Interviewee: Rose Marie McDuff
Interviewer: Marie Heyda
Date: November 18-21, 1977
Rose Marie McDuff, a 43-year-old African-American woman, was a delegate from California. McDuff was also an ordained minister with the World Wide Fellowship of the Independent Churches and a race relations specialist. She held a Master’s Degree in Anthropology. Interview includes discussion of: the many types of discrimination experienced by McDuff including sexual and religious discrimination; the California state IWY conference; the work of the minority coalition during the California conference; her support for the IWY national plan and McDuff’s experience as a minister.
Rose Marie McDuff: My name is Rose Marie McDuff, spelled R-O-S-E, M-A-R-I-E, M-C-D-U-F-F. I am a black woman, age 43 years old, birth date, September the 9th, September the 30th, pardon me, 1934.
Marie Heyda: Have you suffered much discrimination?
RMM: Yes, I have. I’m a delegate from California and I have suffered discrimination in California where there’s not supposedly to be any. I have suffered regional discrimination, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, religious discrimination. I think I have a good idea what discrimination is all about, and what I mean by that is, I have suffered differential and unequal treatment as opposed to what the majority of people have, rights. And I am a fighter. I fight for the rights of women. I have a Master’s Degree in Anthropology. I am a race relation orientation specialist when I am employed. Currently I’m unemployed. I was a member of the California Coordinating Committee to form the state meeting in California for the first International Women’s Year meeting in June, 16 through the 19th.
MH: What is your opinion of what the Conference has accomplished?
RMM: I think that the Conference has accomplished a great deal in regards to opening up doors for women. For instance, we’ve had some resolutions passed at this Conference in behalf of minority women, which was a fine coalition of all the minority views. Which we worked together for the first time in a magnificent way; that is black women, Asian women, Chicano women, Native American women, old women, young women, you know, handicapped, displaced women, lesbian women, straight women, you know, all kinds of women. And I feel that we worked really well together. We’re very happy about the passage of the resolution for the Equal Rights Amendment. We’re very happy about the passage of pro-plan for the national plan of action with the various amendments.
MH: (Unintelligible at 2:23)
RMM: (Unintelligible at 2:22) I want to say I’m a mother. I have been a wife. I am a minister, I’m an Evangelist with the Church of God in Christ, I currently am a member of Nash Temple Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles. I mean, in Sacramento, California.
MH: Is there discrimination in those roles on your social level, I mean, among your own people? Do they accept you as a woman in those roles?
RMM: I am accepted widely in my community. I represent women of all levels. I have been discriminated against as a very poor black woman living in the ghetto. I have been discriminated as a black woman who is integrated a, so-called white neighborhood. I have been discriminated because I am an ordained minister.
MH: By men or by –
RMM: By men, and even some women who seem to think that women shouldn’t be ordained. In fact one of the, my greatest challenges after being ordained for 14 years was brought about by a woman.
MH: How were you ordained, by a bishop or?
RMM: I was ordained by the bishop here in Houston who happened to come to California, with the World Wide Fellowship. Houston, with Bishop H. W. Falls. And –
MH: What church?
RMM: Well, this is the World Wide Fellowship of the Independent Churches, and –
MH: But you have a bishop?
RMM: Yes, Bishop H. W. Falls here of Houston, Texas. And I am currently with the Church of God in Christ, I’m an Evangelist missionary. And I work at home and abroad, I travel.
MH: Well thank you very –
End of Interview