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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nate Davis, February 6, 2001. Interview K-0538. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Reminders of segregation

Davis remembers that the sense of belonging that sports sometimes gave him could not transcend segregation's borders—he could not follow fellow basketball players into a store to buy a drink after a game.

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

ND: Well some of that had kind of gone away, because my ninth grade year at Phillips I played basketball. So since I played basketball I kind of you know had more friends, um, but I do recall going back a little bit, one day at basketball practice, myself and there was two other guys, Jesse Chavis and ( **), was on the JV basketball team out there, and some of the guys said let’s go to the store, you know, and we were going to walk from Phillips down to the bottom of the hill, where the Texaco service station is now. There used to be a little store there, Brady’s. So on the way down the street, these guys kept whispering at each other, and um, kept, you know, Bob Andrews was, well Billy Andrews and a guy named Bobby who was Coach Carleton’s son, who was a high school coach, and Jimmy Vann and all those guys, you know, they kept whispering to each other, and I’m trying to figure out, what are they, what’s going on, didn’t know. We get to the store, and one of the guys says well Nate, let me have your money. And I should have known, but you know, I had, some time, you know back then some of us kind of got in a position where we kind of forgot you know where we had come from and everything, and I think that at one point in time I’m out there playing basketball with them, I’m a basketball star, and what they do I can do. And on this particular day thought that I could walk with them to the store and go into the store, you know. And I couldn’t go in. RG: In Brady’s? In ’66? I thought desegregation was-- ND: No, this was my ninth grade year, so this was like ’65. RG: Oh, okay, before the civil rights, the federal civil rights law. ND: Well you might have had the federal civil rights law, but there still was some people that would tell you you couldn’t come into the store. And I’m, you know, I don’t know the owner of the store but the little store on the corner, I don’t think it was Brady’s restaurant then. RG: Oh I see, it was like a candy store, soda store. ND: Yeah, so they said well give me your money and we’ll bring you something back out, and I says well what’s going on, and they said well you can’t go in with us. So I turned around and walked on back on up the hill to the school, and they went in the store. You know, and like I say, I don’t remember the name of it and I don’t remember the owner, and what I don’t want to do is throw some names out there that’s not true, you know, some people that might not have been a part of some negative thing that was going on.