Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kathryn Cheek, March 27, 2003. Interview K-0203. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Post-segregation reemergence of tensions

Cheek shares her belief that race relations cycled, such that tensions were reemerging when her own children entered Chapel Hill schools. Her son left Chapel Hill High after being "beaten up and threatened by a black guy."

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kathryn Cheek, March 27, 2003. Interview K-0203. 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

SUSAN UPTON:
I was going to ask you too, you have children right?
KATHRYN CHEEK:
Yes.
SUSAN UPTON:
Did they go through school here in Chapel Hill?
KATHRYN CHEEK:
Yes.
SUSAN UPTON:
Did they have any issues-
KATHRYN CHEEK:
Yes.
SUSAN UPTON:
Could you tell me about those?
KATHRYN CHEEK:
Yes. They did. My son actually left Chapel Hill High after being beaten up and threatened by a black guy that just seemed like it must of cycled. Seemed like it quieted down for awhile then while my children were in school which would have been-they 're grown now, but it would have been the early nineties I guess. [pause] Yeah, the early nineties, early to mid nineties. Seemed like there was more racial unrest than there had been, must of been a twenty year cycle or something. But they both had trouble, my daughter and my son both had trouble with being picked on, you know.
SUSAN UPTON:
Why did they beat him up? Do you know?
KATHRYN CHEEK:
No, just got mad at him, and Chris had a little bit of a mouth on him, so he probably sassed back. But it was just-and it was definitely a black white thing I think.
SUSAN UPTON:
So you pulled him out of the schools? Is that what you said?
KATHRYN CHEEK:
Yes, because the school, or the assistant principal at that time, basically told me "too bad," you know. And I said protection for my child? And he said "no." And I said okay. So he went to private school after that.