radical caucus.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Because we were, and it was the action caucus. We wanted to do something on these four issues. And one thing that we initiated, and that did bear fruit, was an amnesty campaign for our, for, for young men who'd gone to Canada--

50:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --or gone to prison.

FOSL: Yeah, well, I didn't know about that.

BRADEN: And other pe-, yeah. So we started that. We started a petition for amnesty. I can't remember who we were petitioning, and got it out in the open. And then people like George Edwards and Jean--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and people who eventually formed FOR took it up. And it was a whole committee here.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But we started that. And it went on. Because I remember when Carl died, it was still going, 'cause we were in the process of getting that pamphlet out, and that kinda slowed me down on it. I remember this woman, she became a anti-busing later. She got, she joined the working class. But the wrong part of it. And, uh, but I said, well, she said, "Don't worry about it, we bet-, get it out." So it was after that, up until '76 or '77 it was active.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And finally, I think, just petered out 'cause people had other things to do.

FOSL: Well, well, tell me this. Did it split with--

BRADEN: Over what?

FOSL: Like with, when SCEF split?

BRADEN: Unh-uh.

FOSL: I mean did those people leave it?

BRADEN: Unh-uh. No. And it wasn't that many SCEF. The SCEF, people, women around SCEF, which wasn't just SCEF staff or no, but it was people who'd come into the office--

FOSL: Right. Right.

BRADEN: --over there, stuff like that. And what had been just attracted 51:00by the movements around here. So, so the, it doesn't seem like there was that many people in the, that were actually part of SCEF. And so a bunch of SCEF was other places, too.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And this was purely local. So it didn't, I don't think it was impacted at all by the SCEF split.

FOSL: Okay. Um, okay, well now, let's talk a little bit about the connection with Appalachia. I know that I was wrong about saying you were organizing coal miners. I knew that when I said it. I was just, like, really, like, trying to get that thing out at that point.

BRADEN: Well, I think the only thing you could say, since they want some element of that, is that my work, in, uh, uh, southern regional, I don't, I'm not saying how you should say it. But the gist of it is that my works with the southern region through SCEF, um, encompassed the whole South and, and saw Appalachia as a very important part of its work. And, and felt that, um, because it was, SCEF saw the African- 52:00American movement as the key to change in this society.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, but we felt like its logical allies were working class whites. And that coalition has never existed very long or viably because of racism.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And, so we thought then, just like I think now, that this was a time maybe we could build that--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --because of the power of the movement. And we saw white working class people come into black organizations like the steel workers in South Carolina going to the SCLC and stuff like that, all over, because they saw that power. And we thought there were a lot of openings. And we thought Appalachia was one of the places where this could flower. And we set up a southern mountain project in about, what, '67--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --'66?

FOSL: Um-hm. I've got that somewhere.

BRADEN: After the, after the black movement turned to economic issues more, which it always had, to a certain extent. But very consciously, I think, after '63 and '64, after the Civil Rights Act passed, that this was, made a common ground. And we, and we had a lot of false 53:00starts. (laughs) And we said, and we got, SCLC was gonna be involved, and SNCC and some other groups. And we set out, EPAC, Appalachian Economic something.

FOSL: Right, right.

BRADEN: And that kinda thing ----------(??).

FOSL: I have some literature from that.

BRADEN: And there were meetings at Highlander, the Highlander, that big old house they used in Knoxville, of EPAC. And we had people working in Knoxville. And we stumbled along trying to get that mountain project for all through the late '60s. And, and of course then when the Malloys and McSurelys got involved, well that was pretty early, too. That was in, so we must have started that in '65.

FOSL: I think it was a little earlier than '67.

BRADEN: I remember something like that, yeah. Because by '67, you know, the McSurely and Malloys are down there, and the sedition case happened and all that kinda thing, which really destroyed it, I guess, in terms of, 'cause people were so scared. But it did plant some seeds and developed some good people who stayed around, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and took part in the movement.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But--

FOSL: Got any names then?

BRADEN: Oh yeah, Edith Easterling and her daughter, Sue Koback, and, um, 54:00I don't know. I, I, I'd have to think about it--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --to see who would wanna be mentioned this late day. Edith may be dead. But if Sue's around, she married this guy who died young. And she was in Virginia. I heard from her at some point. But, and she was interesting to me. I talked to her when I wrote something maybe about the McSurely case for Southern Exposure. I wrote a lot of this--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --in Southern Exposure on that case. And talk about what changed her. Because the mountains were ingrown, you know. And what radicalized people, um, who got radicalized. Jim Branson's (??) one of 'em that we work with now. He's moved to Texas. But, who got radicalized by the war--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --basically, and being in touch with radical ideas. But Sue said, with her--

FOSL: I think she ca--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: I think the thing is that it was always a part of SCEF's program. And we had many false starts. And, but, I was never personally involved. But I don't even think you have to say that. The SCEF program was.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: So it was a connecting. And the, it, it planted a lot of seeds 55:00and bore some fruit.

FOSL: Right. Okay.

BRADEN: In terms of alliances between the, some of the black-led movements in the Deep South and more white working class movements in Appalachia.

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: Although the blacks, and there were blacks in Appalachia we worked with, too. So--FOSL: Yeah. Actually, I had--

[Pause in recording.]

BRADEN: No, I, I, I don't know enough about it to put it on tape.

