Sharing Stories Inspiring Change


Excerpt from Beatrice "Buddy" Cummings Mayer Oral History

First of all, I thought that Wednesdays was a very brave, innovative moral thrust into the human neglect and abuse of civil rights violations. It was the most innovative and total participatory attack on civil rights abuses from a community approach that had so differed from the politician’s approach. This, I thought, was a people-to-people approach; and that, I thought, was how it was so different and so appropriate, so unique to work with the people most effective very much on a one-to-one basis as opposed through any of the existing political processes starting with the president down and going to all of the different national organizations that had some sort of a political base. This was not a political base. It was nonpartisan, and it was really, I think, from heart to heart and from mind to heart… I think the civil rights movement would have been incomplete if present and future generations only thought of it as a political process led by political leaders, and that individuals like myself didn’t have an opportunity to both express their concerns and to participate in trying to build bridges.”

Beatrice “Buddy” Mayer, interviewed by Holly Cowan Shulman, Chicago, Illinois, 25 June 2002. Permission to use granted by Holly C. Shulman.

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This excerpt comes from an oral history interview with WIMS participant Beatrice “Buddy” Cummings Mayer by Holly Cowan Shulman (Polly Cowan’s daughter) in Chicago in 2002 for a project about Wednesdays in Mississippi. In it Mayer explains how the project was designed as a person-to-person experience.

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Mayer, Beatrice "Buddy"

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Excerpt from Beatrice "Buddy" Cummings Mayer Oral History." (Viewed on April 19, 2014) <>.