Joyce Jenkins Durand was born in Ducktown, TN in 1939. She received a B.S. in elementary education, a master's of librarianship, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership. Durand formally served as coordinator of media services for the Rockdale County School System, assistant professor in the School of Education at West Georgia College, as well as the school librarian of Atlanta City schools. Durand was also a member of the Atlanta National Organization for Women (ca. 1971-1978), serving as secretary and historian for the organization.
Abstract of the full interview
Durand discusses her rural childhood, growing up with religious parents who had come through the Depression. She states that her early aspirations included getting a good education and attending college, both of which she achieved. Although Durand never formally became involved with the Civil Rights Movement, she was deeply affected by it: She describes her first encounter with the Movement, which took place during her tenure as teacher at James L. Key Elementary School. At this time, the school was converted to accommodate all black students. As a divorcee and single mother of two, Durand became involved in the Women's Movement by attending Atlanta NOW meetings. By the early 70s, Durand was asked to become the historian to the Atlanta Chapter of NOW. In discussing her relationship with NOW leader, Martha Gaines, and the splintering of the organization over the direction NOW should take, Durand considers the divisions within the Women's Movement over the ERA, as well as the defeat of the ERA. Durand provides interesting insight into how many of the issues of the Women's Movement were co-opted by the Right and placed under the rubric of family values. She also considers why the term feminism has fallen out of fashion.
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