In the 1950s and 1960s, America saw the coming of a new wave of activism which demanded for increased observation of human rights in the country. This also led to the emergence of feminism movement which called for improved status of women and increased participation in the paid work. In this interview, we are going to share the life of one of activists, Joan who spearheaded human rights and feminism activism in the United States in 1950s and 1960s.
Q: Welcome to the interview mom. To start with, we would be pleased to know you names and perhaps tell us if you have any other nickname.
Joan: Thanks a lot. My names are Joan Maine. My family have used to calling me Joan although I like being called Maine. This is my family name that has been inherited for generations. I cannot exactly tell you where this name came from but it has been passed down as my family name
Q: Thanks a lot. I think that is a beautiful name more so when it is passed from the family traditions, but just for curiosity, is there any story behind your name or does your name have a special meaning?
Joan: As far as I can understand, the name Maine has a tradition been attached with in my family. My mother used to tell me that my grandmother was shot for disobeying a local administrator when she was to pay for unjustified tax. This name has been identified with not exactly a rebel but a fighter for truth and individual liberty. This may be what inspired me to fight for individual rights and rights of women.
Q: Thanks a lot, now we know a bit of your history.
Joan: Well… I have a divided history of origin. I cannot exactly tell you my origin since my parents are from difference races. My father was a black American from the south while my mother was Spanish from the south as well. However I have grown close to my mother as my father has been always at work and I can say that we have Spanish culture although they have been spiced with African cultures.
Q: What a mix! I think you have had a good experience to blend two cultures. How do you take you're the traditions of your family? In that particular cultural practices what have you adopted between African and Spanish cultures in terms of foods and recipes?
Joan: Thanks a lot. As I have said I feel that my family has followed more of the Spanish culture. However our father has influenced us in some and somehow as we grew up in Spanish neighborhood, I felt that were somehow different from other families. In terms of food and recipes, we have stuck with Spanish recipes which even my father liked a lot. I think my father got wholly assimilated in my mother's Spanish culture
Q: Okay, now which important history do you have about your family? I mean, what has been know to be common in you family?
Joan: As I told you before, my family has been known for fighting for their rights. My late grandmother who was shot by a local administrator was particularly know for her notoriety in demanding for respect of her rights in an era when no woman dared to speak in front of men. She is known to have taken difficult situations which my grandfather could not handle especially with the administrators.
Q: How have the historical events in the country or in the world affected the life of your family?
Joan: According to the events that have happened in the country, the great depression and the Second World War had the greatest effect in our life. During the Great depression, there was widespread poverty and both my parents had to engage in employment to make the ends meet. At other times, my older siblings had also to participate in employment. During the Second World War, my older brother was enrolled in the army but unfortunately we lost him in the war. This was one of the most trying moments in our life as a family.
Q: Now that you have mentioned you siblings how was your childhood life? When were you born and how did you relate with your siblings and other friends?
Joan: I was born in 1918 as a fourth born in the family in the modern Texas. When I was born I had sibling to play with and my two sisters and brother took good care of me. They were the first friends that I socialized with. Later my mother gave birth to a son and my younger sister.
Q: What was your favorite toy or pet? What was you favorite chore?
Joan: That's funny, but my I did not have a favorite toy but my favorite pet was our cat. I used to feed her daily and even slept with her. It's not funny that I disliked chores but I like washing dishes instead of clothes. That all I can remember.
Q: Where have you lived most of your life?
Joan: My family has lived in Texas for all their lives. First we lived in the suburban but later we moved to the inner town when my father got employment. When I was married I moved to New York where I live up to now.