William Gravely Oral History Collection


The William Gravely Oral History Collection on the Lynching of Willie Earle consists of 41 oral history interviews and accompanying supplementary materials. Dr. William Gravely, Professor Emeritus of Religion at the University of Denver, recorded the recollections of journalists, law enforcement officers, attorneys, clergy, relatives of Willie Earle, and other community members in relation to the lynching of African American and native South Carolinian Willie Earle on February 17, 1947. The collection also includes extensive notes, in both audio and written form, regarding Dr. Gravely’s explanation of his goals in creating the collection and to confront the dominant racial issues of the American South. Among the notable persons interviewed are John McCray, Strom Thurmond, Modjeska Simkins, and Tessie Earle Robinson (Willie Earle’s mother).