Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble, Oral History


Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble, Oral History


Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble (b. Nov. 17, 1947) and her two sisters Dot and Deborah, were Ullman High School students and active in the 1963 campaign. Gwen was 14 and a recruiter which means she would work inside the school letting other students know what was to happen. She was the contact person for the "captain" who would come from the movement office to give a signal for the students to leave. She tells of her being organized and shares recollection of early radio in Birmingham. She had a special connection with Paul "Tall Paul" White from WENN radio, which she shares. She went on to work with C.T. Vivian in St Augustine, Florida.


Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


September 20, 2016 (video) and January 19, 2017 (phone)


Emily L. Reynolds
Emily Bibb








Bob Friedman


Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble


Transcript of Audio Snippet:

Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble: The captains would be on the lookout for someone from the movement office, and they would give us our cues to let us know it was time for us to go. So I was in my sewing class, and I looked out the window and I saw Meatball, William Douthan, and then I started spreading the word it was time to go. And the students started coming, and the word had spreaded throughout the school. Of course, we had some teachers who tried to block us from leaving school. We also had some like Ms. Cleopatra Goree who was one of our teachers who would turn her back so the students could walk out and she could easily say well I didn’t know they were gone. But when we left school that particular day we got about a half a block from Ullman…

Bob Friedman: And can you say a little about who “we” is?

GSG: I’m talking about the students at Ullman High School. In addition to my own two sisters Dot and Deborah. We would leave out of the school, it must have been, three– four hundred of us. We would leave out of the school, and this particular day we got about a half a block from the school and we looked up and we saw police everywhere.


Full Interview: 15min 33 sec
Audio Snippet: 2 minutes


(l-r) Jackie Taylor holding a,Gwen Sanders Gamble, Gwen's sister Deborah Sanders Smith, and Tuskegee SNCC activist and educator Dr. Joan Burroughs.jpg
Gamble 2 min.wav
Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble Transcript.pdf


Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble and Bob Friedman, “Gwendolyn Sanders Gamble, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed June 25, 2024,

Output Formats

We welcome your comments! Please do not include private or sensitive information as your comment will be made public. BBRM will keep your email on hand so that we can stay in touch with future plans and programs of the BBRM.

Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>