Viola Turner:
And only somebody like Mr. Spaulding probably could get you registered. I wouldn't doubt it. All of it that's true. I imagine that if I walked down there to be registered, I never would have gotten registered. Listen, this, to me, is the priceless part of that. We walked down there. There sits a man with his book, and then his bible. I believe it was a bible; I might be wrong. But any rate: a book. So he hands you that to read. That's no sweat. I read what he said, what is there. So he gives me the privilege. He writes my name down, address, and whatever else goes with it. Next girl comes up. He gives it to her. She reads, and he says to her. "That's not correct." I think that was about the third. I think two of us got by before we questioned him. But any rate, when he questioned her, he tells her the word she's mispronounced. And, would you believe it? You would never know; you'd never recognize that word. So he reads the sentence and you'd never heard such reading in your life. For somebody sitting up there telling you you can't read. Well I, I just stood there looking. Mr. Spaulding didn't make any display of his temper, which he had plenty of, and would, on occasion. But he did say, "Well, when can she come back to register?" And that rascal told him, "When she could read what he gave her to read," or something like that. She did go back and she did get registered later. Mr. Spaulding saw to that. But I would like is for anyone else to have been present to hear that man read, and hear the word that he called her on, hear what he called it. We snickered all the way back to the building, as soon as we got out of his office. Because it tickled us to death. Of course, you know, we were laughing but we were indignant, mad as we could be. The idea! And, of course, the girl was embarrassed in there. But when she got on the outside and when we got through with her, she was just ready to go back and do it again. Now, that's how you got registered here in Durham at that time. Somebody that they knew they couldn't say no to, that had some pull somewhere, took you down personally.

- Viola Turner, activist for women's rights in the early 20th century

Interview with Viola Turner by Walter Weare, April 17, 1979, Interview G-0016, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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