Barbara Howard Oral History Interview

Barbara Ann Howard Oral History Interview was conducted by Dr. Howard Robinson on May 28, 2009, in the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture at Alabama State University building.

Barbara Howard grew up in Montgomery, Alabama in a house of 619 Dorsey
Street. Her father was Prince Albert Howard who died on March 12,1962. Her
mother was Mrs. Bertha Howard Bray. Her father and uncles were business
owners in Montgomery. She was born in 1948.

Barbara grew up in a community where blacks were self-supporting in businesses
and served as beacons in the Montgomery community. Her uncles owned a
funeral home, barbershop and cab company. Her mother was a beautician.
Many other blacks were business owners to such as Mrs. Ida M. Davis, a store
owner. There was a Carter’s Cleaners in her neighborhood.

Ms. Howard took typing classes from Alva Jean Baker and eventually worked with her father’s newspaper. She eventually began using her typing skills by typing church bulletins, typing and
filing papers at the Montgomery NAACP Headquarters with ldessa Williams. The
Southern Courier newspaper was started by Mr. Cowan in Atlanta. The
paper was located in the Frank Leu Building, downtown, and they needed typists.
Barbara and her sisters began working there. Franklin Howard was the associate
editor in 1968.

Here in this interview, Ms. Howard talk about the importance of the Alabama Democratic Conference as well as their role and effectiveness as an organization.