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Thelma Turner interview


Thelma Turner was a citizen of Baltimore in her youth and again later as an adult during the civil rights movement. In this oral history interview, Turner discusses what it was like to grow up as a Black child in Baltimore and how the prejudices and segregation affected her and her family. Turner recalls the barriers Blacks faced in accessing public parks, businesses, and restaurants. She highlights prominent figures like Governor Theodore R. McKeldin (1900-1974) and civil rights activist Lillie May Carroll Jackson(1889-1975), discussing their roles in the era. Turner further delves into her memories of the civil rights movement in Baltimore, recounting the riots that marked its later years. She recounts how her church and community became involved in the movement, sharing information and support among themselves. Lastly, Turner offers her perspective on the impact of the civil rights movement and riots on herself, her community, and the broader societal changes that ensued for Blacks in Baltimore.





Contributor(s) Notes

Narrator: Thelma Turner
Interviewer: Joy Olgyay

Production Note

The McKeldin-Jackson Project was an effort to examine the Maryland civil rights movement of the mid-20th century through the medium of oral history by focusing on the roles played by pioneering freedom fighter Lillie May Carroll Jackson and Theodore R. McKeldin, who was Mayor of Baltimore (1943-1947, 1963-1967), Governor of Maryland (1951-1959), and an advocate for civil rights. The project was sponsored by the Maryland Historical Society and was supported in part by a grant from the Maryland Committee for the Humanities and Public Policy.


Object ID

OH 8105


Audio: 45
Transcript: 11 pages

Catalog Number

OH 8105

Resource ID


Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital material is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.