Having volunteered for CORE's 1964 Summer Project in Louisiana, I arrived in the town of Plaquemine for training in June for what would become an experience that would fundamentally inform not only my politics, but also the person I am. Working for the next 15 months throughout the state (in Greensburg, Clinton, Jonesboro, Alexandria, Baton Rouge etc.), I came to understand this country — its economic, political and social systems — in a way I might never have, had I remained in Massachusetts.
My career choice of sociology professor was certainly influenced by my Movement participation, as were many of my writings. Growing most directly out of that experience was my 1995 oral history with the woman who'd housed us in Alexandria: All is Never Said: The Narrative of Odette Harper Hines. Additionally, a troubling issue I first encountered in Jonesboro, LA — the exploitation of black women forced into domestic work because of the lack of other jobs — led to my award-winning 1985 sociological study, Between Women: Domestics and Their Employers.
Copyright Judith Rollins.