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Oral History Interview with Fran Jackson, March 23, 2001. Interview K-0208. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Fran Jackson attended Northside Elementary until her parents petitioned for her transfer to the integrated Guy B. Phillips Junior High School. She argues that her parents and other black adults supported integration because better resources would be available to black students. Her parents' dedication to integration included paying for cab rides to and from the integrated school. Jackson herself, however, was less enthusiastic about integration. She enjoyed the assortment of extracurricular activities and caring teachers at Northside Elementary but felt isolated from the other white students and the predominantly white faculty. After graduating from high school in the late 1960s, she made a conscious choice to attend a historically black school, Johnson C. Smith University. There she adopted Afrocentric ideas, which she shared with her younger sisters, who helped lead the student call for more black teachers, the inclusion of black school traditions, and the creation of a black studies curriculum at Chapel Hill High School. Jackson also describes what she views as the hypocrisy of Chapel Hill's liberalism. She argues that tight racial and class boundaries maintained white privilege and that school desegregation hastened the demise of black cultural institutions.
    Excerpts
  • Unifying nature of an all-black community
  • Tension between the hope and reality of integrated schools
  • Integration blamed for decline of black student involvement in public schools
  • Material and psychological effects of integration on black students
  • Frustrations with white schools connected to experience in early desegregated public schools
  • Older black administrators avoided confrontation while students took Afrocentric stance
  • Current school system criticized for the losses wrought by desegregation
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • School integration--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • African Americans--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • Chapel Hill (N.C.)--Race relations--20th century
  • Jackson, Fran R.
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.