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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Leroy Magness, March 27, 1999. Interview K-0438. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Some experiences with segregation

Magness recalls some of his experiences with segregation: his underattended Boy Scout troop, balcony seats at movie theaters, and decent treatment by members of the Democratic Party. Magness "didn't want to be a troublemaker," and did not complain about sitting in the balcony.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Leroy Magness, March 27, 1999. Interview K-0438. 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

MICHELLE MARKEY:
What was Boy Scouts like for you?
LEROY MAGNESS:
Well, it was nice. Here in Lincolnton, we didn't have enough black boys to carry out all the details, or all the things it took to be a Boy Scout, but we could do things at home. But taking trips, we'd usually go with the boys from Gastonia in the summertime when we'd go to camps and stay on about a week. Now my son - I have one son - they had a pretty good little group, and they'd go up to King's Mountain for I believe what they called an academy with the boys from Gastonia, too. And they'd go to other places… We got along pretty good. I don't think … well, Lincolnton's always had a lot of church people and I think most of them … I think 95 percent of them wanted to do right, tried to do right. We had picture shows, and we had to go up and sit in the balcony, but that didn't bother me. Some other people, it might have bothered them. But I might have been one who had a little bit different attitude from some people. Some people didn't like certain things, but the way I looked at it, if you don't like certain things, you don't have to deal with it. I've been on a lot of boards around here - the human relations council for a good number of years, I've got it in a scrapbook somewhere - but the City Council named people, black and white, to be on that council, and during that time they still had segregation. But I called up the chairman, and - we had a hotel here, but it was being torn down; it was where the citizens' center is now, but - I went up there to the council, and nobody said anything; they all treated me right. I've been working for the Democratic Party I don't know how long, and I've been in programs and there might not be but one or two blacks there, but everybody always treated me right. Of course back years ago when we went to the picture show, we had to go upstairs to the balcony, but if I wanted to see the picture bad enough, it didn't bother me. But like I said, I was just a little different from some people. You might talk to some other folks that have a different idea about it, but I just, I don't know. I didn't want to be a troublemaker. Some people didn't mind being a troublemaker.