Collection SR 473 - Oral history interview with Russell Peyton

Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 01] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 02] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 03] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 04] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 05] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 06] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 07] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 09] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 10] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 11] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 12] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 13] Oral history interview with Russell Peyton [Sound Recording 14]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 473

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Collection

Title

Oral history interview with Russell Peyton

Date(s)

  • 1987-07-28 - 1987-08-12 (Creation)

Extent

.1 cubic feet 7 audiocassettes (6 hr., 22 min., 30 sec.)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Russell Ackerman Peyton was born in New Jersey in 1903. He was raised by his maternal grandparents in Virginia. He got involved in a successful lawsuit against Shell Oil while working at a service station in San Francisco, California, which led to his getting a job with the law firm Shepard & Peyton. He then attended the University of Oklahoma in 1936, and earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts. He came to Portland, Oregon, to work for the Kaiser shipyards as manager of the testing department from 1943 to 1946. After the war, he decided to remain in Oregon. He got involved with the Urban League, which led to his being hired as an investigator for the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon State Bureau of Labor. He was also involved with the Joint Council for Social Welfare for many years and was named Social Worker of the Year in 1972. He later was an executive director of the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, and an award named for him is awarded each year to human rights activists. After retirement, Peyton served on the boards of numerous humanitarian organizations. He died in 1996.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This interview with Russell Peyton was conducted by Dan Malone at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from July 28 to August 12, 1987. In the interview, Peyton discusses his family history and early life in Virginia. He also discusses his early jobs, including working as an assistant to a Chinese diplomat. He then talks about going to California and working in service stations, where he got involved in a lawsuit against the Shell Oil company. Peyton then discusses attending the University of Oklahoma and confronting his own racism. In talking about the lead-up to World War II, he discusses coming to Oregon and working for the Kaiser shipyards and his impressions of Portland. He then talks about a trip he took to Europe shortly after the end of the war. Peyton discusses his involvement with the Urban League and his work toward integration, particularly on housing discrimination. He also discusses the different forms that racism took in the North and South. He then talks about his work as an investigator for the Civil Rights Division of the Oregon State Bureau of Labor, detailing many of his cases. Peyton discusses his work with the Joint Council on Social Welfare and the legislation they lobbied for. He also discusses the achievements of the Oregon Prison Association; working with Portland General Electric to cease cutting off power to people who couldn't pay their bills in winter; and school busing. Peyton discusses his time as executive director of the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, including affirmative action policies, working to improve the Portland police, food security, pay equality, and employment discrimination. He also discusses working with the Portland City Council and the Metro government. In addition, he talks briefly about Vietnam War protests in Portland. Peyton talks often about Edwin "Bill" C. Berry of the Urban League, as well as other leaders in Portland's black community. He then briefly describes each winner of the Russell Peyton Award from its inception to 1987. Peyton also talks about the numerous humanitarian organizations whose boards he served on after retirement. He closes the interview by reflecting on his career and accomplishments in civil rights.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright held by the Oregon Historical Society. Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Russell Peyton, by Dan Malone, SR 473, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

Access points

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Genre access points

Accession area