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Richard Ray oral history interview, September 22, 1995

 Item — othertype: Oral History
Identifier: RayR_L1995-12_18

Scope and Contents

Interviewed by Christine Lutz: Ray talks about his family background growing up in Durham, NC during the 1950s. He openly discusses the segregation and prejudice he encountered and the integration of his high school. Ray explains how he joined the labor movement during an apprenticeship in a machine shop at Owens-Illinois as a member of Local 6 of the American Flint Glass Workers Union. He discusses his friendship with Wilbur Hobby, then President of the North Carolina AFL-CIO and his own position as head of the Durham Labor Council. Ray states his views on Jesse Helms in the 1950s as follows: “He was a racist individual who never talked positively about anything he talked about.” He mentions race relations in unions and the workplace, strikes, moving to Atlanta, his Atlanta Labor Council presidency, and his work with the Georgia State University Labor Studies Program and classmate/friend Charlie Key. Ray also discusses relations between various unions, the Communications Workers strike of 1986, Atlanta mayors and labor, and Georgia politics, especially Congressman Buddy Darden, Zell Miller, and Bob Barr. Union Represented: American Flint Glass Workers; Georgia State AFL-CIO


  • Creation: September 22, 1995


Restrictions on Access

Oral history available for research.

Biographical Note

Richard Ray was born September 19, 1941 in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from Durham High School, attended Atlantic Christian College and is a graduate of the Georgia State University Labor Studies Program. Ray has been a member of the American Flint Glass Workers Union since 1963 as a mold maker. He served as President of Local 42, Local 6 and the Durham Central Labor Council. From 1990-1999, Ray served as Secretary-Treasurer for the Georgia State AFL-CIO and in 1999 he was elected president.


2 Item(s) (transcript (45 pages) audio (1:39:40 duration))

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)