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Oral History Interview with Terry Graham, March 22, 1999. Interview K-0434. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Mooresville, North Carolina, resident and taxi service operator Terry Graham describes his changing town in this interview. He worries that the town has "just outgrown itself" and is at risk of being swallowed up by nearby Charlotte; already, businesspeople from the racing industry are infiltrating the town, says Graham, and he worries about the effects of the closing of Burlington Mill on African Americans. The future for Mooresville as Graham sees it does not look bright for its lower-income residents. Perhaps the most significant change Graham describes is desegregation. He remembers a relatively uneventful process: though the white and black community disagreed about whether it was the white school or the black school that should undergo the conversion to an integrated facility, that and other questions were handled peacefully, even when Martin Luther King's assassination roiled the community. This interview offers a glimpse of a town in flux, sprawling toward an uncertain future.
    Excerpts
  • A community discovers a black man passing as white
  • Segregation in Mooresville
  • Relatively peaceful desegregation process in Mooresville
  • Hiring black teachers remains an issue
  • Growth leaves behind African Americans
  • Growth threatens African Americans in Mooresville
  • White customers refuse to ride with black taxi drivers
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  • 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.