Results (most relevant first)
Longtime North Carolina high school principal Bennie Higgins describes the details of the position and reflects on race in the post-desegregation classroom.
Robert Yost discusses coaching chess and teaching English at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Sam Holton explains his role in the desegregation of Chapel Hill schools during his tenure on the school board from 1968 to 1974.
Coleman Barbour reflects on the diminished power of black principals as well as the state of the black community and its waning investment in education.
Venton Bell, principal of Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, describes his duties and reflects on race and education.
Brenda Tapia, one of the first African Americans to attend North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina, describes an alternative view of desegregation.
John Jessup discusses his employment as the principal of a North Carolina public school and as an administrator in the Winston-Salem public schools. He describes the challenges he faced as an African American as well as the changes brought about by desegregation.
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.
George Miller describes his career as a black administrator in desegregated schools.
Former West Charlotte student muses about the school and the uncertain legacies of integration.
Fran Jackson discusses her reaction to the integration of Chapel Hill High School.
Charlene Regester assesses the costs to blacks of school integration in Chapel Hill.
Former attorney general and governor of Mississippi James P. Coleman discusses his role in southern politics from the 1930s through the 1960s. Coleman focuses specifically on the issue of racial segregation and its impact on Mississippi politics.
Ebson V. Dacons recounts his career as a black administrator of segregated and desegregated public high schools in Wilkes County, North Carolina.
A lawyer argues for Native American civil rights in Robeson County, North Carolina.
A white student reflects on race and racism at West Charlotte High School.
Howard Fuller began his activism in Durham, North Carolina, as a student volunteer for the North Carolina Fund. His experiences as an activist for low-income black residents shaped his lifelong work and involvement in anti-poverty campaigns.
Georgia politician Herman Talmadge reflects on race in southern politics and the intrusive process of desegregation.
Enthusiasm for West Charlotte High School clashes with uncertainty about the efficacy of integration.
Racism and segregation return to declining integrated schools.
Patricia Neal settled in Durham, North Carolina, during the 1950s and became an active member of the community. Having served on the Durham County Board of Education from the late 1960s through the 1980s, Neal describes the process of integration and its impact on Durham schools and on the community.
Willie Mae Crews, the daughter of a sharecropper, was a teacher at Hayes High School, an African American school in Birmingham, Alabama, during the 1960s and 1970s. Crews describes Hayes as an excellent segregated school that did not benefit from the desegregation that began during the 1970-1971 school year.
Martina Dunford became the program director of the Edgemont Community Center in Durham, North Carolina, in the 1990s. In this interview, she discusses the work of the center in promoting community solidarity; relations between the predominantly African American population and the rapidly growing Latino population in Edgemont; and race relations in Durham as compared to her experiences in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mary Ann Moore was only a high school student when she began participating in civil rights activities in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s. After becoming a laboratory technician at the VA Hospital in Birmingham, Moore followed family tradition by becoming an active member of the union. She discusses her social justice activism in this interview while drawing connections between the civil rights and the labor rights movements of the second half of the twentieth century.
A white teacher recalls a harmonious racial atmosphere at West Charlotte High School during his short stint there in the 1970s.
A white student's experience with racial division at West Charlotte convinces her of the importance of integrated education.
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.
Diane English recalls her job experiences and quest for homeownership in Charlotte, North Carolina, beginning in the late 1960s. She also discusses her role as an activist for neighborhood safety and her fight to save her neighborhood from gentrification.
Elizabeth Brown, a white teacher who taught at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Alabama, describes desegregation and its legacies in her city.
William Dallas Herring discusses his rise to membership and tenure on the North Carolina State Board of Education and the struggle to create a community college system.
Maggie Ray, teacher at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, reflects on the legacies of desegregation.
Integration was incomplete and did little to rid schools of racism, maintains Gloria Register Jeter in this interview. The close ties between school and community that existed in segregated black Chapel Hill evaporated when black schools were absorbed into a system that Jeter believed had little interest in black students' success.
Residents of Maxton, North Carolina, respond to integration.
This interview with Dr. Guy B. Johnson, sociology professor and author, focuses on his work as the first executive director of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and as a member of the North Carolina Committee for Interracial Cooperation. Johnson discusses the role that women and church groups played in the Interracial Commission, describes the debate over issues such as segregation among SRC members, and outlines the conflict between SRC leaders and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare.
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.
A Birmingham lawyer shares his reflections on segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, and racism in the United States.
Geraldine Ray has lived in Barnardsville, North Carolina, nearly her entire life. In this interview, she describes growing up on her family's farm, attending all-black schools, and caring for sick relatives and friends. She describes racial segregation as a problem that seemed less difficult to avoid than segregation and prejudice between local black residents. Geraldine learned several essential skills of farm life from her grandmother and then used them to support the family through illness. The interview concludes with a description of her husband—a childhood friend—and how they chose to raise their children.
Grace Towns Hamilton was raised in Atlanta, where both of her parents were involved in community service and issues of social justice. Following family tradition, Hamilton was an active participant in the YWCA during the 1920s, and during the 1940s and 1950s she was the director for Atlanta's Urban League. She describes her work with these organizations, focusing on issues of segregation, education, voter registration, and housing.
Josephine Dobbs Clement talks about her various civic roles, including her activity as a member of the League of Women Voters, the Durham City-County Charter Commission, the Board of Education, and the Board of County Commissioners. She also discusses her efforts on behalf of social justice and her views on race, gender, and environmental issues.
Septima Clark describes the work of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in the late 1950s to mid 1960s, especially the community education programs that she directed for the SCLC and the Highlander Folk School. She rejoices in the new voters and civil rights legislation that resulted from their work but noticed drawbacks arising from prejudice against female leaders, disdain for the poor, and clashes in leadership styles.
African American civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins describes her upbringing in a prosperous family during the early twentieth century. She charts her work with the Tuberculosis Association, the NAACP, and the Richland County Citizens' Committee. Throughout the interview, Simkins offers telling anecdotes about racial tensions in South Carolina, the inner workings of civil rights organizations, and relationships between leaders of the movement.