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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George Simkins, April 6, 1997. Interview R-0018. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

White community resists integration of a swimming pool

Simkins describes his effort to desegregate a swimming pool and the white community's efforts to resist, which they undertook at great financial loss.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George Simkins, April 6, 1997. Interview R-0018. 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 KRUSE THOMAS:
After the golf case, did you participate in any other civil rights activity before the hospital case?
GEORGE SIMKINS:
We went to the swimming pool, and said, if you're not going to let us play golf, maybe you'll let us swim. So they had a swimming pool that was two years old, and we sent somebody out. They immediately closed it and made it for members only. They got mad and shut down the black pool at Nocho. The city said they were getting out of the recreational business, and they tried to sell Nocho Park swimming pool. They had just paid 250 thousand dollars for the white swimming pool, and they let it go for about 60. The man who bidded on it was from Mount Airy, and he was the wrong person, because they wanted somebody in the city to have it. They told him if he got it, they weren't going to zone it right for him, and he wouldn't be allowed to make any money at all from concessions. So he said, "Why would I want it, then?" So they had another bid, and the people from the city that they wanted to get it, got it. They kept it for a few years, and finally decided they couldn't make any money, and it was a bad investment. The city later took it back over on an integrated basis.
KAREN KRUSE THOMAS:
Why didn't the city want the first guy to buy it?
GEORGE SIMKINS:
Because he wasn't the right person to own it. They wanted somebody from within the city of Greensboro.
KAREN KRUSE THOMAS:
So he was an outsider.
GEORGE SIMKINS:
That's right.