Atlanta's Unspoken Past oral history transcriptions
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Atlanta's Unspoken Past oral history transcriptions

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040.
Creator: Atlanta Historical Society
Title: Atlanta's Unspoken Past oral history transcriptions
Dates: 1997, 2004-2005
Quantity: 0.834 linear ft. (two document cases)
Identification: ahc.MSS994

Biographical/Historical Note

In 2004, the Atlanta History Center began a lesbian and gay oral history project, funded in part by a grant from the Georgia Humanities Council. “Atlanta’s Unspoken Past,” the oral history project, focused on lesbian and gay history and culture in Atlanta prior to the explosion of gay rights movements that occurred in cities across the United States in the early 1970s, and provided the framework and foundation for a public exhibition in 2005, The Unspoken Past: Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History, 1940-1970.

For the oral history project, participants were interviewed using a set of themes vetted by an advisory committee of recognized scholars and professionals from academic and cultural institutions. Gay women and men were asked to share their backgrounds; coming out experiences; reasons for staying in, moving to, or away from Atlanta; recollections of same-sex relationships and local gay life; and ideas about community, race, gender, and religion, region, and sexuality. The sound recordings and transcripts, and subsequent donations of related personal manuscript and visual collections, document the specific features of Atlanta that facilitated and structured social interactions; the institutions of everyday life (church, school, clubs, sports, etc.) that figured into participants’ identities; how work and leisure activities limited or facilitated same-sex friendships and relationships; and how race and gender shaped the everyday lives and experiences of participants.

The interviewees are mostly white, middle-class, and were raised in Protestant Christian faiths. Most of women and men were born before or during World War II and lived in Atlanta or the South during most of their adulthood or at least prior to the late 1960s. Interviews conducted after grant period include recollections post-1970.

Scope and Content Note

The collection is comprised of eleven interviews, transcript of each interview (edited and unedited), original audio recordings for each interview, and a CD access copy of each. The interviews with Billy Jones and Ginny Boyd are part of the Maria Helena Dolan collection (1999.142)


This collection is arranged alphabetically by lastname of interviewee

Index Terms

Adams, George H.
African Americans--Segregation
Askew, Jeff D., 1923-2016
Atlanta (Ga.)
Boyd, Virginia
Brooks, Ronald G.
Charleston (S.C.)
Civil rights
Darsey, James
Diamond Lil
Gay men--Georgia--Atlanta--History
Gay men--Georgia--Atlanta--Social Conditions
Hooper, Scotti
Johnson, Douglas
Johnston, Chip
Jones, Allen O.
Jones, Billy, -2003
Lesbians--Georgia--Atlanta--Social conditions
McLemore, Charlene
Monger, Frank
New Orleans (La.)
New York (N.Y.)
Penn, William S.
Phillips, Mace H., Jr.
Race relations
Savannah (Ga.)
Stansell, Nell
Strouss, Jack, (1923-)
Styles, Freddie
Vogel, Barbara
Weaver, William
Whittaker, William J.
World War, 1939-1945

Existence and Location of Originals note

A CD access copy is available for each interview, and digitized interviews are available at

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Atlanta's Unspoken Past oral history transcriptions, MSS 994, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.

Acquisition Information

Collected by staff.

Processing Information

Collection processed in 2009.


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Related Material

Atlanta's Unspoken Past oral history recordings, VIS 178, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.

Container List




11Adams, George (DVD available AV 178.04), 2004 November 1
2Askew, Jeff CD access copy AV 994.1.2 (CD available AV 994.1.2), 2005 March 5
4Brooks, Ron (DVD available AV 178.07), 2004 October 27
5Darsey, James (DVD available AV 178.06), 2004 October 22
6Diamond Lil (CD available AV 994.1.6), 2005 February 18
7Hooper, Scotti (CD available AV 994.1.7), 2005 April 25
8Johnson, Douglas (Doug) (DVD available AV 178.05), 2004 November 19
9Johnston, Chip (CD available AV 994.1.9), 2004 November 9
10Jones, Allen (DVD available AV 178.03), 2004 November 30
12McKain, Ann (CD available 994.1.12), 2005 March 18
13McLemore, Charlene, and Barbara Vogel (DVD available AV 178.10), 2005 March 9
14Monger, Frank (CD available AV 994.1.14), 2004 November 9
15Penn, William (DVD available AV 178.08), 2004 September 23
16Phillips, Mace (DVD available AV 178.11), 2005 March 7



21Stansell, Nell (CD available AV 994.2.1), 2006 February 28
2Strouss, Jack (CD available AV 994.2.2), 2005 September 14
3Styles, Freddie (CD available AV 994.2.3), 2004 November 6
4Weaver, William (DVD available AV 178.02), 2004 November 19
5Whittaker II, William (DVD available AV 178.09), 2005 March 7