Janie Kelly

Interviewee: Janie Kelly
IWY SC 620
Interviewer: Constance Ashton Myers
Date: June 11, 1977

Janie Kelly, an African-American woman from McCormick, South Carolina, worked with children at a Head Start program and was interested in child development. A member of the NAACP, she attended the state IWY conference to learn more about the women’s movement. Interview includes discussion of Kelly’s children; her interest in more information about rape and domestic violence; and her overall positive impression of the conference. 

Sound Recording



Constance Ashton Myers: This is Constance Myers recording interviews on the morning of June the 11th, 1977 at the South Carolina International Women’s Year conference in Columbia.

(Break in audio at 0:25)

CM: What is your name?

Janie Kelly: Janie Kelly.

CM: And where are you from, Ms. Kelly?

JK: McCormick, South Carolina.

CM: McCormick. What is your address in McCormick?

JK: Route 2, Box 120.

CM: Um, why do you consider this conference important enough to bring you out and get you to come here?

JK: The most important thing is because I’m a woman. And the second thing is I’m a black woman.

CM: Yes.

JK: And I would like to know more about my race, and other . . . more about the other race.

CM: Oh, yes.

JK: The main thing, I would like to know more about myself as a woman.

CM: Yes. Ms. Kelly, do you belong to an organization, or several?

JK: N double-A C P [NAACP]. Yeah.

CM: And, and do you . . . you’re not here as a representative of that organization . . . ?

JK: No, no, no.

CM: . . . you’re, as an individual?

JK: Right. Yeah.

CM: And I guess you belong to other women’s . . . do you belong to any women’s groups at all? Your church women’s group, maybe? Or something?

JK: Oh . . . no, no, no, not really. I just want to blend in. What’s all going on, so I can learn.

CM: Right.

JK: . . . not know . . .

CM: How did you first become aware that there were these special issues concerning women?

JK: Well . . .

CM: Did you have any kind of experience that bore in on you, you know?

JK: Really, no. Just wanted to learn.

CM: Yeah.

JK: Just wanted to . . . be in on the right place at the right time. Um-hmm.

CM: That’s a good reason to be here.

JK: Yeah.

CM: Do you think that there will be any . . . that you will have any personal consequences in your life from having come here? Or from this meeting having taken place? I should phrase it that way.

JK: If I understood your question correctly, I will, um . . . the most about part, is . . . I learned more.

CM: Yes.

JK: And I have experienced more yesterday than I think . . .

CM: Oh, you were here yesterday?

JK: Yes, I was.

CM: Wow.

JK: And, um, that’s what that . . . I always . . .

CM: Now that’s your personal consequences.

JK: That’s my personal consequences . . .

CM: What about socially?

JK: Socially?

CM: What do you think the general social consequences of this meeting, and others like it, might be?

JK: Well, uh, for one thing, I, to tell you the truth about it, everybody will have to be on their tip-toe at all times. Without that . . .

CM: Uh, on tip-toes about what?

JK: About what’s going on. You got to keep a sharp eye on everything, not just one, if you want, you know, that one particular thing. But, me, I like to get in on all that, if I can.

CM: That’s . . .

JK: And become aware of the situation before it happens.

CM: Are you more interested in political issues as they touch women, or economic issues? What . . . which interests intrigue you more?

JK: My interests more is, um, the raped woman. The battered woman, or whatever that . . .

CM: Yes.

JK: . . . is. And that . . .

CM: They’re the workshops that you’re going to?

JK: Right.

CM: You’re going to the equal opportunities . . .

JK: Equal opportunities . . .

CM: . . . and the battered woman.

JK: . . . and the battered woman.

CM: Uh-huh. That’s interesting to know what workshops people are led towards, you know.

JK: Well, I’d like to get to all of them, but I know I can’t.

CM: Yeah.

JK: My . . . most concerned about the child.

CM: The child.

JK: Child development.

CM: Right. Are you a mother then?

JK: Yes, I am.

CM: Uh-huh. And you work . . .

JK: And I also work with children.

CM: Do you? What . . . where do you work with children?

JK: . . . (unintelligible at 3:54) community action.

CM: What, what is it called?

JK: Head Start.

CM: Oh, you work with Head Start.

JK: Yes. Oh, yes.

CM: And, so, you have enjoyed this conference . . .

JK: Oh, yes.

CM: . . . so far?

JK: So far, I have.

CM: You, you would give it an A-plus rating?

JK: No.

CM: A?

JK: Ask me that after the meeting.

CM: I was, I was wondering, you know, it’s . . . I will be able to get some good evaluations later on today, I guess.

JK: But, so far, I can say a positive.

CM: Thank you, Ms. Kelly. Um, I wonder if you could sign a release?

End of Interview