Interview with David J. Vann
QUESTION 21
INTERVIEWER:

WHERE IN YOUR LIFE DID YOU AND YOUR THINKING OR HOW — WHAT — YOU WERE USUALLYMON THE RIGHT SIDE OF ALL THESE THINGS AS WE PERCEIVE IT NOW

David J. Vann:

Well, for one thing I grew up in a college town, Auburn. Where you had people from all over the United States on the faculty, where you had — I'm sure I was exposed to a lot of different thoughts. We had black servants in our home. I always had, you know, great relations with them. Some of the most important in my life were Hattie and Annie, two of our servants that worked for us. Uh, I started college when I was 16 at the University of Colorado, and my brother-in-law had a black student in his organ – that he taught organ. He was the valedictorian of his class in high school, the top of his class when he graduated from the University of Colorado. And I remember my sister, we went over to their house, and had dinner one night. I'm sure I was affected by that. In college, I think I have to say, let me say this, I think there was a fairly broad movement, within the south itself, in the late thirties, forties, to correct some of the things that were wrong about segregation. Or the most obvious. As a student at the University of Alabama, in the late forties, my Methodist student group, we had bi-racial meetings every month or so. We went out to the black college there, Stillman College, Presbyterian College, and I knew black students at that college, although they didn't go to my college. And I think religious motivations, through the Methodist Church, had a lot to do with it.