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Page history last edited by Sunchai Hamcumpai 11 years, 6 months ago



Rebecca Cord: Oral history interview



Link to the Playlist

[ http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL953FBDE4A54FC9B5 ]

Recorded on  12/19/2009, interview conducted by Dr. James Conrad and Dr. Shannon Carter. 

Full video interview 9 minutes.

Video production made by CLiC (Converging Literacies Center), a part of Texas A&M University-Commerce. 



Norris Community Clinic, Rebecca Cord, Social Works, Sliding Scale Grant, African American, Doctor,  Volunteer, Birth Control, Abortion, Counseling, East Texas State University, Infirmary, Hunt County Community Services,  Racial Tension on Campus



Rebecca Cord was a social worker at the Norris Community clinic in 1973. She was from Fort Worth, Tx studying for a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology. After graduating from ETSU, she continued to earn her master’s degree in counseling. The Norris community received a  5-year grant for their community clinic. Later she became a social worker for Hunt County in Greenville, Tx  and Mrs. Harvey asked her to work as a clinic manager. The job dealt with family planning, doctor arrangements, volunteer recruitment, and community service. The clinic paid $90/month for a manager, $75/day for a doctor, and patients were not charged.


Many people supported the clinic variously: a lady donated a house for the clinic, the Mt. Moriah church provided stock rooms for medical supplies, and university students volunteered as lab technicians and receptionists. Volunteers helped to interview patients, prepare rooms, comfort patients, perform lab tests, and measure blood pressure. The clinic was open once a week between the hours of 4:00-8:00 pm.  There were 10-15 patients each day. The doctors who came to work at the clinic were Dr. White, Dr. Ryan, Dr. Harris, and Dr. Martin. Once, she had to ask another doctor, Dr. King, for a substitution. She was worried about prejudice by seeing the confederate flag on his wall, but he was the most respectful person to the Norris community residents because he had delivered their babies for many years. Norris residents made up 50-70% of the patients, the rest were university students, rural farmers, Whites, and Latinos. Birth control pills and pap smears were taboo subjects at the campus infirmary. Abortion cases were referred to clinics in Greenville or Dallas. Most of the patients were on government welfare.  A sliding scale grant helped with money in the beginning  years and the clinic charged a minimal fee to patients. Later, the clinic received grants from local supporters. The clinic lasted only 2 years from 1973-1974. A new clinic was built on Monroe street, therefore more people could visit. After the clinic closed down, Cord joined the army.     


Racial tension on campus was not her attention. She, as a white student, sat on the right side of the dining facility in Smith Hall and received a warning signal that she was sitting on the wrong side. But she did not mind. She went to see the Soul Brother concert for Black fans without caring about racial differences. The Four March program opened for students who were interested in studying other cultures such as rural county, and Black communities. But outside the campus, tension was more horrible. A person at Howard store yelled social epithets to the Blacks but they pretended not to hear. In Mississippi, some older people acted against people from the other races, which is hard to change. The American society in the late 1960s and early 1970s was so violent and prejudice, it urged some Black people to commit crime.                   



For more information 

Digital Collections, James G. Gee Library.


CLiC (Converging Literacies Center) 

National Conversation on Writing 





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