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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, January 21, 1986. Interview C-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Durham avoids racial strife of the 1960s

Everett seeks to explain in this excerpt why Durham, North Carolina, avoided much of the racially motivated violence of the 1960s. She believes that the black citizenry's size and quality in Durham forestalled much violence. Black Durham residents have also proved politically effective in ways Everett wishes Durham women were as well.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kathrine Robinson Everett, January 21, 1986. Interview C-0006. 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

PAMELA DEAN:
Durham didn't have as much of the racial violence during the '60s as many southern towns did. There was in '67 and '68 a certain amount and I believe there were some complaints registered that the city council really wasn't doing what it ought to have been for blacks at that time. Do you think that the city council could have done more for blacks in the '60s?
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
I think Durham has been much more favorable to blacks than a lot of the southern towns because we have such good blacks here and capable blacks and a college that has been predominantly black. So we've had an unusual situation. Further, we've had a large percentage of the population that has been black. I think at that time there was about 35 percent to 39 percent; it is probably higher in town now.
PAMELA DEAN:
Do you think the city council could have responded differently than it did at the time.
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
Probably not at that time. I think Durham has been about as forward looking as most any southern town. I think they really like the blacks. You know it is harder to talk about Durham's attitude to women in the public. I think that blacks have moved farther in some ways in Durham than the women. Don't you think so? I've been impressed. The blacks have combined to promote the blacks primarily, first. That would be their first love, and then they'd work for general good. But they would vote as a unit. If they endorsed somebody black, they would vote for them-often only for the black. Women wouldn't always do that for a woman.
PAMELA DEAN:
Women haven't had the same kind of unity.
KATHRINE ROBINSON EVERETT:
I don't think women have stood together as much. Do you think that? I really do feel that.