FOSL: Oh, okay.

[Pause in recording.]

FOSL: --call ya. But here, like you said quite a bit about Carl's having shaped your activism and your beliefs and your life, really, um, but how would you, uh, deal with this question that, you know, this reader seems to think that I've, like, really, un-, you know, like sorta stuck in Carl's death and not adequately dealt with it?

BRADEN: No, I thought that was all right.

FOSL: I thought it was okay.

BRADEN: I don't know what--

FOSL: It says, "Why is it mentioned so casually?" I just didn't, I mean, it was important. But--

56:00

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: I don't know. Okay.

BRADEN: I'm, I'm , I didn't think he was right about that.

FOSL: Okay. Well then, in that case, I'm ready to shift gears from the article to the other questions that I have brought along.

BRADEN: Okay.

FOSL: (clears throat) Shifting gears to talk about the '50s resistance movement, okay?

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: So, um, some of these are just small detail questions. Like, for instance, this is not, maybe it's not that small. But how did you first get connected with the ECLC?

BRADEN: Oh. See, I thought we'd talked about all this. I probably just ought to figure how it developed, I guess. And, um, because, see, I feel a real affinity for what I call the resistance movement of the '50s, 'cause that's the first thing I did, really. Well, I've been 57:00active in some things. But it was ----------(??) said, you know, for the kids who went to Mississippi in the early '60s, there'll never be anything like Mississippi.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Well for me, that was the '50s movement. So, I guess what you have to remember is that when the sedition case happened, Carl and I really didn't know hardly anybody outside of Louisville.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Um, we're, and where I hadn't particularly interested in finding out, we were in touch with different organizations by correspondence. And we'd stayed active in the Progressive Party, more or less, when it sort of fell apart and became much smaller and all that. Or we hadn't stayed active. We kinda got back active, I guess, here. (Fosl clears throat) Cause we were wrapped up in unions for a while, in our own lives. I was working at those different jobs. But--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: At some point in the early '50s, we got back into that. And I 58:00guess, and supported the Progressive Party candidate, the last one that ran, which was Vincent Hallinan, I think, wasn't it?

FOSL: Right. That's right.

BRADEN: Was that in '50?

FOSL: '52.

BRADEN: '52. Well, we did. And, um, and he and I both went to some national Progressive Party meetings. Um, I know he hitchhiked, 'cause see, we didn't have any money, or we didn't have a car for a long time. We got a, we didn't get a car till after Jim was born. We rode bicycles. And, but he hitchhiked to New York, I remember, to a, I think a Progressive Party National Board Meeting or something. And, um, and I went to one in Chicago. I rode up with Walter and Mary Agnes Barnett. I think you probably heard me talk about that.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that's where I met, where Winifred Prisa (??) was talking about--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: -- the McGee case, and where I got interested in that. I knew about the McGee case, but got interested in going. And where 59:00I'm, and Paul Robeson, I remember, was there. And, um, and I beli-, and Patterson. That's where I, may have been where I met Patterson, probably was--

FOSL: And this was in Chicago.

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Yeah, it would have been some time before McGee was executed, which was May '51. But it wasn't a lot before then. It was, may have been that winter or spring, probably was. And so we'd been there. And we'd, went to some marches in Washington. I can't remember. On the Korean War, I guess. Well, I'd been also to some peace meetings. There was the American Peace Crusade. And we were in touch with that, and we tried to start a Louisville Peace Crusade, which never particularly got off the ground. We had a, we were starting a Louisville Women for Peace. And I'd been in touch with a bunch of people about that, going 60:00out of the union stuff. In 1950, well, it was whenever, I know we were gonna have our first meeting right when the Korean War broke out. And everybody got ----------(??)---------- we were in war.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: So that never really got off the ground. We used the name some. But there was the American Peace Crusade. And we may have even had a name, a chapter here. And they had a national meeting in Chicago. And I remember going to that and meeting some people. Don't remember who all now. But, and then there was some marches in Washington. I remember one I know we went to. And there was a, we went and we, I can't think what we went in, 'cause we didn't have a c-, we wouldn't have gone in, our car was so beat up. Maybe we did, I don't know.

FOSL: Yeah, you've talked about going to D.C. with several carloads of folks--

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: --from Louisville.

BRADEN: I don't know whether it was several carloads. I know we had a car. There was an elderly black man from Lexington went. Was real active over there. And I can't remember his name. He's long dead, 'cause he was old then to me. But I remember as we were coming into 61:00Washington, he says, "Well, there's the segregated capital of the free world." I think--(laughs)--he said that. And, um, I know we were up there once. But I think it was mainly a march on, um, the Korean War, I think.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: But there, it was also about the McGee Case. So, it was before he was executed. And the Martinsville Seven was going on somewhere in there. And, um, so, I think, oh, the Rosenberg Case. Now I don't know that I ever went to any national things on the Rosenberg Case. But we worked on that here. And we didn't have a committee, I don't think. But we worked on it. And I think there was a good bit of suppo-, we got support, made petitions and all that. I'll never forget the day they were executed. You know the Supreme Court vacated it. And Carl was always such an optimist. And I said, "Well, something's gonna happen." He said, "Oh no, that's all over." That was about noon. And 62:00of course by suppertime, they were executed. But, um, so it was that kinda contact. And we had, I'll tell you what we worked a lot on was the W. E. B. Du Bois case.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And a woman named Lillian Elder, I probably mentioned her.

