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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Terry Graham, March 22, 1999. Interview K-0434. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

A community discovers a black man passing as white

Graham tells a brief story about passing: a black man passing as white was denied access to a cafe in Mooresville, North Carolina, once the community found out that he was black.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Terry Graham, March 22, 1999. Interview K-0434. 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

TERRY GRAHAM:
And I went in the service up there in 1943-came out and came to Mooresville in '46 and started the taxi business and this Dunbar school that you were wanting to talk about, I remember when it was built, but I didn't go. I had some children that went there. And our first principal, we had, at Dunbar, he was a black man but he passed as a white man, and he ate in the cafés 'til they found out that he was principal of the …
AMANDA COVINGTON:
Really …
TERRY GRAHAM:
Dunbar school.
AMANDA COVINGTON:
Is this Mr. Woods?
TERRY GRAHAM:
Woods, yeah, uh-huh.
AMANDA COVINGTON:
Okay, okay. And then…
TERRY GRAHAM:
So they stopped him from eating in the café.
AMANDA COVINGTON:
Oh my goodness, that's an interesting story.