Remembering Coach Peerman
In this excerpt, Peerman remembers that some black authority figures at Lincoln High School and elsewhere lost their positions when they came to the integrated Chapel Hill High School. She does not remember specifics about her father, Coach Peerman, but she does know that he was a successful football coach.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Joanne Peerman, February 24, 2001. Interview K-0557. 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: When you were there from ’70 to ’73, was your father the head coach of the high school football team?
JP: From what I recall, I believe so. ( ). He coached those three sports while I was there. I don’t remember whether he was head or what because that was such a touchy subject in this household. When integration came, a lot of black people lost their status as being the head or the principal. They were put in subservient roles or second roles. It was just a subject that was best not talked about, especially by children. That was adult talk. That was grown-folks talk, to know exactly what somebody’s profession was. All we knew is he was the coach. We didn’t know about head or--. We knew at first that he wasn’t head, something was going on. Some people weren’t happy. We knew something was going on but we didn’t know quite what because that was grown-folks stuff.
BG: So they didn’t talk about that—
JP: --in front of us.
BG: But when he went to the integrated high school, he was no longer head coach the way he was at Lincoln?
JP: Right. We gathered that much.
BG: Do you remember how successful he was as head coach at Lincoln the last few years there?
JP: No more than—it seemed he was very successful. We were young so I don’t know anything about records or whatever. I know a lot of games had scores of 100 or over 100 for football and that was miraculous. We know that he was invited to coach at a shrine bowl over in Durham, which is some big thing that some of the best black coaches get invited to. That’s a nice activity. So we knew that he must be having some degree of success because there was much happiness here at home and in his career and he stayed in the same job for years and years. We felt like everything was fine, that the teams were doing well. We ( ) games where they’d win, so we’d see that they were having winning seasons.