Saunders Hall

Donelle Boose on using the legacy of the past

Excerpt Description: Donelle Boose explains how learning from past justice movements should inform the questions and responsibilities of current justice movements, creating a need for constant evaluation and compassion.

Interviewee Name: Donelle Boose

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “It took people from, like, the year 2005, ’04-’05, and some a bit into 2006 and put them in conversation with folks who had been in Carolina in ’68, ’69, ’70. And when you do that, when you put people in conversation in that way, you start to recognize how old everything is, how, like, there’s nothing new under the sun. Different kind of veneer, same problems, same human people with the same human flaws and strengths. And so I think that, like, that experience with CHAT helped me to understand that justice is an ongoing process. You never just have it. You’re always trying to get it, you know, because you’re always capable of doing something jacked up yourself, right? And so, like, it’s a practice of trying to constantly evaluate your own actions and what’s going on around you, and be, like, ‘Are we good here? No? All right, well, what do we need to do differently, you know?’ And so I would say that, like, any activists, you know, who are people who—you know. I don’t know. Like, it’s hard to actually think even to think about something, like, ‘Oh, I am an activist. It’s kind of just a thing I do,’ you know. And I think, it’s actually the most useful way to look at it. So I would say for folks who do activism, you know, thus that, I think, is the guiding light, like, constant evaluation of yourself and of the things around you, right, and constant compassion, because at any given day, you could be the problem, you know.”

Organization: Campaign for Historical Accuracy and Truth

Excerpt Length: 1:58

Interview Date: 11/17/2017

Interview Location: Washington, D.C.

Campus Space: Saunders Hall

Citation: Interview with Donelle Boose by Charlotte Fryar, 17 November 2017, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.