Magdalene Adams was born in Dadeville, Alabama, to a religious and active family. She has warm memories of childhood, though she lived within a segregated community. From childhood, she remembers lynching, and attributes the end of lynching in her community to one individual man. In the eleventh grade, she went with her teacher and other students to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on an annual student trip. For college, she attended Agricultural and Mechanical College, in Normal, Alabama. However, she decided to leave after three years of study to help to support her siblings and parents. Though she had decided to move north by the time of the bus boycotts and the work of Martin Luther King, she knows exactly where it all happened.
In Pittsfield Maggie developed a career at General Electric, and continued to support her family back home. In 1983, she activated the Berkshire Chapter of the NAACP, and has earned many awards and honors, including a Governor’s Citation from Governor Deval Patrick. She is an avid gardener, landscaping her own yard and that of the Second Congregational Church.
“My Dad was a wisdom man, and the neighborhood loved him. So, on Sunday before church, they would come and visit. And he was a praying man. You could hear him praying for miles. We were Baptists, but yet we were all taught that we were children of God.”
Click here to listen to Maggie’s full interview in the Special Collections and University Archives at UMass Amherst Libraries
A full transcript of the interview will be available soon