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Reverend Raleigh Trammell

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) national board chairman, Reverend Raleigh Trammell was born on December 30, 1936, in Grantville, Georgia. His father, Walter Trammell, worked in a cotton mill and his mother, Thomasina Smith Trammell, was a homemaker who ardently preached to him the benefits of education. Trammell attended segregated Grantville School all twelve years, graduating in 1955. He went on to attend Clarke University, then known as Clarke College, where he was influenced by Reverend Dr. William Holmes Borders of Wheat Street Baptist Church and Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, founder of the Black Academy of Arts and Sciences. When he graduated in 1959, Trammell was an ordained minister and was well-seasoned in civil rights doctrine.

Trammell met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and joined the SCLC in 1960. In 1963, he participated in the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama, Albany, Georgia and the March on Washington. Trammell also participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, promoting voting rights for African Americans. After the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, Trammell played a major role in the Poor People’s Campaign. He later moved to Dayton, Ohio, joining his parents and siblings as residents and was hired as pastor of Central Missionary Baptist Church. In 1966, he started working for the Montgomery County Welfare Department as deputy director. Then in 1983, Trammell was elected president of the Dayton chapter of the SCLC. Working closely with Andrew Young, Trammell rose to vice chair of the SCLC in 1996 and chairman of the national board in 2004.

Trammell was the first non-union recipient of the AFL-CIO Community Award in 1991. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the NAACP in 1995, the 1996 IBPOE of W Award in 1996 and was inducted into Selma, Alabama’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2005, Trammell garnered the Humanitarian Award from the State of Alabama, and in 2006, he received the Doug Couttee Award. Trammell lives in Dayton, Ohio where he has organized an annual march of 10,000 people to commemorate the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is the country’s largest march. Trammell and his wife, Ann, have two daughters, Angela and Cheryl.

Accession Number

A2008.034

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/27/2008

Last Name

Trammell

Maker Category
Schools

Grantville Elementary

Grantville High School

Clark Atlanta University

First Name

Raleigh

Birth City, State, Country

Grantville

HM ID

TRA02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

To Serve This Present Age; My Calling To Fulfill.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/30/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dayton

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Civil rights activist and pastor Reverend Raleigh Trammell (1936 - ) was the National Board Chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement, played a major role in the Poor People's Campaign and is the pastor of Central Missionary Baptist Church.

Employment

Central Missionary Baptist Church

Favorite Color

Brown

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Raleigh Trammell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about segregation in Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his father's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about his role as the seventh son

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his childhood home, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his childhood home, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the Greater Jehovah Baptist Church in Grantville, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Grantville School in Grantville, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers playing basketball

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Grantville School in Grantville, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his aspiration to join the ministry

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about singing in the choir

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls funding his studies at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers Benjamin E. Mays

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his professors and peers at Clark College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the 92nd Division in World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his studies at Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls the early Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the philosophy of nonviolence

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his early civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers his move to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the civic organizations in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his activism with the Dayton Organization

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the March on Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers the March on Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls the press coverage of the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls protesting against the Rike-Kumler Company

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his involvement with the SCLC

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Central Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the racial discrimination in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls the City of Dayton's black elected officials

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his arrest

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell recalls his presidency of the SCLC chapter in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his roles with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the importance of civil rights organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell talks about gun violence

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the changes in the SCLC

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes his family and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Raleigh Trammell narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

3$9

DATitle
Reverend Raleigh Trammell describes the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Dayton, Ohio
Reverend Raleigh Trammell reflects upon his legacy
Transcript
And organized the biggest Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] celebration that we had--they have in the country because we have a whole week of celebration. We, we changed this, the street out here to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. We had Mrs. King [Coretta Scott King] come here and, and bless the street the day it was changed. The federal judge, Judge Walter Rice [Walter Herbert Rice] was a part of that. And so we organized the community in celebration, Martin Luther King. We have the biggest banquet, the biggest march.$$There are at least, I know in 2006, I came back I noticed there was like five or six banquets, breakfast and lunches and banquets during that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$--week or the week of his--$$We start at the first of January with the Emancipation Proclamation celebration and we make that a part of the Martin Luther King celebration. And, of course, we go right on down the line. We have a, we have a student participation, youth participation, they have workshops, we have a, a musical, we have a worship service, we have a cultural service, then we have an ecumenical service, and then we have a march and, of course, we have the, what is called the Presidential Banquet.$$Okay.$$And--$$And as many as ten thousand people march down 3rd Street which is now Martin Luther King Way.$$And we have it coming from four ways.$$Okay. That's right, that's right.$$We have the biggest come from west but it comes from four ways and meet up there in the community (unclear)--$$You mean downtown at the, at Courthouse Square [Dayton, Ohio], right?$$Yes.$$Yeah.$$We meet up at the Courthouse Square all four ways, south, west, east, and north.$$Now, this year the governor of Ohio spoke--$$Yes.$$--Governor Ted Strickland, the mayor, of course--$$Um-hm.$$--Rhine McLin. This is, it's the largest Dr. King march in the country.$$Yes.$Now, when you look back on everything you've done to this point, again, what today would you consider to be your legacy?$$I think the people of Dayton [Ohio] has given a great deal of support to the leadership of SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference], and in such a fashion that we have been able to put together the leading Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] celebration in the country and it is modeled throughout the nation and I'm proud of that. It was not just me, it was all the folks that we bring together. The--we, we have what is called a Martin Luther King committee for which I chair, we bring 'em together and we sit down and plan the celebration. I am really proud of that Martin Luther King celebration because people look forward to it.