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Oral History Interview with Joanne Peerman, February 24, 2001. Interview K-0557. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Joanne Peerman, a member of one of the first integrated classes at Chapel Hill High School and daughter of "bigger than life" Coach Peerman, grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and attended both segregated and integrated schools. This interview reveals some of the complex dynamics involved in civil rights protest—conflicts within families and concerns about retaliation, the influence of the media, and young people's passionate but not always focused efforts at protest. To Peerman and her fellow junior high and high school students, civil rights protest was not just about achieving certain goals, like diversifying the cheerleading team. It was also an opportunity to test their relationship with teachers and administrators, to assert themselves physically and intellectually, and to simply have fun. This interview also offers a portrait of one of Lincoln High School's iconic figures, Coach Peerman.
    Excerpts
  • Self-reliant black community under segregation
  • Racism penetrates idyllic childhood
  • Black professionals serve as role models
  • Peerman enforces discipline at Lincoln High
  • Junior high sit-ins
  • Young protesters seek change in school
  • Gulf between black students and white teachers
  • Black students work to integrate student activities
  • Gulf between black students and white teachers
  • School-centered black community
  • Tensions between black students and white teachers
  • Generational approaches to protest
  • Chapel Hill's liberal reputation
  • Lincoln High's significance to the black community
  • Black students seek to integrate student activities
  • Tensions between black students and white teachers
  • Remembering Coach Peerman
  • The rich experience of an all-black 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.)
  • Segregation in education--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • Civil rights demonstrations--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
  • Peerman, Joanne
  • 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.