Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.
Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women's Movement Archives
Born in 1944 in Richmond Virginia, Elizabeth Knowlton can recount the very time and place when she first heard the words "Women's Liberation Movement." From that defining moment in 1969 to the present, Knowlton has had a profound interest in the Women's Movement and numerous other social causes. She has participated in many marches and protests and has been a member of various work groups, including the Feminist Theatre Group (1973-1974), Atlanta Socialist-Feminist Women's Union (1975-1980), WomanSong Theatre II (1977) and The Writers' Group (1979-). She has published articles, book reviews, poems and political essays, including a paper on 19th Century Georgia lesbian love letters: "Only a Woman Like Yourself" which was accepted for the Berkshire Women's History Conference in 1987. Knowlton received an A.B. and M.A. in English literature from New York University in 1966 and 1967, before moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There, she spent six years in a doctoral program, and at the same time, became active in the Women's Liberation Movement. Moving to Atlanta in 1974 in order to participate in more women's causes, Knowlton become involved with ALFA (Atlanta Lesbian-Feminist Alliance). She attended Atlanta University and received her library science degree in 1978. Knowlton is currently a Senior Archivist at the Georgia Department of Archives and History Archives.
Abstract of the full interview
Knowlton discusses her personal, academic and professional background, including how she became involved in the Women's Liberation Movement in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She also provides a basic history of the Women's Liberation Movement as an outcropping of socialism and feminism and how it separated from the socialist movement because of their interest in issues of personal politics. Knowlton describes her involvement in a number of organizations including "Group 27" which started a day center called "Community School for People Under Six." After moving to Atlanta in 1974, she became involved with ALFA (Atlanta Lesbian-Feminist Alliance) which was an umbrella organization of other socialist and feminist groups. The central issues contained in her oral history concern reproductive control, freedom from sexual abuse, daycare and sexuality. She also discusses the conflicts within the Women's Movement over the ERA.
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