Black reluctance to resist white hegemony
Thompson recalls feeling like he was fighting for fair integration on his own. He cites the construction of a city pool as an example. The story is slightly unclear, but it seems like the city's plan would have resulted in something sub-par in the black community, so Thompson opposed it despite the fact that other black leaders supported it. Thompson tells the story to illustrate how black leaders did not fight for the black community's true interests.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Angus Boaz Thompson Sr., October 21, 2003. Interview U-0017. 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: Is that what it felt like?
AT: Oh, yes, Lord. Oh yes. You take my wife right here. She’s a member of a lot of civic clubs, sororities, but I’ll never forget. We integrated—and this was another thing I saw.
We didn’t have no city pools. There were white pools. They were in the white section, North Lumberton. Got to complaining about, “We want a pool.” My idea was to build us a city pool. All right, now where they going to put it? They put in a bond issue to put a pool over here in Parkview. We didn’t solve nothing with that. I said, “No, they’re fixing to build a mud hole over here.” I said, “No, we’re just going to build one. Build it centralized.” I was even fighting my wife’s club because they were following that black leader at that time. I was cussing her out too. I said, “Give them money to do that. That’s segregating again.” But that fell through. We didn’t build no pool now, and we don’t have a city pool today. I tell you. I know all this stuff.
MM: Do you ever think twice about that? Do you ever say, “Well, maybe some pool’s better than no pool?” Do you ever say that to yourself?
AT: Oh, no. I don’t even think about it now. When I said don’t think about it, people, blacks they’re where they can go somewhere and swim, and things, and so forth. But what I could see, hey, were going to do the same thing.
Remember what I told you they did about the schools? Big high school over there, a black high school over here, and a white. They were going to put a city little old pool over here and build a fine pool up there. Now, I’m going to not build one. So we didn’t build none. It’s obvious why we didn’t build none. I know if they built it somewhere it would have been lots of people worked it, but just made some not well kept. I know that. If I don’t know it I feel it so strongly I still know that. But ( ) as long as their children have to get in it, you know I know that.