My Family, the Movement, and
Jews, Religion, and the Movement — a Discussion
My First Demonstration, Atlanta, 1962
Exchange: Three White Women Students at Spelman, 1962-1964
Hi everyone! I'm glad that we're having yet another way to connect with each other. I have been involved in co-counseling for 14 years. I have been a lesbian feminist and photographer of the lesbian movement for the last 30 years. For more information about my life and work check out my self-published book, A Lesbian Photo Album. Your local library can order it for you. My web site is due up March 15, 2002: www.cathycade.com.
I want to encourage everyone to take advantage of people wanting to interview you. Get them to give you copies of the tapes (and/or transcripts). Ask you friends and family if they still have any old letters from you. Even one or two letters from the past are precious. I've also found that talking with old friends I was with in the Movement enables me to remember a lot I thought was lost. I getting more and more evidence that revisiting our past makes us stronger now-as well as helping others.
After many years of part-time day jobs while I did political photography I am now building a business: "Cathy Cade: Personal History, Photo Organizing, and Photography". I'm currently working on two personal histories (with photographs). One is of Josepha Moseley who grew up White and working class in Tupelo, Mississippi. She came out as a lesbian and a communist in high school. The other is of Dorothy Patterson, and African American woman, now in her 70s, who has been a public health nurse, a civic leader in the Bay Area and a fighter for international human rights.
To help us get to have those conversations about The Movement, I offer the following chronology of my movement experience.
I first heard of the civil rights movement when I was in 9th grade and someone in the Unitarian Church told me about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movement in Montgomery. When I was a sophomore in High school, my father got transferred to Memphis. I went to Central High School in Memphis just when the crisis occurred in Little Rock. It was a segregated school and the question of integration was in everybody's face.
When I was a junior at Carleton College in Minnesota in spring 1962, I went on an exchange program to Spelman College in Atlanta. Two days after I arrived I found myself sitting in at the GA State legislature with students from Spelman, Morehouse and the other schools at the Atlanta University Center, including professor Howard Zinn. I spent much of the rest of the time at Spelman at the Atlanta SNCC office. My senior year at Carleton, I did SNCC support work.
The summer after I graduated from college, I went to Albany, GA. I was there one day when I was arrested and spent 9 days in jail on a hunger fast with lots of other people. I spent the rest of the summer in the Atlanta office as a compromise with my father, who had had a nervous breakdown after visiting me in Albany.
The next fall I started graduate school at Tulane University in New Orleans. I was there two days when I got a call that SNCC workers were in town to help with voter registration. For a couple of weeks I joined them when I could. My first year at Tulane I was part of Tulane's "Liberals Club" spent many weekends in Jackson helping to prepare for the summer project which I spent in Gulfport. I attended the founding conference of the Southern Student Organizing Committee in Nashville in May of '64.
The next year at Tulane I helped to found and lead an organization called Students for Integration, which was a multi-campus student effort to desegregate restaurants in accordance with the newly passed Civil Rights Bill. The summer of 1965 I worked with Matt Suarez in New Orleans' 4th ward. I helped found and lead the Tulane chapter of the Students for Democratic Society, which began to take on the issues of the Vietnam war.
In '66 and '67 I lived in Canton, MS where I did research for my sociology dissertation. I did a study on attitudes in the Black community about using consensus versus conflict methods of social change. Back in New Orleans I was part of the early Women's Liberation Movement.
I moved to San Francisco in 1970 to be part of a larger women's movement. I came out as a lesbian and began photographing the spring of 1971. I'm still a lesbian and a photographer and still work against racism.