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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Charlene Regester, February 23, 2001. Interview K-0216. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Holding fast to Jim Crow myths even during a period of racial integration

Regester assesses the racial changes that have occurred in Chapel Hill since the 1960s. Despite the vast changes in black and white relations in Chapel Hill, she describes how she maintains the familial traditions, advice, and racial myths of blacks who lived in the Jim Crow South.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Charlene Regester, February 23, 2001. Interview K-0216. 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:
So you saw a big change then in the community?
CHARLENE REGESTER:
Definitely, definitely. There were some businesses previously patronized blacks and then, and I'm not sure they even willingly wanted to do that, but maybe pressure was being applied, so they said, well, we got to stay on this particular side of being in opposition to blacks or integration or whatever. But I will tell you this, which is interesting. Having grown up during the period of integration, I do remember there were some businesses that were known for not patronizing blacks. And we were told as children not to go there. It wasn't until I went to college that I even went in some restaurants which had been integrated for many years because as a child growing up I had been told not to go there. And I tell that to some people now and they laugh and I say you know I've lived here all my life there's certain buildings or restaurants or whatever, businesses, I had never been in because I was not allowed to go as a child and I've never been in there.
SUSAN UPTON:
Did you not go because...
CHARLENE REGESTER:
Because of the historical tradition. They said 'don't you go in there' and so I just never went and I never had a desire, because once you...and of course the business could've changed ownership several times...but once you just remember that was one place you were not allowed, you were not welcome so it was really hard for me to make the transition to go in there now as some new restaurant or whatever.