Interviewee: Christlee Daniels
IWY SC 574
Interviewer: Louise Pettus
Date: June 10-11, 1977
Christlee Daniels was a licensed vocational nurse from California who moved to Columbia, South Carolina because her husband was stationed at Fort Jackson. She was also a freelance journalist and focused on women’s interest stories. An African-American woman, Daniels was interested in the South Carolina IWY Conference as a career woman and a homemaker. Issues important to Daniels included the experience of young mothers who are also professional women and sex discrimination in the workplace.
Louise Pettus: What’s your name please?
Christlee Daniels: Christlee Daniels.
LP: Where are you from?
CD: I’m originally from California, but I’m living in Columbia now. My husband’s stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
LP: Alright. And why are you here?
CD: Interest. I’m a professional woman and also a wife, homemaker, mother and I wanted to have some time away from the house. Today and tomorrow.
LP: And I see you brought your daughter here too.
CD: (Laughter) No.
LP: No, she’s a friend?
LP: Alright, let’s get back then. You said you’re a professional woman. What do you do outside of the home?
CD: Nursing. I’m a licensed vocational nurse from California and also I write freelance.
LP: And what sort of thing do you write?
CD: Oh, just whatever I’m interested in. That kind of thing. Newspaper stories, whatever, magazine articles.
LP: Manage to get published?
CD: Oh I’ve had a few things, which I like to keep quiet about. (Laughter)
LP: (Laughter) Well you don’t want to tell us even the topics?
CD: Women’s interest sort of things. I guess you could say women in the home, that sort of thing.
LP: And particularly, what? You say women in the home, you’re thinking of it and writing about the…some people write about psychological stress, some write about it from an economic viewpoint, some as a sex role type of viewpoint.
CD: Well, I’m writing about the experiences that I’ve had being a young mother, being a professional woman, dibbling-dabbling in different careers. I’ve had so many different careers. (Laughter) I’d just like to leave that behind especially for the children and other people.
LP: Now tell me, what got you interested in the first place? Some people say that had their consciousness raised. Was that true of you or do you remember? Or does it tie, you’re a black woman, does it tie in there?
CD: Well I’d like to think it’s more of an international, because I’ve have met so many people in my life, I like to think it’s the aspect of added cultures, added experiences of everybody that I’ve ever met and ever known. And going to meet! (Laughter) There’s so many people here!
LP: Yeah (unintelligible at 2:40). Do you like the size of the conference and the number of people here?
CD: Yes, yes.
LP: Have you ever felt discriminated against because you are a woman?
CD: Oh, yes. Yes. I even went as far as to file a lawsuit.
LP: Oh, did you? Where?
CD: It was in California. The company I’d rather not name. Which is yet pending that’s why I’d rather not name the company.
LP: Mmhm. True.
CD: But it was a thing where it was my word against theirs because I had no, um, I didn’t have sufficient proof, I should say.
LP: Alright you don’t want…What’s the general nature of the case?
CD: I would say equal opportunity, that kind of thing.
LP: As a woman?
CD: Right. A class action suit.
LP: Okay, so you’ve been involved. Are you hopeful that you’re going to find your case adjusted correctly?
CD: Yes, not so much for myself, but also for other women in the same situation.
LP: The first time you ever observed any discrimination that you were aware of, do you recall it? Were you an elementary school child? High school? Or older? Where you already married?
CD: I was already married and in college.
LP: Before you were aware of any discrimination?
CD: Yes, mmhm. Because I was raised in an atmosphere where, sort of a multi-cultured atmosphere. My mother emphasized that. (Laughter)
LP: And was it in employment or?
CD: It was employment, true.
LP: Okay, alright. Well, any word of advice to the South Carolinian women who are here since you’re from California? Or do you think they’re very far behind the nation’s trends or up with?
CD: I think South Carolina is very unique. I am trying to adjust to living here. The best I can. (Laughter)
LP: (Unintelligible at 4:51)
CD: Right. (Laughter) But I think South Carolina is very unique. Green. Plush. Some people are very, very warm. Southern hospitality! (claps once) I heard about. (Laughter)
LP: So you did believe that was true?
LP: Well, good. Thank you very much.
CD: Thank you.
End of Interview