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Audra Sneed

Listen to curated clips of this oral history:
Clip 1: How People See Her
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Clip 2: Racism In Her Life
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Clip 3: School Experiences
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Clip 4: Single Motherhood
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Clip 5: Travel Daughter
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Download Teacher Questions for this oral history in .pdf format

Biographical Notes
Audra Sneed was born January, 1976 in Austin, Texas. Her father was in the armed forces; after retiring, he worked for the University of Texas police, and parking and transportation.  Ms. Sneed’s mother attended Huston-Tillotson College. Ms. Sneed attended Barrington Elementary, Dobie Middle School, the LBJ Science Academy, Regan High School and Austin High School. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M and a Master’s degree from Saint Edward’s University. She works for the University of Texas at Austin College of Engineering as an academic advisor. She remains close to her mother, father, brother and sister, who all live in Austin. She has one daughter.

Abstract
Survival is a salient theme in Audra Sneed’s story. Through three interview sessions, Ms. Sneed tells the story of her childhood, her college experiences away from home in a primarily White environment, her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter, and her difficult relationship and break-up with her daughter’s father. The interviews gradually become more about being a woman of color struggling with status issues in and out of her community than about race in Austin. As the transcripts reveal, Ms. Sneed’s endurance has been a function of skillful identity negotiations; as she notes, “You have to learn how to get along without divorcing yourself every time you look in the mirror.” Key terms:  Homework, Huston-Tillotson College, military, Texas A & M, God, UT Austin, family, prison, pregnancy, welfare, graduation, skin tone, “baby daddy,” dating, romance, travel, marriage, love, opportunity, prejudice, success, politics, names, perceptions.


Disclaimer:
“Oral Narrative as History.” Students received class credit for this work, and were under the supervision of Dr. Martha Norkunas, director of “The Project in Interpreting the Texas Past.”

Every effort has been made to transcribe the audio recordings exactly. On occasion a word, or phrase, was difficult to hear and this is indicated by a question mark in brackets.


Audra Sneed

Interviewee:
Audra Sneed

Interviewer:
Johanna Hartelius

Date of Interview:
February 22, March 3, April 3, 2006

Place:
University of Texas, College of Engineering, Austin, Texas

Recording Format:
Digital video and micro cassette audio