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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, February 14, 1987. Interview C-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Disproportionate burden on southerners for dealing with race issues

Herring recalls a meeting of the National Citizens Committee for Public Schools that took place shortly after the <cite>Brown</cite> decision. The president of Time, Inc., asked Herring how the South would respond, prompting Herring to reflect on the heavy burden placed on the South despite the North's racial disparities. He cites the case of a much-beloved black boxer to demonstrate white southerners' progressive views on race.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, February 14, 1987. Interview C-0034. 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

A group of people, who were leading the panels and taking part on the program, including Lipman, were there. And somebody came in with the San Francisco Examiner, and the headline read "School Desegregation Decreed." Larson turned to me and said, "What do you think the South will do." I said, "Well, I can't speak for the South. I don't know what the South will do. I think North Carolina will do the responsible thing. It will take some time." Then I said, "What do you think New York is going to do?" [Laughter] He didn't seem to think New York had any problem. And they don't to this day, apparently. You know, South Boston, Rochester, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, why have they lost interest in civil rights in those places, I wonder? They're not segregated as a result of law, but de facto segregation is rampant in our national capital. And they're not doing anything about it. Contrast that with what we had up here at Magnolia the other day when Bone Crusher Smith 5 came. 5 A Magnolia native, black boxer. There were the blacks and the whites eating together and celebrated a local boy who has become a national hero.
JAY JENKINS:
The World Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion.