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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Gloria Register Jeter, December 23, 2000. Interview K-0549. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Upward Bound helps black students

Jeter describes Upward Bound, a federal program that gave scholarships to black students to take college preparation courses. This kind of program was essential for Chapel Hill's African American community, Jeter believes, because of the absence of a black middle class. Upward Bound helped level the difference economic inequality created between white and black students.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Gloria Register Jeter, December 23, 2000. Interview K-0549. 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

BG: Who started Upward Bound? GRJ: It was a federal program. Federal government program. BG: Did they come into the schools? Advertise? GRJ: (Pause) I think so. I don’t know. I can’t remember how I found out. I know my sister went to Upward Bound. Fran did. Subsequently I did. But I don’t know how or why or who said, “go to Upward Bound.” But they took a lot of students. And we were all poor. And see that’s one of the things that also, united us as black students. We were all poor. I mean, today, you have black people, black high school students who have as much money as white high school students. Because their parents are University professors. When I was growing up, there was no such thing. Chapel Hill never had a middle class of black people. Now Durham, interestingly, had a black middle class. They had black doctors, they had black dentists, they had black university professors, so they had a black middle class, they had the insurance company, they had a bank. But Chapel Hill, you were poor. If you were black in this town, you were guaranteed to be poor. So there was no, there was no black middle class. So all the black students were poor. But we, a bunch of us went to Upward Bound. BG: How long did Upward Bound last? GRJ: It was summer. BG: The whole summer? Eight weeks. GRJ: Yeah. About eight weeks. Mmmmhmm. BG: And where were the places you went? GRJ: We went, well, we stayed on the campus. We stayed in a dorm. So it was like, as if you were in college. We took college classes, we got college credit for those classes, and, we went, I mean, they would have cultural things. You could go to a play, they would load you up in a bus and take you to a play. And they’d make you, in addition to the college classes, they’d have you read certain things and meet in a group, that sort of thing. We had parties.