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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with MaVynee Betsch, November 22, 2002. Interview R-0301. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Segregation promotes cohesion in the black community

Betsch worries that black people have picked up the antisocial habits of white people, and separate themselves from one another. Segregation, on the other hand, drew the black community together.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with MaVynee Betsch, November 22, 2002. Interview R-0301. 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

KIERAN TAYLOR:
Business and religion were fused.
MA VYNNE BETSCH:
Right, were fused. Were fused. Because don't forget now, all the churches the schools financed, Edward Waters, that's an AME school. All these Fisk. All these, Johnetta's up at—
KIERAN TAYLOR:
Bennett.
MA VYNNE BETSCH:
Bennett, Spelman is by what Methodist school, Methodist church. Each one of them saying, like you have Catholic whatever. These were black. This is where the money went from the church directly in to finance the schools. Of course the insurance company would be there financing the building of the schools or the churches. So it was all fused. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. He was a big man in the AME church. Oh God, the bishop came to our house. This was all—I don't know. Maybe all cultures, people need a big outside enemy to make the thing cohesive. I don't know what it is, but it was such a time and the vibe, people were helping each other and oh God. I just don't know. It's just so different now. Black people are just, well, I mean, Americans we picked up all the bad habits from—I'm not knocking. I don't mean this in a negative way. But for white folks who want to live out in their little exclusive areas, and I've got mine to hell with you. We've picked up that bad habit too. Black people basically are gregarious, but now it's me and all the rest of y'all can go to hell. I just don't care.
KIERAN TAYLOR:
But segregation created some of that cohesiveness.
MA VYNNE BETSCH:
It sure did, sure did, sure did. Sure did. Sure did. Absolutely. Absolutely. It was wonderful. But like I said that Ashley Street, I remember one section because you had the barbershops because we would go down and see Daddy at the barbershop. Oh God my Daddy loved this barbershop. Remember how the men—
KIERAN TAYLOR:
Which barbershop?
MA VYNNE BETSCH:
Okay, you know where the Clara White Mission is? Right next door, it's still there My dad, oh he used to, oh God, they gave these men these packs because black men have this problem with their hair growing in their skin—
KIERAN TAYLOR:
Ingrown.
MA VYNNE BETSCH:
So he would, whatever they would sit there and pick all the hair this pampering and putting all the hot towels. Oh we used to love to go down. Oh Daddy, daddy. He said wait a minute, I've got another hour and then I'll be ready. He loved that. That was once a week going to the barbershop. That was on Ashley Street.