Interviews by Topic: Race Relations

Beatrice Elizabeth Coleman, class of 1925

In this interview, Beatrice Coleman discusses her career as a teacher in normal schools in North Carolina and Pennsylvania; the African American communities in Providence and at Brown and Pembroke in the early twentieth century; and her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. At the time of the interview she was 102 years old.

Bernicestine McLeod Bailey, class of 1968

This oral history features three members of the class of ‘68: Marcia Lloyd, an artist and professor of Painting at the Massachusetts College of Art; Bernicestine McLeod Bailey, an information management consultant; and Sandi Richards, a professor of African American Studies and Theatre at Northwestern University. Marcia Lloyd begins the interview discussing her work as an artist; her involvement with the Brown Corporation; her Philadelphia background; coming to Pembroke; and the school’s racial climate and the corresponding social life.

Cecile Lena Kantrowitz, class of 1930

Cecile begins the interview by explaining her Russian heritage and Jewish upbringing, her father's career as a Hebrew teacher and cantor and tracing her roots to Baal Shem Tov. She discusses her education at Classical High School; her mother’s liberated beliefs; and why she chose Pembroke. Regarding her education at Pembroke, Cecile describes her first days; joining Phi Beta Kappa; being a student of languages. She discusses founding the Debating Club and going against the grain by not doing homework and by rejecting certain dress codes.

Jeree Palmer Wade, class of 1983

Jeree Palmer Wade begins her interview by discussing her time in Providence, where she lived with her first husband.  She completed a Brown degree in Theatre Arts in two years through the Resumed Education Program (RUE).  Jeree explains how attending Brown impacted her life in theatre, particularly the production “Shades of Brown,” which led her back to the New York theatre scene.  Wade discusses various productions she has worked on in New York.

Lillian Shoushan Berberian Klanian, class of 1957

This interview concentrates on Lillian's family life and her experiences as a commuter student. She explains that her parents expected her to live at home while she attended Pembroke, and she describes her days on campus  as “an outsider.” She reminisces about life-long friendships with other city girls (they had celebrated their 30th reunion together shortly before this interview).

Linda Jennifer Peters Mahdesian, class of 1982

Linda Peters Mahdesian begins this interview by talking about her family background in Chicago, Illinois; her reasons for choosing Brown; the experience of bi-racial students at Brown; and the Women's Movement on campus. In Part 2, she discusses her jobs after graduation; hiring of minority faculty; and the choices that women have to make as a result of the gains of the Women's Movement.

Penelope "Penny" Anne Baskerville, class of 1968

Penelope “Penny” Baskerville begins this interview by recounting her family life and early education in New Jersey. In Part 1, she discusses the experience of being a racial minority at Pembroke (Penny was one of six African-American women in her class) as well as the general novelty of the college social experience, stressing the strength of the friendships she developed. Penny recounts her extracurricular involvement, the founding of the Afro-American Society, and the unique nature of college in the 1960s.