Timothy Bazemore, Sr. is a native of Bertie County, NC. Bazemore was inducted into the army in 1945 and was scheduled for assignment in Japan the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. After returning to the United States in 1947, he became an entrepreneur in the logging and farming industries until 1967.
Bazemore was involved in many community activities during that time, one of which was the organization of a tutorial program in the 1960s that was instrumental in getting aides for teachers into the classrooms of the Bertie County School system. He then went on to found the Good Neighbor Council, a biracial group designated to combat race relation issues. While studying brick masonry under the GI Bill, he was offered a position through Choanoke Area Development Association (CADA) and the North Carolina Fund to work with the Relocation Program moving families from rural eastern North Carolina to the Piedmont Area. He initiated the Woodard Home Grown Food Project – “Growing Food for All Families” and became active on the CADA Board of Directors while he worked to save the Bertie County sewing industry. In order to rebuild it, he started an employee-owned operation in the manufacture of children’s clothing called “Workers Owned.” It grew from 5 employees to 70 people and developed contracts as large as a half a million dollars with companies such as Kmart. Finally, Bazemore was inducted into the North Carolina Community Action Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
Interviewed by Kathy Hoke, research assistant for the Project on Southern Rural Poverty, February 18, 1992.
Note: This interview is audio only. The transcript below is not synchronized with the audio.
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