Interviewee: Laura B. Frederick
IWY SC 589
Interviewer: Constance Ashton Myers
Date: June 10-11, 1977
Laura B. Frederick, a retired third-grade teacher from Orangeburg, discusses her views on why the conference will have a positive influence on women in general; her belief that the conference would have an impact on her personal life; and some conversation about women breaking barriers.
Constance Ashton Myers: Well, what is your name?
Laura B. Frederick: (Laughs)
CM: This will be in the record of the meeting. Don’t you want your name in the record of the meeting, and your views on this meeting?
CM: You’re Ms. Laura B. Frederick. Where are you from?
CM: Orangeburg? Ah, what do you do in Orangeburg?
LF: (Unintelligible at 0:22)
CM: Beg pardon?
LF: There’s one right there who would talk. (Laughs)
CM: No, but I’ve already put your name down. What do you do in Orangeburg?
LF: Is that right? You wrote a (unintelligible at 0:31). (Laughs)
CM: What do you do in Orangeburg?
LF: Well, I’m retired.
CM: You’re a retired teacher?
LF: Yeah…oh, goodbye. (Speaking to someone in the background.)
Person in background: She was my favorite teacher.
CM: Tell me, why do you think this is an important meeting for you to attend?
LF: Oh, well, we’re women. That’s number one.
LF: And, uh, it’s good for us to be recognized, since we are the ones who rock the cradle.
CM: Yes. Do you think that this . . .
LF: Do you have that on now?
LF: You taping me?
CM: This is important. This is important.
CM: It is. To get the feelings of people who are here.
LF: Yeah. But you’re not taping everything I’m saying.
CM: It’s . . .
LF: You’re not recording everything I’m saying.
LF: Oh, no. (Laughs)
CM: Tell me, do you think this meeting will have any consequence in your personal life?
LF: It will.
CM: In your personal life. And . . .
LF: Women in general.
CM: You think it will have definite consequences socially? In the social context?
LF: Yes. Yes. Because that’s . . .
CM: How do you think this meeting has gone so far?
LF: Oh, wonderful.
CM: Have you been satisfied with it?
LF: Because, uh, you have the historical background relating to how we got where we are.
CM: That’s right.
LF: And, from that, it will let the young people know what has gone on. And so, they can venture out to do better work.
CM: Ms. Frederick, how did you become aware of women’s issues first? That there were such things as specifically women’s issues?
LF: Well, I work with different groups. And I found out, uh, how much weight women had. In, as . . .
CM: Is it a lot? Or a little?
LF: Well, it was a little. But now it has grown. And, uh, women were one time kept in a place that they were afraid to venture out of. But now they aren’t afraid to venture out. They go right on.
CM: What brought about the change?
LF: Well, they broke the barrier, by doing certain things. And as they did, then they had more to come and add to the group. And the more support they got, the more they could accomplish.
CM: So you think women have made strides, and you think that, uh, this meeting will have fruitful results?
CM: For women.
LF: We trust so. We believe so. They got enough, uh, grip on society, so they can go on and make progress.
CM: Have you been to a meeting of this order before? Not exactly like this, but a professional meeting? Or a women’s meeting, let’s say? Where women’s issues were discussed?
LF: Well, I am . . .
CM: You’ve been to similar meetings?
LF: . . . a member of the Women of the United Methodist Church.
CM: Are you? So you’ve been to those. And they . . . . Have you read the slate of recommendations for this meeting? These recommendations that are printed in the book To Form a More Perfect Union? Have you read those recommendations?
LF: No, I haven’t read the recommendations.
CM: They’re going to be voted on tomorrow afternoon.
LF: Oh, yes.
CM: And amended. I just wondered what you thought of them. But if you haven’t read them . . .
LF: Is that the program they have outlined on that little . . .
CM: It’s in a big, thick book, that’s entitled . . . it’s in your registration packet.
LF: Oh, yes. I’ll get a chance to look at it.
CM: Well, I thank you very much for your views.
LF: Oh, you should have asked me to think about it, and contemplate on it, so that I would have my English in the right place.
CM: Well, I think your English was beautiful. And just tell me, one more time, you are from Orangeburg, did you say?
LF: Yes, I am.
CM: From Orangeburg. Ok. Would you mind telling how old you are, Ms. Frederick.
CM: You don’t have to.
LF: To say that I am a retired teacher will give my age.
CM: What grade did you teach?
LF: Third grade a long time. I meet the students on the street nights. They say, “I know you didn’t need books before you left school, because you knew everything that’s in the book.” (Laughs)
CM: What a tribute. Well, thank you, Ms. Frederick.
End of Interview