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Oral History Interview with Nate Davis, February 6, 2001. Interview K-0538. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Nate Davis discusses being among the first African American students to integrate public schools in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He describes a happy childhood, though one circumscribed by segregation, and an experience in integrated schools so unpleasant that he was truant for months on end. Segregation made Davis and his peers particularly dependent on black community institutions to maintain healthy social and emotional lives. One of these institutions was the Hargraves Community Center, where Davis spent, and apparently still spends, a great deal of time. This interview offers a look at the discomfort that many African Americans felt when they entered an integrated environment.
    Excerpts
  • Black parents work low-wage jobs
  • Childhood in segregated South
  • Black interdependence under segregation
  • Harassment drives student to skip school
  • Racist harassment plagues black student
  • Black kids' routes to avoid white harassment
  • Zora Rashkis reaches out to black student
  • Integration makes black student deeply uncomfortable
  • Looking forward to attending Lincoln High
  • Reminders of segregation
  • Racism demeans black teachers and students
  • Children learn about segregated society
  • Success is about personhood, not race
  • Black teachers at segregated schools invest in black students' lives
  • White gang murder
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Chapel Hill (N.C.)--Race relations
  • School integration--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • African Americans--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • Lincoln High School (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
  • Orange County Training School (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
  • Davis, Nate
  • 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.