Interview with Loyal Jones, November 19, 1990
Project: Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project
Interview SummaryLoyal Jones, a native of North Carolina, discusses his educational background and how he gained employment with the Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM) in 1958. He states that at the time of his arrival, the CSM was still a small organization that hosted an annual conference and provided some educational leadership in the mountains. Nevertheless, according to Jones, these yearly conferences inspired John Whisman to advocate for an Appalachian Governors Conference that, in turn, led to the formation of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
Jones believes that because the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) was hoping to cooperate with any established social service organization, the CSM interpreted the anti-poverty announcement as a great opportunity to expand their activities in the region. He says that initially the council proposed hiring Community Action Technicians (CATs) who, under the direction of the CSM, would help organize a new Community Action Program (CAP). Other programs initiated by the CSM included the Appalachian Volunteers (AVs).
Jones states that although the AVs embraced the more conservative philosophy of the CSM during the time of school renovations, they eventually became embroiled around such issues as strip mining, school politics, and free lunches for poor school children. As the AVs moved toward a more "radical" agenda, they attempted to pull the CSM along with them. Failing in this effort, the group attempted to oust CSM Director Perley Ayer. Ayer fired those involved and the AVs split from CSM as a result. According to Jones, the OEO wanted the AVs to remain with the CSM in order to keep the AVs under control. Jones, on the other hand, favored the split because the AVs were too controversial for the CSM that had to remain closely affiliated with religious institutions and Berea College. In the end, Jones believes that the activities of the AVs led to their demise because they alienated many of the very people they were supposed to help.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Jones, Loyal Interview by Thomas Kiffmeyer. 19 Nov. 1990. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Jones, L. (1990, November 19). Interview by T. Kiffmeyer. Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Jones, Loyal, interview by Thomas Kiffmeyer. November 19, 1990, Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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