Perdita E. Duncan Interview, March 18, 1980


Perdita E. Duncan


Mary Murphy



Download Audio Interview (120.0 MB)

Download Transcript of Perdita Duncan Interview (353 KB)


Perdita Duncan describes her experiences as a young African American growing up in Butte, Montana, during the early 20th century. She recalls the racial discrimination her parents and other African Americans faced trying to find employment in Butte as well as her father’s work as a podiatrist. Duncan reminisces about her time attending Oberlin College, the first college to admit African-American women, to study English and sociology. She discusses working in the law department of the New York City Department of Social Services and working as a music critic for a New York newspaper before returning to Butte to care for her mother in 1969.

Document Type

Oral History


Butte, Montana; Racial discrimination; Oberlin College; New York City Department of Social Services

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Butte Oral History Project, OH 098, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 098-017, OH 098-018

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (27 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:50:53 minutes

Local Filename

OH_098_017_018.mp3; OH_098_017_018.pdf

Perdita E. Duncan Interview, March 18, 1980