FOSL: Yes, you have.

BRADEN: Was a good friend. And she was--(clears throat) --------- ---(??) now of course she's dead now. But I didn't see her in the last years. She was such a good person. And was a dedicated peace activist. She had made up her mind when her son was born that he'd never go to war. And she got, and she just did such a good job. She just sort of took hold herself on the Dubois thing and got thousands of postcards signed. And her husband really resented her being active in things, resented us. But we did, got her--(laughs)--into it.

FOSL: And she was a real light-skinned African-American woman?

BRADEN: Um-hm. Um-hm.

FOSL: But her husband was black.

BRADEN: No. Well, he was light-skinned, too.

FOSL: Real light-skinned African. Okay.

63:00

BRADEN: She was good friends of a person that I got to know through her in San Francisco and kept in touch with who sort of spearheaded some of the SCEF fundraising out there later, Janet Harris (??). Lost touch with her. I guess she may be dead, too, although she wasn't that old. ----------(??)---------- Um, she had been in, Lillian had connections in Nashville through FISC (??). In some ways, Janet (??) had been there. She wasn't from the South. But, anyway, there was that that we did. And so, so, but we knew people mainly through correspondence. We knew Dick Morford and the National Council American--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: -- and Soviet Friendship, we were interested in that.

FOSL: But you had not met Melish at that time?

BRADEN: I hadn't met Melish. And didn't even really know Melish at all, didn't, hardly knew of him, I think. But Morford we knew, 'cause he was traveling around, Dick Morford, for the National Council American. He came here a few times. And Patterson came here. Well, once, at 64:00least. And we brought Rosalee McGee here.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: After we--

FOSL: I knew that.

BRADEN: And, and that was some of these different groups and all that. So, we, you know, we knew some of these people, but not really. You know, we were just, they didn't know us that well. So, and the other connection we had was the Federated Press.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That Carl had written for, for some years. And, but maybe even when he was at the Enquirer. 'Cause it dated back. I don't know when it started. But it was pretty much a very thriving operation for a while, firmly servicing the labor papers. And there were a lot of 'em. But it got crippled in the Cold War.

FOSL: So that must have been, did you meet Lucy and Carl Haessler during that time?

BRADEN: Not then.

65:00

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: We met 'em later, but we were--

FOSL: 'Cause, well, I know she was very connect-, well, they, he--

BRADEN: Oh well, of course they were. But we didn't, see, we didn't know everybody like that.

FOSL: Right. Right.

BRADEN: We just would, Carl was a correspondent. Because now I would write for him, too. And the person we knew, we didn't know Harvey O'Connor. He was--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --very active, active in it, too. And I don't think I ever hardly even heard of him. But we knew Miriam Kolkin, K-o-l-k-i-n. She later became Miriam Kelber. She's the one that got to being a close associate of Bella Abzug. But she was running the New York office of Federated Press.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: And we had a fairly regular contact with her. Carl was pretty good at keeping in touch with people. And he, well, I didn't write stories pretty regularly. So, and this, well, and we had had some contact with Jim Dombrowski in SCEF. But not a lot. And we hadn't met 66:00Jim. But, we heard about the Southern Patriot from Al Maund.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Who came here, him and his wife, Dorothy, to, he was working on the copy desk at the Courier where Carl was. And we got to be friends. And he was editing the Patriot. So I guess he put us on the mailing list. And then when the Interracial Hospital Movement was going, we got information from them, 'cause they had a campaign on hospitals.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And we were kind of in correspondence a little bit with Jim then, not a lot.

FOSL: But when he came here, he met with, like, people at the newspaper. Y'all weren't, he didn't meet Carl or you?

BRADEN: Who?

FOSL: Jim Dombrowski.

BRADEN: He didn't come here.

FOSL: He did, actually. I just read a report of his that he filed, um, with, like, the, the SCEF board, that he had been in Louisville, and had met with people at the newspaper.

BRADEN: When?

FOSL: I wanna say it was '52.

BRADEN: -----------(??) right. It wasn't, somebody that's, that's phony. He was in touch with people here. He wasn't here.

67:00

FOSL: Are you sure?

BRADEN: I am sure.

FOSL: I'm gonna show you this thing.

BRADEN: I am absolutely sure.

FOSL: 'Cause I'd never seen it before. It--

BRADEN: I am absolutely sure.

FOSL: But it was in some of his papers. I--

BRADEN: No, this is not true. I don't know why he would have said that. He might have said he was in touch or something. But I would have met him. And, no, no. And I never met him until--

FOSL: Hmm. Okay.

BRADEN: --we went down there. And, you know, after Carl's trial, after he got outta jail.

FOSL: Right. Right.

BRADEN: And, you know, then Al, but we were in touch with Al Maund. And, and I think maybe, you know, we talked to him on the phone some about the hospital thing and the school thing, when we were doing the--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --Committee for Democratic Schools.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: He sent us some contacts they had in Kentucky and stuff like that. But, and we began getting the Southern Patriot. And then, and we were real good friends with Al and Dorothy. And they'd come down and have dinner and Sunday morning breakfast with us and stuff like that. And then they left here. I remember that. But he went to--

68:00

FOSL: Montgomery.

