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BCRI Oral History- An Interview with Virginia Volker

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This podcast is part of the series: BCRI Oral History


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute


Virginia Sparks Volker was born in Jasper, Alabama in 1940.  An instructor of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) since 1967, Volker has degrees from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and Harvard University.  Actively involved in the Unitarian church and in many community organizations, Volker also directs an annual summer intensive course on the Civil Rights Movement.
As a college student in the early 1960s, Volker participated in inter-racial discussion and social groups with students from Stillman College.  Because such activities were illegal, Volker and her friends were strongly encouraged by university administrators to cease participation.  However, even after she enrolled in graduate school at UAB, she continued to cross boundaries and participate in groups such as the Alabama Council on Human Relations and Friendship in Action. 
Listen to Virginia Volker explain how she and other White students came to socialize with Black college students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1960 and '61.

Length: 02:13

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

[SS2010] US11 (11) 14: Trace events of the modern Civil Rights Movement from post-World War II to 1970 that resulted in social and economic changes, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, the March on Washington, Freedom Rides, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March. (Alabama) [A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.f., A.1.i., A.1.j., A.1.k.]


Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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