Digital Commonwealth

Churchill Cotton: interview with Judith Monachina

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Churchill Cotton: interview with Judith Monachina
Interview with Churchill Cotton of the Berkshire Chapter, NAACP. Cotton was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1950, and shortly after moved to Chicago, where he lived until the age of 10. His father became an AME minister there, and most of the family life was centered on the church. When he was age 10, they moved to Galesburg, Illinois, then when he was 15, back to Chicago. CC talks about being the child of a pastor. His sister's name, Marda, comes from Mark (New Testament) and David (Hebrew Bible). Churchill's father was active in Civil Rights activities. Martin Luther King gave a speech at his (father's) church. Living in a neighborhood with gangs, coming home from school when his mother was at work, the Chicago Cubs, shooting marbles. Churchill was awarded several college scholarships, went to Lincoln University. He recited If, by Rudyard Kipling and discussed other poetry. After college, worked at GE (Philadelphia), came to Pittsfield with GE, in 1972. He met Patricia, his future wife, was engaged in 1972. Discussed interracial marriage and parents' responses. He has two sons, John Walden and Churchill. He was working (finance, auditing) at GE when they sold the plant to Martin Marietta, then Lockheed Martin. He moved to GE Plastics, then KB Toys, Guardian Insurance (all Pittsfield). He is a member of the Second Congregational Church, on the Berkshire United Way board, took the Berkshire Leadership Program, and worked to help minority parents to have a voice in the public schools. He also served on the Pittsfield School Committee and City Council; is involved with the Samuel Harrison House. He discusses his Christianity; Churchill is a direct descendant of Frederick Douglass.
Cotton, Churchill
Monachina, Judith
August 10, 2017
Audio recordings (nonmusical)
Oral histories
Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
Collection (local):
Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center (Berkshire Community College) Collection
NAACP Berkshire Chapter Oral History Project
African American universities and colleges
Interracial marriage
African Americans
African Methodist Episcopal Church (Chicago, Ill.)
General Electric Company
Guardian Life Insurance Company
K-B Toys
Lincoln University
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Berkshire Chapter
Pittsfield (Mass.). City Council
Pittsfield (Mass.). School Committee
Second Congregational Church (Pittsfield, Mass.)
Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895
King, Martin Luther, Jr, 1929-1968
Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936
MassachusettsBerkshire (county)Pittsfield
Pittsfield (Mass.)
1 audio recording ; 01:50:25
Link to Item:
Terms of Use:
Copyright held by the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center (Berkshire Community College. Requests to publish, redistribute, or replicate this material should be addressed to Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.
Contact host institution for more information.
Place of origin:
Pittsfield (Mass.)