Documenting the American South Logo
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Burnis Hackney, February 5, 2001. Interview K-0547. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Lack of resources at Lincoln High School

Hackney confesses that his memories of Lincoln High School might be tinted with nostalgia, and tries to make himself look clearly at the integration process. Lincoln was a resource-poor school, he recalls, and its students joined "a better facility" when they entered Chapel Hill High School. The interviewer tries to get Hackney to cite Lincoln's library as an example of the school's lack of resources, but the library appears to have been sufficient for Hackney's needs. One difference he does remember is that Chapel Hill High School had air conditioning, a luxury Lincoln lacked.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Burnis Hackney, February 5, 2001. Interview K-0547. 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

BG: Can you remember other things about the school that you’d like share? BH: I guess I have the sense that maybe we might be somewhat romantic when we look back at the situation, but we worked with what we had. We really didn’t have a lot to really work with there. The facilities were not what they should have been, and basically the whole thing with integration I think pretty much came about because the political establishment, nor their constituents were willing to invest the resources in Lincoln and nor were they willing to send their children to Lincoln, and so therefore Lincoln had to be shut down. We ended merging into a better facility. I guess the lesson is that the facility is not everything. There’s a quotation and I don’t know if I can recall it but the sum is not always the total of the parts, and so it’s not really all about facility but you should have resources and resources are needed to do a job. BG: What was the library like at Lincoln? Would you compare the library at Lincoln to the library at Chapel Hill High School? You went to Chapel Hill High your senior year I think. BH: Chapel Hill’s library my recollection is pretty much like this library here without the computers of course. It’s a fine library here. At Lincoln you did have the books and encyclopedias. I was an avid reader personally and so I never was at a loss in terms of reading materials, but in terms of specific research I would imagine that you would have a problem in terms of finding all the resources that you would need for a particular research project. There were quite a few books and there were a number of encyclopedias. BG: But not as big as Chapel Hill. BH: By no means, you didn’t have the periodicals, and you just didn’t have the archives as you do at Chapel Hill. BG: Were there other differences that you saw in the two schools that stand out in the way of facilities? BH: The facilities were smaller but I feel that they were better maintained at Lincoln in terms of cleanliness and the maintenance and what have you. Beyond that, the space, you had a lot less space. The heating plant--. Now we didn’t have air-conditioning but we did have air-conditioning at Chapel Hill. Those were the main differences that I saw.