BRADEN: Unh-uh. Went to rural Alabama, Troy State.

FOSL: I don't know it.

BRADEN: That's where he's from, I mean, that guy that I've just been interviewing ----------(??)---------- Troy State. It's where he goes, but it he goes to the branch in Montgomery. It was up in the Black Belt. Maybe not too far from Montgomery. It's not too far from Montgomery. But it's in the Black Belt. And it's a black college. Well, no, it's not a black college.

FOSL: Yeah, I didn't think--

BRADEN: It's not a black college now. And it sure wasn't then.

FOSL: It wasn't, no.

BRADEN: It was white. No, that's right. He went down there to teach. (Fosl clears throat) And now I can't think when he left. But he left before the Wade case broke open. ----------(??)---------- before then, I think.

FOSL: Left Louisville?

BRADEN: Um-hm.

FOSL: Um-hm. Right.

BRADEN: But when it, when all the Wade case first started, before, long before the sedition thing, we were in touch with him. So he knew about 69:00it, and he began covering it in the Patriot, all that summer, you know, it was several stories.

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

BRADEN: So that was our only connection with SCEF--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --or Jim or any of 'em. And we didn't know all, we were into those people. But, but we, but, so when we got indicted for sedition, Miriam Kolkin wrote us a letter somewhere in there. See, I was in jail about a week, and Carl got, got out in about three weeks, somewhere in there. Maybe it was after he got out, I don't remember. And Jim put up a thousand dollars on his bond.

FOSL: Right. I know that.

BRADEN: At that stage, I think it wasn't ----------(??) he may have left it up later. And we'd never met him.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That's why I know he wasn't here. 'Cause he just wrote this letter and sent a check for a thousand dollars, says, "Tell Carl I'm proud to be his friend," which was unremarkable, really. That's just like Jim. And was a real boost to us, 'cause we were, you know, sort 70:00of, you begin to believe things about yourself -----------(??)------ ----. So, and that never conflicted us, like it did some people. But it's, you know, you get so isolated (??). And our, the mail contacts we had were sort of the window out of the world. I'll never forget our post office box was Post Office Box 1302. And I'd run down there (??) and I'd get the mail. I had friends in the mail but I didn't have any in -----------(??). But, um, all the time Carl was in prison. But, anyway, Miriam wrote a letter, Mim, everybody called her. And it may not have been--

FOSL: Mim, okay. Now that's more familiar.

BRADEN: Mim Kolkin. Yeah. And sent a check for fifty dollars to pay our expenses to come to New York and meet some people. And fifty dollars wouldn't seem like--(laughs)--much now. But it was enough then to go to New York--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --with gas, you know, gas wasn't but thirty cents a gallon.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Or less, less then. Yeah. And we had that car. It was running pretty good. We had a, we called it a new car, and Jim called it the, 71:00yeah, Jim called it new car. 'Cause when we went down there after, I kept it all the time Carl was in prison. And, well, somebody set up and forgot to put oil in it, but I didn't. But it overheated or something. And so it had some problems. But we got it fixed. And Vernon Bown was good at working on cars. When he got in jail he was always tried to take care of my car. So we, and I remember when we rode down to Alabama see the kids after Carl got out. And Carl says- -----------(??)---------- Jim was about four or five that there's the new car. He says, "The new car is getting mighty old." (Fosl laughs) But it was able to get to New York then. So, and so we took that fifty dollars and drove to New York. Sometime, it was in October, I think. But it was between the time Carl got out of prison. He was indicted on the first of October. Well, he was there for three weeks. So it was either late October or early November. And that got us there. And 72:00we stay, oh, well, I had that connection, you see. And we'd kept in touch with them. Barbara Bernstein was married to Walter Bernstein.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Who'd been Barbara Lane.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And I got to know, or we'd both gotten to know, when she was here, working for the Progressive Party. Well actually, she came to Kentucky. She was from New York, this beautiful, very attractive blonde woman, um, who was, um, married to Dr. Tulipan (??), her name--

FOSL: Yeah, you told me that. In Lexington, right?

BRADEN: He was at the dru-, it was at a drug center in Lexington--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --drug, was it a hospital? I don't think it was a prison. It later became a prison. But, or some sort of treatment center. And that's where he was. And he went, well, they were, he wasn't that political, but he tolerated her being. And she was in Lexington. But some way she got involved. I think had been before she came down here in that kind of politics and got into the Progressive Party here and became its sort of coordinator.

73:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, moved to Louisville. Well, she and, um, and what was his name? Alan Tulipan, I think. But they more or less separated on fairly friendly terms, I think. And she came over here to live. And, and she would call me about some things. I can't remember where I first met Barbara. She probably, I, I, and see, I wasn't that active at all. Um--

FOSL: You once told me I, it seems to me that you met her at--

BRADEN: At a Progressive Party Meeting.

