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Oral History Interview with Arthur Griffin, May 7, 1999. Interview K-0168. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Arthur Griffin, an African American man who attended segregated schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, and later became involved in school politics there, reflects on the legacies of desegregation and the nature of racism in Charlotte and elsewhere. Griffin fondly remembers Second Ward High School (which closed in 1969) and its teachers, who struggled to provide their students with a stellar education despite vastly inadequate resources. While he mourns the loss of Second Ward during desegregation, he thinks the process improved Charlotte by teaching white and black people to work together. Still, desegregation was not a panacea; Griffin believes that race-related problems like low academic achievement among African Americans persist.
    Excerpts
  • Segregated Charlotte schools and the legacies of desegregation
  • Desegregation results in closing of black school
  • Remembering experiences at segregated Second Ward High School
  • Damaging legacies of desegregation
  • Desegregated city values calm over achievement
  • Demographic change affects success of desegregation
  • Enduring memories of segregated Second Ward High School
  • Value of history
  • Family-like atmosphere at segregated school
  • Desegregation eases tensions and promotes cooperation
  • Value of desegregation
  • Economic inequality threatens legacies of desegregation
  • Evolution from separatism to integration
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Race in Charlotte Schools Learning Object
  • Subjects
  • School integration--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • West Charlotte High School (N.C.)
  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Race relations
  • Griffin, Arthur
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.