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First Person

Dr. Ruth B. Loving

Any body can eat at our table...Anybody

Born in 1914, Ruth Loving witnessed many of the greatest events of the twentieth century. She remembers as a child hearing stories of many relatives and acquaintances who had left their homes in the south in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and more freedom in the north. Her brothers joined the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) during the Great Depression and, she recalls, her parents were pleased with the things that President Roosevelt said in his fireside chats. Ruth was a dedicated home front worker during World War II and the Korean War. In the 1960s she admired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and met Rosa Parks. A firm believer in the power of community activism, Ruth sums up her life as having "been a part of people and activities." And, as she states, "when I say 'people', even though I'm an African American, I mean people.... I don't look at a color of people,...I was taught that, though." When she was six years old, her mother told Ruth to always remember that "Any body can eat at our table...Anybody."

View a timeline of Dr. Ruth B. Loving's life

Mass Humanities - A Commonwealth of Ideas

"Double V" oral histories are supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Ruth B. Loving's Stories

family of african americans in traveling clothes


World War I and the Great Migration:
Ruth's childhood memories

FDR giving radio address


Ruth remembers the Great Depression, her young adult years

Ruth Loving in her Red Cross uniform


the USO, and the Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps:
Ruth Loving's service during World War II

Ruth Loving with her three kids

1945 - Present

The Loving Trio and Ruth's Civilian Life

Listen to Dr. Ruth B. Loving's full interview.

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