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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff, July 8, 1985. Interview F-0039. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Southern racial customs affected interracial friendships

Elizabeth Siceloff tells a very illuminating story of the racial geographies established in the mid-1900s. Even though she experienced camaraderie with most blacks, Elizabeth had to be reminded to maintain her whiteness to avoid undue questioning by local whites.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Elizabeth and Courtney Siceloff, July 8, 1985. Interview F-0039. 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

ELIZABETH SICELOFF Have you come across the name of Mrs. Jernigan? DALLAS BLANCHARD Yes. ELIZABETH SICELOFF She was a very lovely black woman. DALLAS BLANCHARD Her husband was a school principal. And she was secretary of FSC. ELIZABETH SICELOFF Yes. She had a very strong connection with Shaw University. I remember riding with her to the conference in Pleasant Hill. As I remember, I was the only white person in this car of, I suppose there were six of us. We were driving together from Chapel Hill to Pleasant Hill. We stopped, it was one of the larger cities. We went to the train station so we could go to the restroom and by this time I was so caught up in feeling part of the group and . . . actually we spent the night with black friends of theirs. I so identified with them that when we got to the train station, it wasn't any particular protest or anything. I just automatically started looking for the colored restroom. I started heading toward them and Mrs. Jernigan, who was this very lovely black lady from Raleigh, North Carolina, who was working as a part-time secretary for the Fellowship, she said, "Now Mrs. Taylor, you know we're running late and we don't have time for anybody to get arrested or stop and get somebody out of jail." She said, "You just turn right around and you go right in that white restroom and I don't want you to give me any trouble." She was a very mild and soft-spoken person and I did what I was told.