A Guide to the Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee Oral History collection, 2015-2016 Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee Oral History collection M 559

A Guide to the Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee Oral History collection, 2015-2016

A Collection in
Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library
Collection number M 559


Virginia Commonwealth University, James Branch Cabell Library

Special Collections and Archives
James Branch Cabell Library
Box 842003
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2003
Phone: (804) 828-1108
Fax: (804) 828-0151
Email: libjbcsca@vcu.edu
URL: https://www.library.vcu.edu/research-teaching/special-collections-and-archives/

© 2019 By Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved

Processed by: Jessica E. Johnson

Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University
Collection number
M 559
Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee Oral History collection, 2015-2016
21.2 gigabytes, 9 interviews.
Daugherity, Brian J.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee Oral History collection, Collection # M 559, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.

Acquisition Information

Biographical / Historical Information

The Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee (VSCRC) grew out of the December 1964 conference The Movement- The Student- Upper South, organized by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Although the committee evolved from a SNCC sponsored event, the VSCRC was not formally or officially affiliated with any other organizations. The purpose of the VSCRC was to increase communications among black and white college students involved in the civil rights movement in Virginia by holding monthly meetings of the elected representatives from participating colleges and universities. The original members realized that they did not have to go into the Deep South to encounter the major civil rights violations as there were many problems in the Commonwealth, particularly in the more rural counties of Southside Virginia. The committee planned for a conference in the spring of 1965 and assigned people to research and plan for a summer project in Virginia. The committee ultimately focused on empowering local people and groups in Southside to make changes in their own communities themselves. The leadership of the VSCRC felt there was not enough focus on local, people-oriented, and self-led organizing. They decided to focus on Virginia's 4th Congressional District, working in six Southside counties to empower local Black residents to agitate for change. They were encouraged to demand better services from their city and local government, to advocate for the desegregation of businesses and community groups, and to register Southside residents to vote. White supremacists and the local Klan noticed the VSCRC's work and attempted to intimidate or threatened the civil rights activists. Despite this, the VSCRC prevailed, successfully forging ties with the Southside community. Their success was short-lived. Differences of opinions among the membership and ideological disagreements about the escalating war in Vietnam and the emergence of black-power groups like the Black Panthers divided the VSCRC. The changing membership further damaged group cohesiveness and the VSCRC disbanded in 1966. Further Reading Hall, Simon. Peace and Freedom: The Civil Rights Antiwar Movement in the 1960s. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia 2005 Hall, Simon "Civil Rights Activism in 1960s Virginia," The Journal of Black Studies vol. 38, no 2 (Nov 2007), pp. 251-267 Virginia Students Civil Rights Committee, "A Brief History of the Virginia Students Civil Rights Committee," The Movement in the Archive, accessed October 30, 2018, http://civilrights.woodson.virginia.edu/items/show/1070.

Content Description

Oral histories taken for the VSCRC 50th Reunion Oral History Project in Blackstone, VA. Professors Brian Dougherity and Ryan Smith interview former members of the VSCRC to obtain information about their work with the organization in the 1960s, in addition to their work with Civil Rights in general.


Collection arranged alphabetically by interviewee first name.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Civil rights movements -- History -- 20th century -- Virginia
  • Electronic records
  • Oral history
  • Virginia Student Civil Rights Committee

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Technical Requirements

The materials are .mp4 files, with each interviewee having their own interview file. The materials must be accessed using a computer or tablet. If you need assistance with access through a transcript, please contact Special Collections at libjbcsca@vcu.edu.

Container List

Bill Monnie, 6/20/2015
2.22 gigabytes
Bruce Smith, 4/9/2016
David Nolan, 6/20/2015
Dottie Edwards, 4/26/2016
Lucious Edwards, 4/23/2016
Nan Grogan Orrock, 6/20/2015
3.14 gigabytes
Roger Hickie, 6/20/2015
2.96 gigabytes
Steve Wise, 6/20/2015
3.75 gigabytes
Tom Gardner, 6/20/2015
3.62 gigabytes