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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Willa V. Robinson, January 14, 2004. Interview U-0014. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Blacks feel helpless during integration

This excerpt offers a brief look at some of the dynamics of integration. Black parents and Maxton residents met at their church. They felt hopeless because the white residents of Maxton had removed their stake from the public schools by sending their children to private institutions, so black parents felt "helpless to a certain extent" in their effort to secure adequate resources for their children.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Willa V. Robinson, January 14, 2004. Interview U-0014. 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

MM: Well, let’s go back a little bit to the 60s again, and tell me about some of the things that you were doing in Maxton to push this issue forward. Did you have meetings? Was it a formal sense of being organized in that way, or what kinds of things were happening? WR: Well, we were having meetings at our church, at the church, about the situation. The meeting we had at the church was mainly about getting—once they were into school integrated already—was getting a high school in Maxton instead of having to come all the way down, be bused down to Pembroke to school. But as I say, it was like mainly among the citizens of Maxton and the city officials of Maxton because at that time all our city officials was white. We only got integrated here in the last few years. They all was white. And, as I told you before, they all had sent their children to private schools. So they wasn’t interested in having a high school in Maxton. It was okay with them if they build one big school, and herd them all around in one place. It didn’t matter. So it really was a time of feeling hopeless. I wouldn’t say hopeless, helpless to a certain extent. MM: Fighting against the system. WR: Right, because we didn’t have anybody in our stead to speak up, that, “Yeah, we need this, and we need that.” It seemed like it was just a time of turmoil and stress with everybody.