FOSL: --mailing party, at a mailing party--

BRADEN: I don't think it was. Well, I went to some mailing parties. That's when, down at the armory. That's one of the first things, I believe, in mailing parties. And I did. But I went to a couple of meetings. But I was still on, uh, Times.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And they weren't as strict as they are now about not, their, their reporters being total political eunuchs. But, still, I couldn't get really involved. And, um, it wasn't quite to the point I wanted to do it anyway. But I remember that she asked me to do some things. And some of the things I couldn't, but I didn't think I could. But I 74:00kinda got to know her. And I kept in touch. And I used it as a news source, too, and things they were doing, like the young man that got arrested, um, using the tennis court out near U of L that they ------ -----(??)----------- defended him. And I did a good story on it. You know, I'd do things like that. And she said, "You know, if you can just get good stories in the paper, you don't have to do other things." So then eventually, she needed a place to live, and I was living there on Fourth Street, and she moved in there. So we got to be real good friends. And then she left before the, uh, '48 election.

FOSL: Oh really? Okay.

BRADEN: And I, I'm pretty--(Fosl clears throat)--sure she did. And I learned later, I wasn't involved in all in-fighting and everything going on in those days. But, but, but she had some real detractors within the Progressive Party, hear other people, and I don't know what that was all about. But she was, she, well, she kept it going for, you know, during the first part of that. And the petition drive to get 75:00Wallace--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --on the ballot and all that, she, she organized a lot of that. And people came in from the outside. Barney Canal (??), I remember that name, Barney Canal (??), she work-, he worked with her to get the petition drive going and stuff. So then she was living out there. And I, and by that time, even after I started, um, being with Carl more, and then eventually, I can't remember, well, she left along in there sometime. And then of course, he and I got the apartment down on Main Street. But, I think she left along in the summer of '48. But we'd kept in touch with her. Carl and she were good friends. And, and we, you know, we had more time, or it seemed like we did then than I did--(laughs)--had in recent years, to write letters. So we'd write her about things. And, um, because, and Carl, anyway, we were kinda romantic revolutionaries, in a way. Because Carl wrote one letter about that we figure that the revolution will happen in about 1974, maybe it was in fifty, what, no, forty-something. And everything ought 76:00to be pretty much straightened out by the year 2000.

FOSL: Um-hm.

CARL: Well, that was in our files, and it was one--(laughs)--of the things they took. 'Cause he always kept carbons.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: You had, we didn't have copy machines. You, we made carbons of everything. And that was in our files. And, so she was really shocked that we had things like that lying around--(laughs)--I remember that. And he was just kidding. Halfway meaning it, you know. But kidding--

FOSL: Yeah, I know he signed one letter, "Yours for the abolition of capitalism."

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: And they questioned him about that.

BRADEN: Oh yeah. Well, oh yeah. Well, he'd do things like that. But she, but so we wrote to her and kept in touch. So, meantime, she had written us about this, she had found a new fella, as she called him. And that was Walter Bernstein.

FOSL: Oh, okay. Yeah.

BRADEN: Who later became very fam-, did The Front--

FOSL: Right. Right.

BRADEN: He's done a lot of other things. And I tried to get back in touch with Walter once up there. I didn't, wasn't persistent enough. I should've been. Burt he lived in the same apartment building with a woman who supported SCEF later. But, um, but they were getting along fine. And had this apartment on Twentieth Street, as I recall. So, 77:00they said we could stay there. And we did. And--

FOSL: For this fall of '54 trip?

BRADEN: That trip. Yeah.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that was, uh, it was real nice. 'Cause they were all, and active--later, they separated, or they began to separate. And the, I, I really don't know. I mean, it was personal. And I think, well, she was trying to be an actress, which never quite worked out. She'd been on some T.V. things. Later she became a producer of T.V. shows. I saw her in, you know, maybe fifteen years ago, up there.

FOSL: Huh.

BRADEN: ----------(??)---------- And I've often wondered what's happened to her. Maybe she's dead.

FOSL: What would her last name be?

BRADEN: Lane.

FOSL: She--

BRADEN: She went back to Barbara Lane. She always was Barbara Lane, really. She adopted that name. It didn't mean anything. When she was married to Tulipan (??) and, and Bernstein, too. I guess she and Walter were married. I'm not sure, but I think they were. I mean, I just don't remember for sure. And he had a child, or maybe two, by some other marriage, that didn't live with them, but they would see him and stuff. But anyway, they, they separated along in there while we 78:00were still doing the sedition thing. And, although I think they got estranged. And she, I remember at the time, maybe Carl told me, that she really felt like Walter, see, he was blacklisted then.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And so that's where he got the story for The Front. Did you ever see it?

FOSL: Uh, yes, I did. But it's been a long--

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: --time ago, yeah.

BRADEN: About the blacklisted writers, right--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --under other names and stuff.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And he was, he was very talented, obviously. And for, he wrote movies and T.V.'s, I think, before the blacklist. And, um, and that she apparently, I think Carl told me this, got worried that his reputation was hurting her possibility of a career in the theater.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Well, of course, if she had stayed with him, he got famous-- (laughs)--and she didn't. But, but I don't know what--

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: --happened, really. But they began to, and, now, I remember once I was going up there, 'cause we'd kinda alternate going later -- --------(??). And by that time, we knew a lot of other people. And I remember Carl saying, said, "I think you better stay at Sylvia Crane's or somebody else." -----------(??) There were other people we stayed 79:00with. Says, "You'll be better fed." 'Cause they just didn't have much of a life by then. And at one point, and I did talk to him once, 'cause he denied this. We arranged, by that time, this was later, we knew the O'Connors and all that. And he needed a place to go and write. And I, and we asked the O'Connors if he could come up there. They had other cottages around all that--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --Cape Cod (??)--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --shore there. And she was delighted, because he had written something that helped some relative of hers, or something, I don't know what it was, or helped to write it. So, and he's, went up there and he liked it. So we kinda stayed in touch that way. But, and somewhere along in there, and this is what later, years later, I saw him, and he denied this happened. But, Carl was going up, was gonna stay there. He just needed a place to stay. I think Barbara was gone by then-- (Fosl clears throat)--somewhere in the same place. And I remember he called, and he said, "No, Carl can't stay here."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: I said, and it was just real cold-like. And we'd been such good 80:00friends. I never forget it. Somebody had put some pressure on him.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Or something. I don't know what it was. Or it could have been his personal situation. It was something about the children.

