Black interdependence under segregation
As he recalls two prominent members of the African American community, Davis notes that black people in the 1950s and 1960s took care of one another, providing necessities that poor families could not afford. Davis did not think of himself and his family as poor.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Nate Davis, February 6, 2001. Interview K-0538. 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: Did you feel poor?
ND: No we didn’t, we were, but we didn’t, because we had all the love. [portion of interview excised]…we had people in the community like Mr. Bynum Weaver that looked after us, you know that provided different things that people needed in the community that couldn’t afford to buy, you know, as far as wood, kerosene for the stove, food.
RG: So people in the community would just give things to--
ND: I’m not saying everybody. There was some people, especially Mr. Bynum and Susie Weaver, you know, he gave everything. I think no one would, everyone knew that he gave to people but I don’t think no one would ever really realize how much he did give.
RG: What did he do for a living?
ND: Um, he was owner of a little convenience store down on Brooks Street and also he owned the funeral home in Chapel Hill.
RG: And what about Susie Weaver?
ND: Miss Susie was in the funeral business with him and she also had a radio program, a gospel program on Sundays, and I think she was a beautician. I think she was a beautician
RG: And she, she also worked at the funeral home?
RG: Did she own it?
ND: Mr. Bynum owned it. It was the Bynum Weaver Funeral Home.
RG: So the two of them owned it. Bynum Weaver Funeral Home. Or you mean her name was--
ND: Oh his name was Bynum Weaver, his first name was Bynum.
RG: I see.
RG: So these two people were very giving. At least these two.
ND: Yeah, uh-huh.
RG: Did you feel that was common in the African American community when you were growing up?
ND: Oh yeah, back then you took care of each other, you know, you took care of your family. And family back then didn’t necessarily have to mean that you were blood kin. You know, someone you knew, someone you cared for, someone in the community, you know, that was family.
RG: And this was the ’50s and ’60s that you’re talking about?
ND: Yeah, uh-huh.
RG: Would you say there was much of a middle class in the Potter’s Field or Northside community at that time among the blacks, the African Americans?
ND: I think it really depends on what you’re looking at as far as being middle class. I don’t know if you’re looking at financially or spiritually or what. Back then everybody went to church and everything. But yeah, we didn’t feel poor. People may have looked at certain people and said well they’re poor, they don’t have, yeah, I think some people felt like that they was a little bit better or had more than other people, you know.