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A white student reflects on race and racism at West Charlotte High School.
A white teacher recalls a harmonious racial atmosphere at West Charlotte High School during his short stint there in the 1970s.
Arthur Griffin reminisces about Second Ward High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
Longtime principal Johnny A. Freeman reflects on the mixed legacy of desegregation.
One of the first African American students to attend Chapel Hill High School discusses his continuing ambivalence about integration and its effect on the black community.
An African American activist fights for integration in Lumberton, North Carolina.
Maggie Ray, teacher at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
A white student's experience with racial division at West Charlotte convinces her of the importance of integrated education.
Loistine Defreece, the first black female principal in Lumberton, North Carolina, discusses her job and reflects briefly on some of the challenges race poses to modern educators.
John Lewis served as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966. In this interview, Lewis outlines his role within the civil rights movement through his participation in the sit-in movement of 1960 in Nashville, the Freedom Rides through Alabama and Mississippi in 1961, the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, the Selma voter registration drive in 1965, and the shift towards the politics of black power within SNCC by 1966. Throughout the interview, he situates the activities of SNCC within the civil rights movement more broadly, focusing on issues of leadership, religion, and politics.
Harriet Love shares memories of and fondness for West Charlotte, a truly unique school.
Civil rights activist Floyd McKissick was the first African American student to enroll in the law school at the University of North Carolina. In this interview, he discusses that integration effort, along with subsequent integration battles he faced as a student and as an advocate for civil rights.
Carolyn Farrar Rogers discusses how growing up in rural North Carolina sheltered her from racism and taught her the values of hard work and racial self-worth. These values served her well as a teacher during the early desegregation period.
Journalist and activist Daisy Bates recalls working for civil rights in desegregation-era Arkansas.
Harold Fleming recounts how he became involved with the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and the criticism he faced for opposing racism in the 1940s and 1950s. He describes the effect of the Red Scare on limiting the involvement of racial progressives in the organizations like the SRC. Additionally, Fleming compares the leadership styles of those he encountered within the organization.
Jeff Black reflects on the legacies of desegregation at West Charlotte High School, a school hailed as an exemplar of successful desegregation.
In this interview, Vivion Lenon Brewer explains how her awareness of racial disparities caused her to support school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas. She discusses her leadership in pushing politicians to reopen the closed public schools during the 1958-1959 Little Rock school crisis.
In 1962, Gwendolyn Matthews was one of five African American students to integrate Cary High School in North Carolina. In this interview, she describes her experiences in the integration process, emphasizing the hostility of white students and teachers. In addition, she speaks more broadly about segregation and integration in Cary and Raleigh.
Former student remembers West Charlotte High as a place where diversity created both opportunity and conflict.
Longtime North Carolina high school principal Bennie Higgins describes the details of the position and reflects on race in the post-desegregation classroom.
Sam Holton explains his role in the desegregation of Chapel Hill schools during his tenure on the school board from 1968 to 1974.
Ebson V. Dacons recounts his career as a black administrator of segregated and desegregated public high schools in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
Latrelle McAllister remembers a nurturing, vibrant environment at West Charlotte High School and worries that this ethos may be at risk.
Dr. Evelyn Schmidt discusses the connections between race, class, nationality, and health in Durham, North Carolina.
A former student at Lincoln and Chapel Hill High School recalls the frustrations of integration.
Architect and politician Harvey Gantt describes his ascent from a childhood in segregated Charleston, South Carolina, to becoming the first black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. As a southerner, he sees the accomplishments of the civil rights movement as dramatic; as a member of the black middle class, he leans toward negotiation rather than revolt.
Enthusiasm for West Charlotte High School clashes with uncertainty about the efficacy of integration.
Joanne Peerman describes the efforts of black students to thoroughly integrate Chapel Hill High School and discusses her relationship with her father, a beloved coach at Lincoln High School and a powerful figure in the black high school community.
Former West Charlotte student muses about the school and the uncertain legacies of integration.
Clark Foreman worked in the Atlanta Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the Roosevelt Administration, and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare from the 1920s through the 1940s. This interview traces his efforts to provide equal social services and political rights for African Americans through these organizations and explains how he developed these goals. He also discusses his travels in Europe, his work with Black Mountain College and organized labor, and his criticism of the Red Scare.
Pediatrician James Slade and his wife, Catherine, discuss their experience of race and medicine in Edenton, North Carolina.
