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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with William Culp, February 19, 1999. Interview K-0277. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Making progress away from racism

This excerpt starts after a tape break, so the question is lost, but Culp appears to be reacting to contemporary solutions to the problems with the public school system: he worries that vouchers will resegregate schools, and does not want students to miss out on the experiences West Charlotte offered him and his children. He wants each generation to continue the slow progress people have been making toward a better society.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with William Culp, February 19, 1999. Interview K-0277. 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

WC: Vouchers. I’m in no way interested in encouraging people to leave the public schools, or to make it easy for them to leave the public schools, or to make it less expensive for them to leave the public schools, because I really think public education is a critical part of our society. If we don’t encourage people to stay in public schools, we could end up with public schools being virtually black and private schools being virtually white, and I don’t think that would be healthy for the society, and I don’t think it’s good for the children. There are those who disagree with me. I have to give them their due. As my daughter argues, it’s a democracy, and we end up having to vote on some of these things, and settle things in that way. But I just feel like that at least for my family and for my children the opportunities afforded by integrated education have far outweighed the negatives. Have far outweighed any possibilities that they perhaps didn’t achieve as much as they could have. I really think that education is more than just what you learn out of books. It’s a lot about what you learn from other people. And in order to have a good education, you have to have experiences from lots of people who are different than you are. I think in our family at least my children got a much better education than I did. I went to a segregated school. I never interacted with black children in my childhood, and I think my children have had a much better opportunity than I did. And that’s what it’s all about, is each generation has to make a few more steps toward an equal society, and eventually we’ll get there. It’s not going to happen overnight. It hasn’t happened yet, but we’re making progress.