Interview with Diane Jones , by: Amani Sheard


Below is the interview I conducted with my grandmother. The interview took place May 11th, in the comfort of her own home. She was born in Philadelphia during the year 1955. Therefor she grew up during the time period of the civil rights movement. During the interview she shares a great deal of memories and personal stories. She gives her opinions and reactions of a lot of incidents that happened during the civil rights movement. Often sharing her strong emotions on specific events. She was strongly influenced by her parents and civil rights activist.

Interview/ Transcript

A.S: What is your name?  

D.J- My name is Diane Jones- Roseman.

A.S: How old are you?

D.J- 60 years old.

A.S: What is your date of birth?

D.J- April 8th, 1955

A.S: Can you give brief background history about yourself?

D.J-  I was born in the city of Philadelphia to my two parents. My father was a self employed painter and my mother worked half time. And I have one older sister. Grew up and went to school in the city of philadelphia. Ummm attended Temple university after High School. Uhhh I have only traveled outside of the United states once. And that was to South Africa. Well I shouldn't say once. Ive been to Africa, I’ve been to several caribbean islands. I’ve been to Canada, I’ve been to mexico. Ummm and of course I have traveled to a few states outside of pennsylvania but inside of the united states.

A.S: The civil rights movement lasted from about 1955-1968. How old were you during this period?

D.J It was between my birth and my 18th birthday. My im sorry my 8th.. right? 55..65.. 13th birthday.

A.S: How do you define civil rights?

The laws of the land applying to everyone within it regardless of their race

A.S: Was anyone in your family involved in the civil rights movement?

D.J- Movement.. umm yes everyone directly or indirectly.

A.S: Growing up during segregation, can you recall an early incident when you recognized a difference of treatment on account of color?

D.J- Uhh yes for myself personally it was at girl scout camp when I was about 10. And others of the time it was through rumors relayed verbally through their parents and television.

A.S: Describe your memories of segregation.

D.J- Umm segregation I Remember vividly stories my dad used to tell us about segregation in the united states army. Where he remembers uh being on bases in certain parts of the country and he couldn’t use the same water fountain as his white counterparts.

A.S: Have you ever personally been discriminated against because of your race?

D.J- hmmm Yea both suttley and blatantly,

A.S: How did you respond to this treatment?

D.J- My first reaction is hurt and questioning what's wrong with me,  my second reaction is anger after realizing it ain't me.

A.S: What are key events you remember during that time period?

D.J- Key events… uhhh.. I would say the assassination of martin luther king, the assassination of president kennedy, the assassination of his brother, the assassination of Malcolm X, the uhh arrest and riots of different groups like the panthers and the college students against unfair treatment in the south. What else do I remember? I remember the marches  the churches put together to the white house in D.C. Uhh I remember guest speakers at our church I don't remember anyone coming to school but I do remember guest speakers at church.

A.S: What did you do during the Civil Rights movement?

D.J-  I was a school student so I can't say I actively participated but we used to have many discussions and debates around the table as to how the situation could be fixed. Discussions about Martin Luther King’s peaceful ways. And Malcolm X and the nation of islam and the panthers by any means necessary methods. Of course my parents being christians they leaned more towards non violence.

A.S: What was the most memorable event during the civil rights movement that affects you today?

D.J- The fact that Dr. Martin Luther king did spread nothing but word of nonviolence and equality and they still killed him. Very Violently killed him to silence him

A.S: What were the failures of the Civil Rights Movement?

D.J-  I guess that the impact of it was not felt or honored as highly by the next generation.

A.S: Do you think marches, sit-ins, and other demonstrations helped or hurt the movement?

D.J- They helped

A.S: why?

D.J- It brought the issues more permanently to the surface of a lot of people attention.

A.S: Do you think that the president did everything in his power to better the situation at the time?

D.J-  There were other president though. Before kennedy it might have been nixon. But umm I think he tried. He really tried that why he got killed.

A.S: What are your thoughts on nonviolence?

D.J- It .. my thoughts are ideally it would be great if problems could be solved without violence. Through out history it seems that something is as drastic as warfare for one side to win. But in any case both sides are going to lose something or someone

A.S: Are there records of civil rights activity in your community?

D.J- Sure

A.S Such as?

D.J - Well there is chapters of the NAACP. Theres uh civil unions.. uhh lawyers you can secure to um do probational civil cases. Umm what else in my community. We vote, I think that's a form of excising our civil rights. There are many voter registration drives to educate people about our rights.  

A.S : Who were your civil rights heroes locally? Nationally? Why?

D.J- Malcolm X.. uhhh who else, yea I already mentioned King. I’m trying to think locally. There are many but the names slipped my mind.

A.S: Thank you

D.J- You're Welcome


My grandmother brings up a lot of topics that could have been researched. For one the assassinations of many influential people. These people include; Martin Luther king , Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, and his brother.

Martin Luther king: Martin Luther King Jr. was killed  April 4, 1968. He was killed  in Memphis, Tennessee. Not too long after his, “I have a dream speech”, and before he was preparing for another one. He was killed on the balcony of his hotel room.

Malcolm X:  Malcolm was killed  February 21, 1965. This was  one week after his home was firebombed. He died by being shot multiple times by a group of Islam members while he was speaking at an organization in New York city.

John F Kennedy:  JFK was assassinated November 22, 1963, Dallas, TX. Cause of death: Gunshot en.wi His brother Robert Kennedy was also assassinated. June 6th 1968 in Los Angeles, California.

During the interview, my grandmother brought up stories my great grandfather told her about segregation in the U.S military. During the Jim crow era, there were laws that whites and blacks could not use the same bathroom, water fountains or waiting areas as whites. My grandmother says she recalls the marches, riots and arrest of protesters. In one specific event, the marches to washington and the White house. Between 1957 and 1968 there were about 7 marches to washington. Two specific marched led and based on african Americans were:

Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom-  Ran by Martin Luther King, in attempt to having a right to vote.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,_D.C.#1950.E2.80.931999