Viola Turner, who served as treasurer of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, describes her childhood in Macon, Georgia, and her experiences in Durham, North Carolina. In remembering her life experiences in the early twentieth century, she focuses particularly on education, race relations, the importance of skin color, and segregation in business and leisure activities in the South.
A black administrator describes the intricacies of administrative changes during desegregation and how he brought his passion for discipline to Charlotte-area schools, including West Charlotte High School.
Fran Jackson discusses her reaction to the integration of Chapel Hill High School.
Stanford Raynold Brookshire, Charlotte's first four-term mayor, explains why Charlotte and Mecklenburg County failed to consolidate their city services in the early 1970s.
J. Carlyle Sitterson discusses his tenure as University of North Carolina chancellor during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the difficult balance he struck between the Board of Trustees and the student body on issues of student rights.
Richard Bowman reflects on growing up in segregated Asheville, North Carolina, and facing racism during his employment with the army and the Los Angeles Department of Motor Vehicles. He also discusses his work to improve the current Asheville school district and rebuild his old high school. He lived in Los Angeles for four decades and experienced two major riots.
John Russell describes his work as an international representative and organizer for the Amalgamated Meat Workers Union following its merger with the Fur and Leather Workers Union in 1955. Russell discusses the limitations and opportunities that resulted from this merger, his work organizing poultry workers, and his thoughts on the changing nature of the labor movement.
Charlene Regester assesses the costs to blacks of school integration in Chapel Hill.
Former president of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and civic leader Asa T. Spaulding reflects on how his growing influence as a business leader allowed him to make unique contributions to dismantling segregation in Durham.
State representative Edith Warren describes the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd in Pitt County, North Carolina.
A lawyer argues for Native American civil rights in Robeson County, North Carolina.
George Miller describes his career as a black administrator in desegregated schools.
Daniel Pollitt describes his admiration for University of North Carolina Campus Y director, Anne Queen. He discusses his and Queen's engagement in social justice movements and the city of Chapel Hill's reaction to student political engagement.
Dentist George Simkins describes his efforts to desegregate hospitals and other facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Journalist Hodding Carter describes the changes wrought in Mississippi by the civil rights movement.
Bishop Paul Hardin helped bring about racial integration of the United Methodist denomination in the 1960s. He recalls several points in his long ministry career when white and black pastors opposed his efforts to move ministers to other districts, accept church members of other races, and dissolve the Black Methodist district. Supportive church members helped him withstand criticism of his personal stance, even when he faced pressure from conservative ministers on one side and Martin Luther King on the other.
Rebecca Clark describes the economic impact of Jim Crow: denying African Americans desirable jobs, forcing them into low-paying jobs, and humiliating African American consumers.
Julian Bond recounts a life of civil rights activism in the American South. He discusses his work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and his connection with other activists, including Ella Baker, Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, and Stokely Carmichael.
Johnnie Jones remembers his fifty-year career at the Pomona Terra Cotta Factory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Jimmy Carter, the governor of Georgia, discusses the growing influence of the Democratic Party in southern states and links it to distinctly southern trends, such as increased voter participation and the impact of the civil rights movement.
Roy Lee Auton reflects on a string of jobs and a string of wives in this engaging interview.
Tawana Belinda Wilson-Allen recalls her community activist work and her service as a congressional liaison for Congressman Mel Watt. She assesses the tensions between lower-income and wealthier residents in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Salter and Doris Cochran reflect on the many challenges that faced them in their efforts to desegregate medical care and public education in Weldon, North Carolina.
Pat Cusick recalls his participation in the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Imprisoned for his role in these demonstrations, he describes the formative impact his incarceration had in stirring up his radicalism, emboldening his support of nonviolent strategies, and connecting with other like-minded activists. Cusick also discusses coming to terms with his homosexuality.
Mabel Williams, wife of civil rights activist and advocate of armed self-defense Robert Williams, remembers her husband's efforts to overturn segregation in Monroe, North Carolina, in the 1960s.
Virginius Dabney traces his involvement with the school desegregation crisis in post-1954 Virginia. Dabney's political and social beliefs about integration appeared in the newspaper he edited, the
Richmond Times-Dispatch. This interview spans the breadth of his career from the 1920s to the 1970s.
Virginius Dabney recounts his early experiences as a reporter for the
Richmond News Leader as well as his later stint as the editor of that newspaper. He also discusses his attitudes about the role of reporters in the political and social arenas, and his work with the Southern Regional Council.