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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Quinton E. Baker, February 23, 2002. Interview K-0838. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Learning to never expect white support

Though some of his key allies were white, Baker never assumed that a white individual would help or support his cause.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Quinton E. Baker, February 23, 2002. Interview K-0838. 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

People who were white were white people, okay? [Laughter]
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Okay, I just, I understand what you are saying, but it is kind of funny—
QUINTON E. BAKER:
And so there were no expectations that they were going to be, there was never an expectation that whites were going to be, I mean there was effort to try to hope that somebody was going to respond differently, but there was never any expectation that whites were going to respond to me positively
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You always expected the work, and there was always a given that you would go into these places and there was a white person and they are going to be doing things to—
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Particularly during this period. You have to think about it, I had been doused with ammonia and Clorox, I had been beaten up with broomsticks, I had been dragged down steps by police officers, why would I go to court and—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
I guess it is safe to say that you were relatively cynical that this point. [Laughter]
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Why would I go to court expecting that I am going to find a nice friendly white judge sitting up there, and you know during that period, there were no African American judges around here.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Right, right, right, I understand. It is important to be reminded of the perspective. [Laughter]