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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0335. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Mixed reactions to the Freedom Riders in Chapel Hill

Charles and Dorcas Jones compare how people in the local community felt about their involvement with the Freedom Riders. It seemed that people in Carrboro were more critical of them, but UNC students generally wanted to help. Some UNC faculty distanced themselves from the controversy while at least one supported the Freedom Riders adamantly.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0335. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JOHN EGERTON:
How did you access the mood of the people in the town at that time?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, it wasn't Chapel Hill people. It was Carrboro people mostly, wasn't it?
DORCAS JONES:
Most of them were.
CHARLES M. JONES:
I didn't feel people in town were against me, not in Chapel Hill.
DORCAS JONES:
No, a few but not many.
CHARLES M. JONES:
And not the students.
JOHN EGERTON:
Or the faculty?
CHARLES M. JONES:
I know of one maybe, Hugh Holman. But he never overtly did anything, and remained a friend.
DORCAS JONES:
Dr. Berryhill was upset with it all. He was in the Med School, but I think he was partly on the basis that he was afraid this would effect the legislature giving money to the University.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. And his wife though, interestingly enough, met me on the street and said she agreed with me.
DORCAS JONES:
She said we're friends of yours now.
JOHN EGERTON:
Yeah. What about Howard Odum?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Howard Odum was no help, because Howard believed that the change in race relations would come gradually with no trouble.
JOHN EGERTON:
He did not like conflict, did he?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Not one bit. We remained friendly, but he didn't like it.
JOHN EGERTON:
By reading of him from this distance is that his heart was always in the right place, but that he would have waited 'til the cows came home for things to change on their own. Yet, most people finally came to realize that that would have been forever.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Well, we had a crippled sociologist, Rubert Vance. He was just the opposite. He was in a wheelchair all the time and had to be carried up, but he was strongly for us.