Enolia McMillan interview
Enolia McMillan (1904-2006) was a dedicated civil rights activist and a passionate educator who worked for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for over five decades. She served as president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP for 15 years until 1984 when she became the first female president of the organization nationally. In this oral history interview, McMillan shares her experience working as a Black teacher in Maryland during the 1920s and 1930s, while illuminating the racial inequality and segregation that existed within the educational system. She discusses her service as regional vice president of the National Association of Colored Teachers (later named the American Teachers’ Association) and her contributions towards achieving better pay and facilities for Black teachers and students. McMillan explains how she became involved with the NAACP and touches on the process of its reorganization in 1935 when freedom fighter Lillie May Carroll Jackson became president. She describes the dynamic relationship between the NAACP, the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, and the religious sector of the Baltimore community, and explains how this support network facilitated progress in seeking racial justice. McMillan also touches upon the positive effects of the 1954 Supreme Court Decision, which outlawed separate but equal education. She further discusses Jackson’s work in real estate, the demographic shift in Baltimore, and the cooperation between the Urban League and the NAACP.