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Interview with Gail Reid Hackbart, May 22, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:00 - Introduction / Family, Early Life

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Partial Transcript: I’m Beatrice Cunningham, and today we’ll be speaking with Gail Reid Hackbart, the daughter of Gary Reid. We’re at the UGA Griffin Campus in the Center for Urban Agriculture Conference Room.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Reid opens by discussing her family history and her early life in Griffin. She details her family’s move to Detroit, MI, her uncle and father’s military service, and the influence her grandmother Vera had on her as a child. Reid also discusses her father Gary’s passion for public service and her early memories of the Civil Rights Movement.

Keywords: 82nd Airborne Division; A&P Grocery; Gary Reid; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Tech; Glen Reid; Non-Violent Protest; Non-violent direct action; Peaceful Protest; Pickett Line; United States Army; Vera Reid; Woolworth's

00:19:56 - Discussion of her father’s passion for public service

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Partial Transcript: ahhh …. Lets see, what else can I tell you guys. Oh! You were talking about … they were talking about my father’s involvement with the PTA …

Segment Synopsis: Reid discusses her father, Gary Reid, and his passion for public service, saying that he was the first African American County Commissioner in Griffin and the President of the NAACP Griffin Chapter.

Keywords: American Federation of Government Employees; Labor Rights; Labor Union; National Federation of Federal Employees; Plurality-At-Large Voting; Single-Member District; Spalding County Board of Commissioners

00:24:20 - Segregation in Griffin / Integration of Schools

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Partial Transcript: You grew up in Griffin as a segregated community.

Segment Synopsis: Reid recalls the two segregated swimming pools that existed in Griffin during her childhood, saying that they were both filled with cement to prevent the integration of the pools. She also recounts her experiences attending an integrated school for the first time when she was ten years old, and her experience being one of the only fifty African-American women who were students at Georgia Tech.

Keywords: Georiga Tech; Northside Elementary School; integration; segregation; separate-but-equal

00:33:58 - African American owned businesses in Griffin

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember … since your dad had a business down town … do you remember any of the other black businesses that were there other than the … I know HHH …

Segment Synopsis: Reid recalls some of the businesses owned by African Americans in Griffin while she was growing up. She talks about a sandwich shop owned by Otis, Raymond, and Phillip Head and a barber shop owned by Ralph and Mary Stenson.

Keywords: A.C Touchstone; Atlanta Life Insurance Company; Solomon Street; funeral homes; post office; pressing club

00:38:43 - Relationship with her brother

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Partial Transcript: Obviously you’re very accomplished. You went to GA TECH, you had that mission from 13 and you seem like you were very focused on that. Tell us about … in your household was there sibling rivalry?

Segment Synopsis: Reid talks about her relationship with her brother who is 13 years younger than her. She says that they didn't fight a lot because she was his "built in babysitter", but she recalls fighting with her cousins who were closer in age.

Keywords: Georgia Tech; exploring; family; outdoors; rocks

00:41:08 - Father's activism in the Civil Rights Movement

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Partial Transcript: You’re dad was also kind of an entrepreneur.

Segment Synopsis: Reid discusses her father's liquor store, and says that he also had a day job with a large trucking company in Atlanta where he did not have to worry about his civil rights activism causing problems with his work. She also discusses attending strategy meetings in the basement of the 8th Street Baptist Church when she was ten years old.

Keywords: Bourbon Street; Civil Rights Movement; Georgia Tech; Hill Street; Ku Klux Klan; package store; peaceful protests; protests

00:56:34 - Discussion about her son and family

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk a little bit about your family? You mentioned your son.

Segment Synopsis: Reid talks about moving to California while she was working for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and getting married to a white man. They had a son and moved back to Griffin, Georgia. She recalls being concerned about how her son would be treated because he looked white but had a black mother. She says that her son passed away in a dirt bike accident when he was fourteen, but she later adopted a little girl because she felt like she wasn't done being a mother.

Keywords: Daytona, Florida; Foster to Adopt Program; Georgia Power Company; Griffin High School; SoCal; machete

01:11:55 - Accomplishments at Georgia Tech

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Partial Transcript: Oh by the way, when we were at Georgia Tech we were protesting.

Segment Synopsis: Reid talks about some of her accomplishments during her time as a Georgia Tech student. She recalls participating in sit-ins on the president's lawn and protesting professors who did not want to teach minority students. She also discusses founding the Alpha Kappa Alpha Georgia Tech chapter and becoming the president of that chapter. Reid also says that she believes the current student body at Georgia Tech is not as connected with the history of the school and the Civil Rights Movement.

Keywords: Hidden Figures; Black House; GTAAA; Georgia Tech Afro-American Association; Office of Minority Educational Development; Omega Grad Chapter; Rosa Parks; Spellman College

01:30:21 - Relationship with her father

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Partial Transcript: So before we wrap up today is there anything else that you would like to share with us that you have not talked about?

Segment Synopsis: Reid talks about her relationship with her father, and says she was always "daddys little girl." She says that her son and her father were her support system and she goes to visit their graves often.

Keywords: Isaiah Miller; VFW; Westwood Gardens Cemetery