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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Leroy Campbell, January 4, 1991. Interview M-0007. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#40007) See Entire Interview >>

General poverty means inequality between white and black schools is not dramatic

Iredell County was "backward" enough that the black schools were not much worse off than white schools, Campbell remembers. The white community, however, was more affluent and could offer support to its school when necessary. The black community, too, was very supportive.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Leroy Campbell, January 4, 1991. Interview M-0007. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#40007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Did you learn separate but not equal?
LEROY CAMPBELL:
Yes, there were some things like that. But we were pretty backward. They didn't have much either. Half the time that we integrated Troutman High School was the only high school that competed with Unity's high school program and the courses had equipment and things like that. Now when they needed to do something their community was more affluent than ours. They could pull in if they were skillful in getting people to do things for them. I was there--in 1954, we bought a brand new activity bus. We had five schools in the county and we coordinated the five Black elementary schools with the high schools and we raised the money ourselves and bought a brand new bus. I went out and put the first miles on it and drove it back. Five years later, the time we wore out two sets of tires we bought another brand new bus but we did it with the community doing it--the PTA or the activities there. Now the industries backed us up. The band was doing good things then and people would give us money when we participated and things like that.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
What was the relationship of the school to the community?
LEROY CAMPBELL:
It was pretty much of a community school. We had to do a survey when we were doing the Southern Association to find out who you were and who did you serve and what we tried to do for them but twenty-six churches in the community that year that we identified our students attended. We in some way or other would do something in the community. The choir would do public appearances and things like that.