Interview with Stephen C. Cawood, January 25, 1991

Project: Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Steve Cawood grew up in Pineville, Kentucky where his father owned the main hardware store. He states that his family's social and economic position, as well as the town setting, prevented him from having much contact with poverty in the hills and hollows around the area. He recalls participating in the planning for an Appalachian Volunteer (AV) program while he was a senior at Eastern Kentucky University during the 1964 and 1965 school year. The program would send college students to rural communities to paint schoolhouses and tutor children on the weekends. He describes these first AVs as a "ragtag bunch of bright, caring people."

Cawood entered law school, but states that he continued to meet with Milton Ogle periodically. He describes hitchhiking to Berea during his spare time to discuss training programs. One summer, he and a group of law students went into Bell County to find out what legal services were needed. He states that the "raw anger" and tremendous poverty that he encountered made a permanent impression on him in part because he had grown up in the city and never saw it. After law school, Cawood served as a Community Action Technician for the Council of Southern Mountains (CSM), helping communities throughout the Appalachian region write grant proposals to get money for Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). He also helped initiate the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund or "Apple Red."

Cawood comments on his experience completing a legal services survey which was one of the first documentations of the legal injustices suffered by miners with black lung. He recalls that some of those involved in the survey later became instrumental in the black lung movement. Cawood also believes that the AVs from rural areas were much more effective than the "outsiders." He states that the most lasting contribution of the AVs, was giving powerful individuals like Eula Hall the courage to speak up and gain support.

Interview Accession

1991oh030_app302

Interviewee Name

Stephen C. Cawood

Interviewer Name

Margaret Brown

Interview Date

1991-01-25

Interview Rights

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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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Cawood, Stephen C. Interview by Margaret Brown. 25 Jan. 1991. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Cawood, S.C. (1991, January 25). Interview by M. Brown. Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Cawood, Stephen C., interview by Margaret Brown. January 25, 1991, Appalachia: War On Poverty Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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