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Oral History Interview with Barbara Lorie, February 26, 2001. Interview K-0211. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Barbara Lorie became radicalized. She worked at Durham Academy for a year before Chapel Hill High principal May Marshbanks hired her as a literature teacher at the newly built integrated high school. There she employed unconventional teaching methods to eliminate racial barriers within her classroom. The Chapel Hill superintendent of schools as well as white Chapel Hill parents questioned Lorie's tactics because of the uncomfortable atmosphere they felt it created for blacks and whites. Following the resultant demotion, Lorie quit and worked for Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines. There she encountered similar racial tensions between the students, leading her to conclude that racism is endemic. She argues that racism breeds violence, and she blames television for perpetuating a dominant and violent white male culture. Lorie also contends that not only blacks but whites were psychologically damaged by segregation; she maintains that whites isolate themselves from other cultures and that blacks lose their cultural identities when not integrated into the dominant society. Lorie's social justice activism continues into her old age: she joined a predominantly black church to maintain an intimate relationship with blacks, and she identifies herself as a left-wing, environmentalist radical feminist.
    Excerpts
  • Personal experiences allowed Lorie to identify with black civil rights activists
  • Location and structure of Chapel Hill High reflects local white attitudes toward integration
  • Innovative teaching strategies posed conflicts with school administrators
  • Facing harassment for racial beliefs
  • Southern racism persisted in the post-Jim Crow era
  • Connecting violence to racism
  • Supporting racial equality on a personal level
  • Impact of racism on whites
  • Assessment of gender dynamics in the United States
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • 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.