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Interview with Robert Dull, Part One, November 17, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:01:02 - Growing up / Going into public housing

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Partial Transcript: I was born in Dearborn, Michigan...

Segment Synopsis: Dull talks about his childhood and describes the effect that his upbringing had on his life. Dull recalls the positive impact the Black Panthers had on his growing up. Dull explains the process through which he became involved in public housing administration. Dull emphasizes how public housing can create a sense of dependency across many family generations.

Keywords: Black Panther Movement; Civil Rights; Vietnam War; low-income; public housing

00:08:23 - Griffin, Georgia housing communities

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Partial Transcript: Coming to Griffin, was a small housing authority...

Segment Synopsis: Dull recalls his first impression of the Griffin Housing Authority which consisted of Griffin, Fairmount Homes, and Meriwether Homes. Dull details the state that the Griffin Housing Authority was in when he took office as the CEO. Dull describes working at a small housing authority and talks about the weaknesses of public housing and the need for education in many low-income communities. Dull talks about how his love for Griffin has fueled his work in the public housing authority.

Keywords: Fairmount Homes; Griffin Housing Authority; Meriwether Homes; education; public housing

00:14:32 - Tackling substandard housing

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Partial Transcript: I can have an impact in Griffin...

Segment Synopsis: Dull talks about his wish to destroy substandard housing in Griffin, Georgia. Dull explains how Griffin is extremely segregated in terms of housing demographics. Dull describes the public housing elsewhere, and the use of military force during the social uprising of the 1960's. Dull talks about the history of Griffin and how much the community has changed.

Keywords: Fairmount High School; Fairmount, Georgia; segregation

00:21:06 - The development of Meriwether Homes

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Partial Transcript: I wasn't sure Meriwether was in as bad of a shape...

Segment Synopsis: Dull talks about how the deteriorating conditions of Fairmount Homes public housing did not allow for the community to receive funding from the Department of Community Affairs, though he was able to receive funding for Meriwether Homes. Dull explains how he applied for a grant through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Keywords: Department of Community Affairs; Fairmount Housing Authority; Meriwether Homes; Rosenwald School; United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

00:28:41 - Applying for funding

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Partial Transcript: So if we can promote...

Segment Synopsis: Dull talks about how he coined the administrative term "educational prosperity" in his appeal receive funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Dull talks about how his outreach did not receive funding despite meeting the recommendations of HUD. Dull proposes that politics may have contributed to Griffin not receiving the funding.

Keywords: Fairmount, Georgia; United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); grants; politics

00:35:02 - The role of the public housing authority

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Partial Transcript: One of the things in particular...

Segment Synopsis: Dull talks about how he came to develop such an involved role as administrator of the Griffin Housing Authority. Dull explains the history of public housing authorities in the US, and the importance of public housing in the development of a better community. Dull talks about some of the challenges innate to demolishing substandard housing.

Keywords: public housing authority; shanty town; substandard housing

00:42:43 - Landlords and housing development

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Partial Transcript: You know, we tore down 120 units...

Segment Synopsis: Dull explains how landlords are not providing adequate public housing in Griffin, despite charging their tenants high rent. Dull emphasizes the need for vendors to realize the potential for development around Griffin, Georgia.

Keywords: landlords; substandard housing

00:50:24 - Cultural impact in public housing

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Partial Transcript: Well, the other thing on the table...

Segment Synopsis: Dull explains how the bureaucratization of public housing has led to the loss of a personal touch in public housing. Dull attributes this process to the cultural shift of Americans towards public housing.

Keywords: Indian reservations; public housing

00:57:52 - Progression in the housing sector / Concluding thoughts

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Partial Transcript: And so, when you think of progression...

Segment Synopsis: Dull talks about the need for a cultural shift in peoples' perception of public housing. Dull also explains the impact that community activities can have on the literacy and graduation rates of children growing up in low-income communities. Dull and the interviewers discuss the change in public housing that has taken place in Griffin, Georgia.

Keywords: Fairmount, Georgia; community; literacy