Looking forward to attending Lincoln High
In this excerpt, Davis describes Lincoln High School's central place in Chapel Hill's black community. "Every black child in Chapel Hill grew up wanting to be a part of Lincoln High School," he recalls. Davis hoped that he would be able to join one of Lincoln's storied sports teams rather than go to Chapel Hill High. Another essential part of Lincoln's magnetism came from Principal C.A. McDougle, who involved himself in students' lives in and out of school.
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: So you left Phillips Junior High School and went to the new Chapel Hill High School?
ND: New Chapel Hill High School, there was like a lapse, because the year that I played hooky for so long, I didn’t pass my grade that year, because I just didn’t do nothing. And I kind of like hung out in the woods. And um, and I think, one day, when you hung out in the woods you hung out near Lincoln, because you wanted to see everything that was going on. You wanted to see all the activities they was doing, like the May Day program, and the different activities they had, and the band practicing and the football team practicing, and you know, the students and people going to lunch and stuff like that. Everybody wanted to be a part of that. I think every black child in Chapel Hill grew up wanting to be a part of Lincoln High School. And they knew if you went to Lincoln High School you had to do what was right, because Mr. McDougle would not have it any other way. You know, he was the principal, and he would come by your house, you know, he would be driving down the street and he may see five of us, you know, some guys out in the yard, and he would stop by your house and talk to you, whether it was in the afternoon, or Saturday, or Sunday, or whatever. And everybody called him McDougle, you know. Because that was the name that, his name was Mr. McDougle. Some of the guys tried to be smart like they were saying, they would say ‘McDougle,’ and he would stop and come to your house and get on you and talk to you, and talk to your parents, and everything, even if you were not a student at Lincoln. So, but everybody wanted to go to Lincoln, but yes I did, when they built Chapel Hill High School, when it first opened I went to Chapel Hill High School.
RG: Now did you think that the first year Chapel Hill High School was open, the new Chapel Hill High, that it was going to be integrated, or was it supposed to be all white for a while?
ND: No we knew, we knew, and you know, a lot of people was hoping, myself for one, that that was the year that we were going to be able to go back to Lincoln, because everybody grew up wanting to play sports at Lincoln. I used to get up and you know, the football and basketball games, which I could walk to the gym, but on Saturday mornings when my two brothers would go play baseball and run track, you know the bus would come by the house and pick them up, and I’m sitting there wanting to go, couldn’t go. Everybody grew up wanting to go to Lincoln, to be a part of that program. Whether the band, the drill team, the basketball team, the football team, or whatever. Everybody, every black child grew up wanting to be a part of Lincoln High School. And there was so much there, I mean, everything, you know, I mean it was so much we saw growing up. You probably had more people at practice than at games sometimes because everybody wanted to go see Lincoln. That’s the way it was.