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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Maggie W. Ray, November 9, 2000. Interview K-0825. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Joking about race

Ray gives some examples of how students at West Charlotte are able to approach their racial identities with humor.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Maggie W. Ray, November 9, 2000. Interview K-0825. 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

I'll tell you an incident that I love: we had one white player on the, basketball player on the team and when he would go out to playߞhe was quite goodߞthe crowd would say, "White boy, white boy, white boy . . ." and he would go onto the court and this was good. I mean, there wasn't anything awful about that; it sounds awful but it wasn't. It was grand. [Laughter] It was a real sense of community there. There was a lot of humor, and that helped. The student government, I don't know if you have this in your memories or notߞmemoirsߞbut student government would do a skit on the first day of school, and the white students in the student government would give this skit and they would be on the beach playing and sun tanning and having their shades on. Then they would close the curtain and then open the curtain, and there'd be all the black students as if it were the same people with this wonderful tan, thirty minutes later. So that sort of set the tone for the whole year, that we have different skin colors and we can laugh about this. [Laughter]