Interviewed by his friend Tom Kohler on April 8th 2019 in the Special Collections of Lane Library on the Armstrong campus of Georgia Southern Univeristy. Strong discusses many aspects of Albion’s Voice: inspiration, choice of name, contents, and contributors to the paper, including Otis Johnson and Leonard Smalls (sp?). Also, resistance and harassment from authorities and Savannah police; representation from ACLU lawyer Aaron Bushbaum. Strong also received help from Armstrong English faculty James Land Jones-- providing a basement to work in when Armstrong’s administration closed down the paper after the first issue. Editorial stance of the newspaper, its “weather report” on Savannah GA in 1970 including education, politics, economy, crime, infrastructure, pollution/environment and a persistent “plantation society.” Critiques “Slow-vanna” slow rate of change in the City due to economic disparity. Use of Liberation news service for content—when local contributors did not meet their deadlines; the last, “Save the World” issue. Also, what he would do if he brought the paper back today.
In addition Strong discusses the alternative/underground press generally during the period; his experiences covering music for The Great Specked Bird; living communally in Atlanta in the mid-1960s; attending rock music concerts and role of music/the concerts in political/social justice movement; attending civil rights, anti-war demonstrations, rallies in Atlanta, GA, Washington CD and in the West (California, Seattle WA) during the 1960s and 1970s. Growing up on Tybee Island, GA., his partents, influences; living in downtown Savannah in the 1960s and 1970s, the People’s Park in Daffin Park; the story of painting his VW Van and encounters while traveling in the Van; anti-war, military stance and avoiding conscription by convincing an Albuquerque NM draft board that they did not want him. Painting a brick wall in Habersham Woods with “Resist” & “Revolt.”
Strong discusses how people who consider themselves radicals define that term; writers, leaders who influenced him, his Vegan diet, and meditation practice; his “weather report” on current scene in Savannah and the nation.
Log of topics at approximate times:
Beginning—Growing up on Tybee, background, influences, “awakening” and first time leaving for wider world, to Savannah.
8 min. Atlanta, Great Specked Bird, communal living, demonstrations
11 min. Armstrong in 1970, starting Albion’s Voice
18 min “Save the World” issue; last of Albion’s Voice, Washington DC and California; work for People’s World newspaper, Sam Kushner, underground newspapers, 15 years of radical education
22 min People’s Park in Savannah; Civil Rights leaders in Savannah, Ga
30 min Strong’s VW Van; Albion’s printer in Jesup, GA
37 min parents’ influence; Benedictine High School, avoiding military service/Vietnam
48 min rock concerts; influence of music on the political/social movements
52 min police in Savannah and hippies and blacks
57 min influential writers and other leaders
59 min vegan diet, meditation, ashram, gurus and practice
1: 05 Armstrong and living downtown, James Land Jones, gay subculture in Savannah
1:12 chess, geometry and games
1:20 editorial content of Albion’s, weather report on Savannah
1:28 What would you do if you brought the paper back today?
1:32 meaning and choice of the title of Albion’s Voice, discussion of fascism, then and now
1:39 “outdoor advertising” on a brick wall in Habersham Woods, Savannah
1:41 spirit of freedom
1:43 defining radical
1:48 rallies, demonstrations, “showing up” and music events