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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, May 16, 1987. Interview C-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Unfair focus on the South's race problem

Herring remembers May 17, 1954, when the Supreme Court handed down the <cite>Brown</cite> decision. Roy Larson, the president of Time, Inc., asked Herring how the South would respond. Herring responded by asking how the North would respond. He wonders why more attention has not fallen on places like Boston, where segregation and its legacy are as much as problem as in the South.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, May 16, 1987. Interview C-0035. 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

At any rate, on that memorable day, May 17, 1954, somebody walked in with a San Francisco Examiner, I guess it was, with a big headline announcing the Supreme Court's decision in the segregation cases. Mr. Larson turned to me and said, "What is the South going to do about this?" [Laughter] I said, "Well, I can't speak for the South, I don't know what the South is going to do about it. But I think North Carolina will do the responsible thing, and it will take some time." I said, "What is the North going to do about it. What's New York going to do about it?" He didn't seem to realize that they needed to do anything about it, and I think they haven't gotten the message yet. That's one of the big puzzles to me. Why, in trying to destroy a double standard and succeeding so well with it in the South, they have not pursued the idea to south Boston.