FOSL: Yeah. Right.

BRADEN: You know, I don't know. When I mentioned that to him later, just like, you know, all these things that happened in those days, he said, "Well, I don't know." He said, "It was never political." That's what he said.

FOSL: Um-hm. (??)

BRADEN: I don't know.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But then I lost touch with him. And Barbara did, too, later, because just didn't keep in touch with people. Although she never came around the SCEF things when we were raising money up there and stuff. But I went to see her, and I can't remember, but it hadn't been that long ago, you know, fifteen years ago. And she was working as a T.V. producer in some outfit.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: But anyway, we were good friends then. And so they had, and we stayed there that week. So we, that's when we began to meet people.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And the thing was that you could see right away, they, we just told 'em the story of what had happened, and people were absolutely fascinated. Because you got, the, the, that this, that's why I said it 81:00gave a, it was a vehicle people could fight back--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --around because it made very clear that the witch-hunt was not about communism at all, which is what everybody'd been saying.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: It's about the peace movement, the labor movement, and the civil rights stuff. And, but, you know, this illustrated it.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, um, so, and it was an interesting story. And, you know. And, as I said, we were articulate enough to tell it, both in writing, later, that came more later, I guess, but also to speak it. Because, like I said, you could, I found out you, you could get justice in this country if you know the right people, which we didn't, if you have money, which we didn't, or if you're articulate. And we were articulate.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And we were both newspaper reporters. We knew how to write. We knew how to talk. And that's, I think, you know, what made it possible to fight back in that case. But anyway, we met people that time, first place, Miriam, I think, or Mim, got together a bunch of the Guardian- 82:00type people. Jack McManus and, um, um, oh, that wonderful guy who died. Well, they've all died now.

FOSL: Jim Aronson.

BRADEN: Jim Aronson, yeah.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Cedric Belfrage, by that time, I think, was in exile--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --or something.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: But I can remember being in the apartment. There was some other people, I've, that I've already got their names somewhere, that were in that sort of Guardian circle that, the Guardian was a thriving paper, and, and managed to survive all through that period, you know, and was a wonderful communications medium. And there were a couple of reporters on there that really got interested in our case. And so did Jack and, and, and um, Aronson. And--

FOSL: Yeah. Ione--

BRADEN: Ione Kramer.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: She later went to China and married over there and stayed, I think. I don't know what's happened to her now.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: You often wonder. Um, and then there was another reporter there. But they were, they just were fascinated by it, and of course became very supportive. But they had a whole, you know, they, it was a Guardian network around the country.

83:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: We don't have anything like that--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --now, you know.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: In terms of for communication. And it reached a lot of people. We never had much contact in that period with The Wor-, Worker or World, whichever it was then, the Communist--

FOSL: Yeah, The Worker.

BRADEN: Which we were happy to do. But they were pretty disoriented then and very much on the defensive. I know somebody, and this is when I was in New York later, somebody got me together with one of the big shots in the Communist Party. And I can't even think who it was, but one of the kinda national people. And, you know, we were sitting in a restaurant and sort of talking about the thing. And they, they wanted to be helpful. But they really, I think they were just really reeling from all the attacks--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and, you know, all their people going to jail. And he sai-, he thought I should come up and speak at some rally they were having. And that's about all he had to suggest, which it isn't they didn't wanna help. I just think they were knocked out of the box right then. But the Guardian was functioning. And, and I remember McManus saying at that gathering. It was on a Saturday night. And we were, I think we stayed up there about a week. But he said, "What we've gotta do, 84:00we've gotta get everybody together on these things. There's so many of these cases happening around the country--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --everything."

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Get 'em together, and all that. I don't know whether that ever happened. But we, um, they certainly supported us, just story week after week, you know--

FOSL: Yeah. I see that.

BRADEN: When Carl was--

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

BRADEN: When Carl was in prison, they, he wrote a letter, and they published it.

FOSL: Diary and--

BRADEN: And all that, yeah. So, and that continued. And of course we stayed real close to them almost as long as the Guardian lasted.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Well, I guess, until, you know, through all of their turmoil and changes and--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --all that went on there.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But we wrote, and we'd write for 'em, which, you know, they needed volunteer writers. But they had 'em around the country. They had a network. So that was one circle of people we met. And there were other people there that night. I can't even remember who all. Then--

FOSL: How bout Clark Foreman?

BRADEN: I'm getting ready to tell ya.

FOSL: Okay. Okay.

BRADEN: That you meet people by, you meet other people, and then--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --you meet other people.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That's the way it's done. Now, not everybody knows how to do that. But, and I guess we just knew instinctively. And we certainly learned. Barbara Bernstein invited a friend of hers over, now, I've 85:00forgotten his name. And you wouldn't know it. But he was around. And I had some contact with him up until when he died a few years ago. 'Cause he set up some kind of a foundation maybe. I can't think of his name. But he was a good friend of Barbara's. And had her, us tell him the story of what had happened. So, of course he was impressed and wanted to do something. I remember Barbara said, whatever his name was, and it may come to me. 'Cause I think this is something Ruthie and Bo-, and Bob ought to know about. And she was referring to Bob Rosenwald and Ruthie--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Ruth Rosenwald, who later separated. Maybe they had huge amounts of money.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And Rosenwald money. And she was, um, let's see if I have this right, was ken, I think, now lemme see if I got -----------(??), do I have this right? She came from sort of a left-wing background somewhere.

86:00

FOSL: Um-hm. Hmm.

BRADEN: I may have it, this mixed up. Not that I have her mixed up. But with some of Sylvia Crane's family, who we also met, I think, when we met her, later. But, and one of them, and this is ridiculous, 'cause they didn't even get along very well. Didn't know it. They didn't move in the same circles, but was related to a guy that was very prominent in left-wing circles then, somebody Frank, somebody Frank. It's in books and things about him, I don't know ----------(??) it doesn't, doesn't make a lot of difference. But they were apparently getting along fine then, and found out later Rosenwald just apparently had a hard time relating to any women. She was absolutely beautiful.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: She was just a beautiful woman. And she was pregnant. And, um, so they broke up after a few years. But they stayed together for 87:00some years. And they of course got, and they got very supportive of us. And she developed sort of a personal thing about us. And he was friendly, too, although, after they separated, I don't think he ever gave us any money. And she didn't have any money for a long time after, I mean, much money after that. 'Cause I don't know, I don't know what became of their child. Well, I know she kept the child. So they, she, he gave her some money. But he married again. Maybe more than once. But anyway, they were, seemed to get getting along fine, one of these fancy, you know, east-side apartment.

FOSL: What was his first name?

BRADEN: Robert.

FOSL: Robert.

BRADEN: Um-hm. ----------(??) they called him Bob, I think. Forget what branch of the family it was. But he had a lot of money. So, this guy that was Barbara's friend, said, well, he'd call him. And so they had said come over. And we went over there one night. It was a later night.

FOSL: During this same first trip?

BRADEN: Yeah. Oh yeah, this was all--

FOSL: Okay.

BRADEN: And, and, and he said, um--(Fosl clears throat)--so, they 88:00listened to this thing. And then she get, and he gets, she gets on the phone, it's about ten o'clock at night, and called Palmer Weber.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: Said, "Palmer, I want you come over right now." So, apparently if Ruth Rosenwald spoke, Palmer came. You know, he's probably hitting 'em up--

FOSL: Wow.

BRADEN: --for money, 'cause Palmer wasn't rich then. So he came. (laughs) And, so, and I remember, and she had us tell him all about it. And of course he was impressed. And then, and I remember she said, "Oh, I have to do something. I've just not done much as I should." And she said--"He, and I, on anything." And he said, "Now when you're pregnant, just be pregnant. Enjoy it." ----------(??) saying that. But, anyway, he got on the phone and called Hubert Delany who was in Alabama. And caught up with him. He knew where he was. He, you know, who he was, black.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: He was connected with the NAACP.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: But he was better than most of the NAACP people at that time. And he was down speaking in Tuskegee, I think. But he was, he caught him in Montgomery. I remember that, and he said, "I know what you did. 89:00You just spoke and you dash back over to Montgomery." And got outta Tus-, or maybe da-, went to Montgomery and dashed back to Tuskegee. That was probably safer. I don't know. But it was something difficult like that--

FOSL: This is Palmer that was calling?

BRADEN: Palmer was calling Hubert Delany. And then we only heard Palmer's side of it. And he told him, he said, "Well, you know, this has happened in Louisville. The grand jury's met, and there's all this, and it's scrambled up like scrambled eggs. And I want you to go by there and talk to those NAACP people in Louisville and get 'em to do something. And that's what you can do on your way back to New York." And then Palmer's face kinda fell, and he says, "Oh, okay. All right. All right. Well, all right, I guess so." So, he would have obviously said, "there's just nothing I can do."

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: 'Cause that's the way the NAACP is.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That's what he was saying--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --you know. So, but then Palmer, I think that night, called Leonard Boudin.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And, or maybe Ruth did. 'Cause they were good friends. And made an appointment for us to see him. And then somewhere along in there, that same week, we also met Frank Donner.

90:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Who also came down and helped some on the case, you know.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And was a good friend of Louis Lusky's from school, and--

FOSL: Oh, I didn't know that.

BRADEN: Oh yeah. And, and--

FOSL: Huh.

BRADEN: And he thinks, or did, he's dead now, but talked Louis into making up his mind--

FOSL: Huh.

BRADEN: --to go on and handle Carl's appeal later. Frank never had any, um, direct representation in our case. But he, he did the amicus brief that we all signed.

FOSL: Right. I knew that. Um-hm.

