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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with William Hamlin, May 29, 1998. Interview K-0169. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Legacy of integration does not extend past school walls

Hamlin discusses the legacy of integration in his excerpt as he describes his daughter's experience in fully integrated schools. Hamlin thinks he might have faced challenges moving from an all-black school to being a member of a minority in a segregated school, but his daughter did not have to make that transition. Integration at school did not change the racial composition of his daughter's life outside of school, however.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with William Hamlin, May 29, 1998. Interview K-0169. 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

PG: And, they had contact with black students in a way [subject coughs]. And, I guess, some students from some other ethnic groups and backgrounds in parts of the city and what not. Was that difficult for them? WH: I don’t think so for my kids. For that era that children went through that trek. Because, I think my daughter, my oldest child, was in the second class that began a fully integrated school. So, she didn’t really--. It wasn’t really a difference to her. It’s what she saw at elementary school and what she saw when she went to kindergarten. That’s what she saw in kindergarten and what she saw when she was a twelfth grade student. Nothing really had changed. Whereas, in contrast, it would have been a real change for me because I had had a segregated experience. And for me to go to now an integrated experience where I may have been purely in the minority it would probably have been a tremendous challenge for me. But, as far as they were concerned it wasn’t any difference. Plus the fact that all of them had multi-racial friends. And then they were involved in other activities where they co-mingled all the time. It really wasn’t a big difference to them. PG: Were they involved in activities that were multiracial outside of the school as well? Would they go to other parts of the city or was it mostly at the school? WH: I think mostly for my kids it was mostly at the school. Even though, both of my kids were involved in Boy Scouting, Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting. They were also involved in children’s theatre. They were involved in classes at Discovery Place and the Nature Museum which were culturally mixed. But, I think, in general, their involvement interracially was basically at school.