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Gwendolyn Patton

Gwendolyn Marie Patton was born on October 14, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan to Jeanetta and Clarence Patton. After the death of her mother in 1957, Gwendolyn and her siblings moved to Montgomery, Alabama. She attended George Washington Carver High School and graduated in 1961 with academic honors. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in English and history from Tuskegee Institute in 1966.

Patton coined the phrase “scholar-activist” and urged students to work in the community for social, political and economic change. She was also the Direct Action Chair for the Tuskegee Institute Advancement League, which planned strategies to desegregate Macon County in all areas, especially employment.

Though her grandmother’s rental property was the Freedom House that was used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the Civil Rights Movement, Patton herself was active with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

In 1972, Patton received her M.A. degree in education from Antioch University in Washington, D.C. and returned home to Alabama to accept a position as director of the Alabama State University Academic Advising Center. She later held the University’s Freshman Coordinator position from 1981 to 1986. Patton received her Ph.D. (ABD) from Union Graduate University Consortium and her LL.D. from the Interdenominational Institute of Theology.

Patton has made many noteworthy accomplishments, including founding the National Anti-War Anti-Draft Union against the war in Vietnam in 1969, the National Association of Black Students, and the New Alabama New South Coalition. She was selected to be an Aspen Institute Fellow and also wrote and published The Insurgent Memories in 1981. Patton is listed in the International Who’s Who of Intellectuals and is designated as a “Special Scholar” by the Institute of Higher Education and Research at the University of Alabama.

In 1992, Patton became an archivist for Trenholm Technical College, where she has assisted in establishing one of the few archives in the United States at a two year college.

Patton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 19, 2007.

Patton passed away on May 11, 2017.

Accession Number

A2007.098

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/19/2007 |and| 9/5/2007

Last Name

Patton

Maker Category
Schools

George Washington Carver High School

Tuskegee University

Marymount College

Inkster High School

First Name

Gwendolyn

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

PAT07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bern, Switzerland

Favorite Quote

Ignorance Offends Me, Especially My Own.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

10/14/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Montgomery

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

5/11/2017

Short Description

Civil rights activist and archivist Gwendolyn Patton (1943 - 2017 ) worked in the archives at Trenholm Technical College, one of the few archives at a two year college.

Employment

Alabama State University

H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College

Montgomery Tuskegee Times

Southern Student Human Relations Project

Favorite Color

Green, Red, White

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwendolyn Patton's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her paternal and maternal family backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about her paternal great-grandmother's brother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her family's roots near Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about her family's land ownership

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her paternal grandfather's entrepreneurialism

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about her maternal family's educational legacy

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her maternal grandmother, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her maternal grandmother, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her mother's schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about the murder of her maternal uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her father and grandmother's responses to the FBI

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her summers in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her father's middle class aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her father's financial windfall

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her influences in Inkster, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her early religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her half-sister

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her mother's death

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her relationship with her mother

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her father's second marriage, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her father's second marriage, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her early experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her early activism in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her family's role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about Claudette Colvin

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about the female activists in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her introduction to the Alabama Democratic Conference

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her decision to attend the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls becoming salutatorian at George Washington Carver High School in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her experiences in Inkster, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her father's discipline

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her experiences at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton describes the role of a scholar-activist

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls the organization of the Tuskegee to Montgomery march

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers Bloody Sunday

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers Judge Frank Minis Johnson, Jr.'s injunction against the Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers the march from Tuskegee to Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her treatment for tuberculosis, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her treatment for tuberculosis, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls securing access to the library at the Batson Memorial Sanatorium in LaFayette, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers the Black Panther Party in Lowndes County, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers the start of the Black Power movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers rooming with Stokely Carmichael in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her decision to move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls organizing the first national black power conference

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her car accident

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her experiences at the Hospital for Joint Diseases

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her bone transplant

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwendolyn Patton's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls the student activism at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers the death of Sammy Younge, Jr.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers the founding of the National Black Antiwar Antidraft Union

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton describes the founding of the National Association of Black Students

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls being targeted by federal intelligence agents

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her experiences at Antioch College

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers organizing a union of domestic workers

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Patton describes the Students Economic Development Corporation

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her work with minority business students

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her tenure at the Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her return to Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her first marriage

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her experiences at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her writing for the Montgomery Tuskegee Times

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls hosting the television program, 'Harmabee'

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her teaching methods

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her teaching experiences at Alabama State University

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers serving as a delegate for Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's presidential campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Patton describes the founding of the Alabama New South Coalition

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about her venture into electoral politics

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Patton talks about her activism in the 1980s

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls how she came to work for the H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Patton recalls her start at the H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her career at the H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Patton describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers her maternal grandmother's philosophy on freedom

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Patton shares a message to future generations

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her dissertation

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Patton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 11 - Gwendolyn Patton remembers Floyd Griffin

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Patton narrates her photographs