Worries about plans to rework racial composition of Charlotte schools
Here, Black worries about the possibility that rezoning area schools in an effort to create equally diversified "sections" might in fact lead to more segregation. He learned from his parents that an integrated school experience is important to personal growth.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Jeff Black, March 29, 1999. Interview K-0276. 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
PG: What do you think about the debates in Charlotte now? There’s a lot debates going on related to schools and bussing and neighborhood schools. Do you have a perspective on that?
JB: It sort of worries me. Ned and I both are on the ( ) committee, which is Dr. Smith’s little advisory group on education. My primary concern is I just don’t understand how they’re going to break up Charlotte into racially diverse and equally diversified sections. I don’t see how that’s going to happen. I’ve asked Dr. Smith, and he hasn’t really given me a clear explanation as to how it’s going to happen. I’m just really concerned about that, about how it can very possibly turn into a neighborhood school situation. You’re going to have schools that are going to be primarily one race, and I don’t think that people would get the same experience if they don’t experience or interact with different people.
PG: Is that something that’s important for your parents since they moved to this integrated neighborhood and since they send you to all of these schools? Is integrated experience important for them do you think?
JB: I think it’s very important to them that we become well rounded people and learn how to interact. It’s just fact that in the world there’s going to be different types of people, and you’re going to have to know how to interact with everyone. You can’t just say, “Well, I’m going to stick to my race, and I’m going to stay over here.” If you want to achieve anything in this world you’re going to have to have the ability to work with different types of people.
PG: Do they talk to you about that?
JB: Yeah, we talk about it all the time.
PG: You do?
JB: Well, we did. Now they pretty much accept that I know what I’m doing.