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Oral History Interview with Walter Durham, January 19 and 26, 2001. Interview K-0540. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Walter Durham, an African American community member of Orange County, North Carolina, recalls his experiences growing up in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Born in the late 1940s into a land-owning family, Durham attended all-black schools in Carrboro until 1966, when the African American high school, Lincoln, merged with the newly integrated Chapel Hill High School. For Durham, school integration was largely a negative experience. He fondly recalls Lincoln High School as an extremely well-ordered and disciplined school with strong ties to the community and pride in students' accomplishments, particularly in football. According to Durham, black students' traditions were lost when the Chapel Hill schools integrated. This, along with tensions between white and black students, led Durham to participate in the 1968 "riot" at Chapel Hill High School.
    Excerpts
  • Sketch of youth on multigenerational black-owned farm
  • Fond memories of Lincoln High School
  • School integration done at the expense of black school traditions and accomplishments
  • Latent anger over childhood experiences with racism and segregation resurfaces with school integration
  • African American students' desire to stay at Lincoln High overlooked in 1966
  • Lincoln High was more disciplined than the integrated Chapel Hill High
  • Proud memories of Lincoln High School football games
  • Building tensions between black and white students at Chapel Hill High
  • The 1968 "riot" at Chapel Hill High School
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Chapel Hill (N.C.)--Race relations
  • School integration--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • African Americans--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • Lincoln High School (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
  • Durham, Walter
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.