Worsening economic discrimination against African Americans
In this excerpt, Couch decries African Americans'—especially African American males'—exclusion from the economic world. This excerpt briefly encapsulates one of the main themes of this interview: Couch believes that white-on-black discrimination continues and is even worsening.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Thurman Couch, February 12, 2001. Interview K-0537. 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
RG: Speaking of economics, when you were growing up, did you see many black businessmen in the community?
TC: Oh, there was nobody else. I mean, I got my hair cut at a black barbershop. You know, the barber and the mortician were the biggest, that’s the only thing they’ll let you have in the black community is the barbershop and the morticians. So, but yeah, that was, Preston Weaver had a shoe, I mean, Franklin Street was about black at one time. Let’s not forget that.
RG: Yeah. In what, the ‘30s?
TC: I’m not sure when they changed it over, but you know. Just don’t forget that. Hey, like I said. Black man making money in America, you know that’s out. Come on now. That’s out. That’s—
RG: Don’t you feel as though they’ve made some progress?
TC: You want the truth?
TC: No. It’s, man, they can’t do enough. It’s the worst. It’s the worst. I mean, everybody, black man in this country, I mean you know, you can’t even go in the bank and get nothing. Don’t you understand?
RG: You had trouble getting a loan even today.
TC: Sure, I mean, you know. I thank God for Centura, at Centura another black man gave me a loan and we’re on, you know. Been successful ever since, so I do all my business with them. But you understand, come on man. This country, black guy, they give a black—look. First of all, did the black woman go to college and did the black guy go to prison. Let’s get this thing straight. The white man will get the black woman a job, she can work for him as long as he’s there. He ain’t giving the black man no job. We all, look, we all went out and got college educations and then they said there weren’t no jobs. Come on now.