Oral History: Glenda McKissic

Oral History: Glenda McKissic

Glenda McKissic was crowned the first African American Homecoming Queen at ETSU in 1972. We met her last summer when Joe Tave brought her to the screening of A Clear Channel. After the screening, she and I were talking about the documentary. One of the things that came up in our conversation was the death threat against her dear friend, Joe Tave. She said that she never knew about it at the time. She elaborated and explained that she had also received threats and abusive phone calls after winning Homecoming Queen.

Today, Glenda is an educator with a passion for activism, social justice and empowering young people. She stands as an example of strength and dignity today for the African American community.

In this interview, (there are five total) she discusses the influence that Joe had on her life during this intense period of integration in East Texas. Here, she talks about integration and the support she received from her family and community. Glenda is such a positive, amazing woman. She speaks with clarity, power and love while she remembers her adolescence. Growing up in a vehemently racist area of Texas, Glenda is a wonderful example of humanity in the face of adversity. Where others might be inclined to be bitter and angry, Glenda remains positive and full of hope for the future.

Jennifer Jones