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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James Atwater, February 28, 2001. Interview K-0201. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The black community of Chapel Hill showed high interest in student welfare

Parents and neighbors of Lincoln High students were very involved in school activities. Atwater notes how black residents of Chapel Hill shared connections by residence, social activities, and church affiliation.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James Atwater, February 28, 2001. Interview K-0201. 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

JENNIFER NARDONE:
So, did you have a lot of interaction with the other grades and students. For example, would high school students ever do something with the elementary kids, or help them or tutor them or anything like that.
JAMES ATWATER:
Not a great deal, I don't think. I don't remember any organized program. I think we were always available if someone were to ask us something specific, but that's, we can say, just from the general perspective. But I didn't, I don't want to say I didn't have any choice, but all of my siblings were younger, so I probably helped them or be available to them when they were in elementary school.
JENNIFER NARDONE:
What about your parents? Were they very involved with what was going on at school?
JAMES ATWATER:
Very much so. Very much so.
JENNIFER NARDONE:
Was there pretty much an open line of communication between the teachers and the parents and the community?
JAMES ATWATER:
Yes, yes.
JENNIFER NARDONE:
Did that keep you in line? Keep the students in line, to a certain extent?
JAMES ATWATER:
Yes, that the community, really. Because, we can say, everybody knew everybody, and we knew everybody knew everybody, so when someone saw us in a situation that might not have been the best for us-"I'll tell your mother." But, now my mother was president of the PTA for a while, and she was a regular at PTA meetings. As I said, because the teachers lived in close proximity to us, we saw many of them at church. We went to church together, so we saw them at church, saw them at other social events, so yes.