Betty Anderson was born in Scott County, Tenn. on March 26, 1936. In the 1970s, she became involved with Save Our Cumberland Mountains, a social justice organization that addressed strip-mining and other community issues in Tennessee and Kentucky. She became a leader in the organization and eventually served as its president. The interview begins with Anderson describing her childhood in Smoky Junction, Tenn., where her father was a coal miner and her mother was a homemaker who ran the farm and raised eleven children. She then talks about her siblings and children and provides brief biographical information on each of them. Anderson tells the story of learning about strip-mining and the environmental justice organization Save Our Cumberland Mountains. She then describes various campaigns and memorable meetings that she participated in. She discusses how she became a politically-minded person and the influence of her father’s union activities. She discusses her career path, her job as a secretary, and how she perceived the women’s movement. She then talks in depth about the important roles that women played in Save Our Cumberland Mountains. This interview is part of the Southern Oral History Program’s project to document the women’s movement in the American South.
Interview with Betty Anderson by Jessie Wilkerson, August 15 2009 U-0473, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007,Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.