Linda Wetmore Halpern
Linda Wetmore Halpern was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1944 and grew up in Hanover, Massachusetts, 30 miles south of Boston. While attending Beaver College in Philadelphia, she joined SNCC as a volunteer during the 1964 Freedom Summer project in Mississippi. She worked closely with Stokely Carmichael, then a SNCC field secretary in Greenwood, MS. Early that summer, she had a frightening encounter with white segregationists who tied a noose around her neck as she ran behind the truck to avoid being killed. She also witnessed the shooting of Silas McGee, rushing him to a nearby hospital while he bled in her lap. She finished college, joined the Peace Corps in West Africa, earned an M.A. in Education at New York University, and moved to Oakland, California where she taught English at Castlemont High School in the Oakland Unified School District. She continues to coach Oakland teachers while in semi-retirement. She is the mother of 2 bi-racial children and lives with her husband, Elliott Halpern, in Berkeley, California.
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Date: November 6, 2020
Lead: Sarah Barnes ('21)
Support: Jean-Luc Desnoyers-Piña ('22)
Instructor: Howard Levin, Director of Educational Innovation
Location: Recorded via Zoom teleconferencing system. Linda Wetmore Halpern was at her home in Berkeley, California. The interview Team was in their separate homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area during the “shelter in place” order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duration: 105 min
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