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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Dora Scott Miller, June 6, 1979. Interview H-0211. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Intraracial conflict among African Americans

Although Miller does not recall a great deal of racial strife during her upbringing in Apex, North Carolina, she does remember some tension between so-called free Negroes (the descendants of those African Americans supposed to never have been enslaved) and other African Americans. She does not remember any conflict between whites and African Americans.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Dora Scott Miller, June 6, 1979. Interview H-0211. 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

BEVERLY JONES:
When you were growing up in Apex, do you recall any kind of racial strife in the time period in which you were growing up?
DORA SCOTT MILLER:
No, we didn't have any strife or that. My people was known as "free Negroes" on both sides. We would have some problems with the opposite Negroes. Goin' to school at times, the "free Negroes" would have problems with the Negroes that wasn't called "free Negroes." All our parents was supposed to have been never under slavery. They was called "free Negroes."
BEVERLY JONES:
Your father's name was Scott, and they were free Blacks.
DORA SCOTT MILLER:
My mother, her daddy had a white mother and a Black father, which they was married. They didn't marry a-force. His mother raised him up till he got to a big boy, and then his father took him and raised him.
BEVERLY JONES:
All this was taking place in Apex?
DORA SCOTT MILLER:
Un-huh. He was born in Chatham County, but he was reared in Wake County. He was born in Chatham County, my mama's father was, but he was reared in Wake County.
BEVERLY JONES:
Your parents related this to you as you grew up?
DORA SCOTT MILLER:
Yes.
BEVERLY JONES:
Were Blacks living close or farther apart?
DORA SCOTT MILLER:
Well, we lived close. It was a very close settlement. We were surrounded by white people, and they were very nice neighbors. We had a neighbor which was Seagroves. We worked with them. We helped them house tobacco and they'd help us. He had his farm; we lived right next farm to him. We was housed in by white people—the Wilsons on one side, the Rhodes on another, and the Seagroves on another, and we was sittin' in between.
BEVERLY JONES:
Did you ever play with white children?
DORA SCOTT MILLER:
Played with the white children.