Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Andrew Best, April 19, 1997. Interview R-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Organizations try to anticipate racial troubles

Best briefly describes the activities of the Good Neighbor and Human Relations Councils. In short, these groups tried to anticipate race-related problems and fix them before they matured.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Andrew Best, April 19, 1997. Interview R-0011. 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

KAREN KRUISE THOMAS:
What kind of activities did the Good Neighbor and Human Relations Councils do?
ANDREW BEST:
On the local level, they were supposed to be involved in problem-solving where disputes or misunderstandings would come up, dealing with the problem of human relations or race relations. Besides trying to cure a problem that existed, more importantly, they were trying to anticipate things, and prevent them. So it was two-fold. I had always supported Jesse Harris, the young man who's been the head of the local Human Relations Council here in Greenville, and always supported those activities. After I had moved on out, about six years ago, they established a Best-Irons Humanitarian award. The first year, they gave the plaque to me and Dr. Malene [Irons]. Since then, every year they've had a banquet and picked out somebody in the community who's done a lot to promote human relations. I say human relations, because it goes beyond race relations. We're just as pro doing whatever is right, no matter what race you are. That's more or less the thrust of what they're doing now. I served on the state group for about 14 years.