Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with William Culp, February 19, 1999. Interview K-0277. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Gap between whites and blacks

In this brief excerpt, Culp reveals that when he began his teaching career in North Carolina, he realized the extent of the social gap between black and white southerners created by segregation: he was, he recalls, the first white person many of his black students had directly encountered.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with William Culp, February 19, 1999. Interview K-0277. 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

PAMELA GRUNDY: I will start by saying this is Pamela Grundy, and I am here interviewing William Culp about West Charlotte High School. We’re in Charlotte, North Carolina, and it is the 19th of February, 1999. I though actually we might start by talking about your student teaching experiences at Second Ward. You said that’s where you started out. Is that right? WILLIAM CULP: Yes, I did my student teaching at Second Ward High School, and at the time that I started my student teaching there the belief was, of course, that Second Ward was going to continue to be in existence. It was very interesting because for most of the students there I was the first white person that they’d ever really had any direct contact with, so it was quite enlightening to begin to realize many of the cultural differences that existed between me as a Southern white male and these African-American students, male and female, who for the most part had come up in an entirely different culture even though they had grown up in the South as I had.