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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Rebecca Clark, June 21, 2000. Interview K-0536. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Economic and neighborhood segregation affects blacks' lives

Clark remembers the effects of economic discrimination. African Americans, many of who worked for white families, rarely got time off, and when they did they had to scramble to find places to entertain themselves in a segregated community. Clark recalls sneaking onto a whites-only tennis court to play and fleeing when they saw whites coming.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Rebecca Clark, June 21, 2000. Interview K-0536. 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

So from there I was dispersed again. What happened then, I ended up living with Dr. and Mrs. George Howell. President Woodrow Wilson’s nephew, out Country Club Road, ( ). Now it is not Country Club Road, it’s ( ) Hill Road. I lived with them, was it seven dollars a week or six? I lived with them, just the two of them. Learned to do dinner parties. And have a half a day off. Because you know, working for the ( ) during that year, black folks never had a day to sleep in. You worked seven days a week. Only half a day off. You get half a day Thursday, a half a day Sunday, that constituted your full day a week. Seven days a week, seven dollars. And he would bring me on Sunday, he would bring me in on Thursdays, but I got back the best I could to be there for his breakfast the next morning. And I’ll never forget: I walked from Church Street to ( ) Hill Road. My thighs and legs used to burn up, and “Lord, something’s going to happen to me down the road.” Now I see it. So this is why I’m saying to young folks--. Back then I was very active—I played basketball, I played tennis. Getting back to basketball. I played tennis even after I married. I’ll never forget: I had some classmates, we would get up on Saturday morning—I was home during ( )—or either early Sunday morning, run down to the tennis court that’s behind the old cemetery to play tennis. There was no tennis courts for blacks then. When we saw whites coming, we started running off. That was back then in those days.