BRADEN: Yeah, um, from the state sedition laws. And then Palmer was, you know, Palmer was aware of all that. And, and then, I guess, it was either Palmer, now, let's see, somewhere in there, 'cause that was in a different place. Where were we? That was in, I was in Louis' apartment that night. Somewhere we were on a, in an apartment on Riverside Drive one afternoon, later that week. That may have been Palmer's. He may have said, "Come there," and we did. We went to see Leonard in his office the next day.

91:00

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: 'Cause I remember he said, "How'd you get to the Rosenwalds'?" And we said, "Well, you know, we met 'em through a friends of ours." So, you know, we was (??) just lucky.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: And plus we were effective, frankly.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: You know. And here the, you know, and people looking for a way to fight back, and here were these articulate--

FOSL: Right. Right.

BRADEN: --journalists from Kentucky, you know. And, um, and we said it was somebody we knew. But, um, apparently it wasn't all that easy doing (laughs). Leonard, of course, got very supportive, and wanted to do the appeal. And then there was this whole thing of maybe it'd be better to have a local, and I always felt like kinda hurt Leonard's feelings. 'Cause he wrote, and of course later people said Leonard just wanted money. But, had a letter from him, came in the mail, literally, I don't know how they got 'em in airmail. In those days, you paid extra for it. We didn't have overnight or e-mail, or anything like that. Right after Carl was convicted and said that he, you know, he'd do anything to ----------(??)----------.

FOSL: "Don't worry about the money." I've got that letter.

BRADEN: Yeah. You got it?

FOSL: Yeah.

BRADEN: And, um, of course that was later. And then, but I think maybe we went up to Palmer Webber's apartment. I think he, he did live on Riverside Drive. 'Cause, and he called Clark Foreman. And then Clark 92:00came over.

FOSL: Hmm.

BRADEN: We told him about it. So, Clark calls to talk to Tarleton Collier here in Louisville--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --that he knew from old Southern Conference days--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --and who was, we didn't know. I didn't. Carl may have known him. And I can't remember that he was on the paper then or he had been. But he, you know, was sort of the ----------(??) in the circle. But I think he was better than a lot of 'em.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Because I, and I heard Clark's side of that conversation. He says, "Well now, look." He said, "If I come down there," he says, "you think you can get some of those Republicans together to talk about this?" 'Cause he was probably saying--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --I think what, Tarleton had been saying is that the things were so bad that even some Republicans were worried about it, you know--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --here.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: Says, "You think you can get some of those Republicans together?" So, I think Tarleton was too encouraging about that. But he--

FOSL: I bet.

BRADEN: But they got real involved in the case from then on and began to publicize it in their publication. Oh, no, that was after Carl was convicted. I went up there. That was the only trip we made to New 93:00York before Carl's trial. Well, by that time, we had all this. And people began writing to us--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --you know.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: People heard about it in the Guardian. And somewhere that I heard from Bill Spofford who edited The Witness--

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: --who wanted me to write up something for The Witness.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: He had heard we were Episcopalians. That's all he knew. And I wrote that article that we've reprinted a lot.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That was later. I think that was after Carl's trial.

FOSL: It was February '55.

BRADEN: Yeah.

FOSL: When that ran.

BRADEN: Well, I don't think whether I, I may have written it before the trial. But anyway, he, and then that's when Melish wrote me and said that he'd like, the Episcopal League for Social Action was quite active still, and he was with that. ELSA.

FOSL: Hmm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: And that, um, they were--

FOSL: And that you'd had no real dealings with ELSA before that?

BRADEN: No, never had heard of 'em.

FOSL: Okay. Okay.

BRADEN: Never had heard of 'em in my life. And he, but, and they would maybe wanna do something. But they needed to know sort of more about it, and, and how much our Episcopal connection made a difference or something. And I think I wrote him a letter, on the basis of which, he preached the sermon.

94:00

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: Which they published as a pamphlet.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: And, and they did a good organize-, Carl used to tell me that (??). They distributed thousands of copies of that pamphlet all over the country.

FOSL: And this is all ELSA?

BRADEN: ELSA, yeah.

FOSL: Um-hm.

BRADEN: They had a, had a network to do it, you know. They were just left networks in those days that is better than anything we got now that I know of.

FOSL: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BRADEN: Now there may be stuff I'm not in touch with. But they got that out. But in the meantime, and this is in my book, I think, I had gone up there. Somebody was having a party. I guess for us, maybe. Somebody had a party that, just a few days after Carl was convicted.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: That I hardly remember, I say.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: 'Cause I was in such a daze. But apparently I did all right. I spoke. Nobody thought I said anything strange. And that's where I met Elinor Ferry--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --who became one of our good friends up there. We stayed at her house a lot. She lived up on Claremont, right off of Riverside Drive. Nice big apartment. She had money.

FOSL: Now--

BRADEN: At that time--

FOSL: --Er-, Elinor is related to Carol Ferry?

BRADEN: Unh-uh. No.

FOSL: Oh, okay. That's just totally--

95:00

BRADEN: Totally no relationship whatsoever.

FOSL: Okay. Interesting

BRADEN: In the first place, Carol isn't, Ferry's not her name. She married--

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: --Ping Ferry.

FOSL: Right.

BRADEN: She was then Carol Bernstein. We didn't know her, we didn't meet her till lot later. That was a SCEF connection. But, um--

FOSL: 'Cause, you know, I've been to her house before.

[End of interview.]

Search This Transcript
SearchClear