Romaine, Anne

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Anne Romaine (1942-1995), folk music performer, historian, and writer, was active in the civil rights movement, and, with Bernice Johnson Reagon, created the Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project, a racially mixed group of traditional artists who toured the South. Romaine, who was married to civil rights activist Howard Romaine, also worked with Guy Carawan, Esther Lefever, and Hazel Dickens.

From the description of Anne Romaine papers, 1935-1995 (bulk 1960-1995). WorldCat record id: 42751490

Anne Romaine was a folksinger, songwriter, activist, and history professor. Born Dorothy Anne Cooke on 1 November 1942 in Atlanta, Ga., she grew up in rural North Carolina. Her grandparents worked in the Gastonia Cotton Mills, and Anne developed a lifelong interest in the lives of cotton mill workers. She attended Queen's College in Charlotte, N.C., and traveled as a missionary to Mexico. This missionary work opened her eyes to the social injustices that she would spend her life fighting.

When she returned to the United States, Romaine enrolled in a graduate program in history at the University of Virginia, where she met and, in 1965, married Howard Romaine, who had participated in the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party's attempt to register African American voters in rural Mississippi. For her master's thesis, Anne Romaine conducted interviews with many of those involved in this project.

The couple later moved to Atlanta where they started the alternative newspaper, The Great Speckled Bird . Anne and Howard Romaine had a daughter named Rita Marie. They divorced in the mid-1970s.

Anne Romaine continued her historical work, taking courses at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and teaching at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She wrote a book on the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, based on her interviews with party leaders, but never published it. She served as curator of the Alex Haley House in Henning, Tenn., and began work on a Haley biography, which remained unfinished at the time of her death.

With Bernice Johnson Reagon, Romaine founded the Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project, a group of artists of different races who performed traditional southern music. The group traveled around the South performing most frequently at colleges and festivals, such as Georgia Sea Island Days and Tennessee Grassroots Days. Bernice Johnson Reagon eventually left the group, and Romaine took over as director, a post she held for many years.

Romaine recorded three albums: Gettin' On Country, Take a Stand, and A Grassroots Christmas . She performed for various audiences, including organized labor groups and educational groups.

Romaine died on 26 October 1995 at age 52 of complications from a ruptured appendix.

From the guide to the Anne Romaine Papers, 1935-1995 (bulk 1960-1995), (Southern Folklife Collection)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project, Inc. Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project, Inc., records, 1965-1989. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Anne Romaine Papers, 1935-1995 (bulk 1960-1995) Southern Folklife Collection
creatorOf Romaine, Anne. [Test pressing of Take a stand] [sound recording] / [Anne Romaine]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Broadside collection, 1962-1991. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Mississippi's 'Freedom Summer' Reviewed: A fifteen year perspective on progress in race relations, 1964-1979 (1979: Jackson, Miss.). Presentations, 1979. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Anne Romaine Papers, 1935-1995 (bulk 1960-1995) Southern Folklife Collection
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Romaine--Anne Romaine Interviews, 1966-1967 Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
Relation Name
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Southern States
United States
North Carolina
Mississippi
Subject
African Americans--Civil rights
Civil rights workers
Women historians
African Americans--Suffrage
Protest songs
Women college teachers
Textile industry
Political ballads and songs
Psychic readings
Country music
Labor--Songs and music
Women musicians
Test pressings (Sound recordings)
Voter registration
Women civil rights workers
Occupation
Function

Person

Active 1935

Active 1995

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SNAC ID: 13122317