Athens Oral History Project, AOHP 002 Bennie McKinley interviewed by Alexander StephensAthens Oral History Project, AOHP 002 Bennie McKinley interviewed by Alexander Stephens

Athens Oral History Project, AOHP 002 Bennie McKinley interviewed by Alexander Stephens

Descriptive Summary

Title: Athens Oral History Project, AOHP 002 Bennie McKinley interviewed by Alexander Stephens
Creator: McKinley, Bennie
Creator: Stephens, Alexander Maxwell, 1988-
Dates: 2014 July 11
Extent: 1.0 interview
Collection Number: RBRL/361/AOHP
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Bennie McKinley was born in Athens, Georgia in 1945 and grew up in segregated neighborhoods in Athens. She attended Reese Street School and Athens High and Industrial School. In this interview, she discusses her early experiences with segregation, her student activism with the civil rights movement and integration, the community role of the Hot Corner district, and female leaders from African American communities in Athens. She talks about the process of desegregation, racism, her retail career at the University of Georgia, and her mission to educate new generations about the past.

Collection Description

Biographical note

Bennie McKinley was born in Athens, Georgia, in 1945. She grew up in segregated neighborhoods in Athens, including Lyndontown, Rocksprings, and Broadacres. McKinley attended Reese Street School and Athens High and Industrial School. As a high school student, she was part of a group of teenagers who led a nonviolent direct action movement to force the integration of local restaurants and shops. After graduating high school, she worked in retail for many years and at the University of Georgia.

Scope and Content

McKinley discusses her early life and education in Athens, Georgia. She talks about how the expansion of the University of Georgia forced her family to move from their original home. She remembers her early experiences with segregation. She describes the local civil rights movement that led to the integration of restaurants and stores and discusses the strategies that she and other activists employed. McKinley comments on the role of Hot Corner as a safe space for protesters and discusses some of the female leaders from African American communities in Athens. She talks about the process of desegregation in Athens, the ways in which racism persists, and her life after high school. She explains her interest in teaching young people about the work that she and other people of her generation did in order to end segregation.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Custodial History note

The Athens Oral History Project was initiated in 2014 to document modern Athens history, roughly from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Interviews cover topics such as neighborhoods and communities in Athens, civil rights demonstrations, African American history, as well as personal histories of narrators.

Preferred citation

Athens Oral History Project, AOHP 002, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2016.


Related Materials

Access Points

Audiovisual.
Oral histories.
Segregation--Georgia.

Related Collections in this Repository

Athens Oral History Project


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

AOHP 002 Bennie McKinley audio and interview index in OHMS, 2014 July 11 (Extent: 52.0 minutes ) Access Online