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Kentucky Alliance Oral History Project: Thomas Edward Pearce

Kentucky Alliance Oral History Project

Interview: Thomas Edward Pearce

Thomas Pearce became involved with the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression during his time as a college student at UofL. Pearce took the organizing skills he learned at the Alliance to work on issues involving Native Americans and environmental justice around the country.

Transcript of clips

Topic: Community organizing jobs

[34:13] These jobs are privileges in the social justice movement and they should be treated as sacred. If you are making a living, this is stuff that people used to die for, for free. You are getting paid to do this. To me that’s just like a very sacred calling that should be honored. It shouldn’t be like oh yeah I’m going to do this because I’m trying to get a grant. Or oh, I’m going to work on this because there is grant money there. This is what I’m working on because this is what’s needed in my community. If we get grant money great, but not we aren’t going to start working for what’s needed if we don’t get grant money. That’s what Anne gave to me. That’s what I’ve carried all over the country. [35:10]

Topic: The mission of the Kentucky Alliance

[41:00] that’s to me that’s the mission of the Alliance. That’s that I learned here is when we can bring people together across race and class, we can abolish the class lines, we can help poor white people see they are probably a little better off than poor African Americans, but they are under an illusion that they are much better off. The fact of the matter is until we all get together we’re powerless. That’s just what I carry with me everywhere I go. [41:37]