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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Pat Cusick, June 19, 1989. Interview L-0043. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Cusick evaluates the changes to Chapel Hill and the effectiveness of his activism

Cusick assesses the physical changes to Chapel Hill and the failures of his civil rights efforts.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Pat Cusick, June 19, 1989. Interview L-0043. 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

PAT CUSICK:
And Franklin Street, Lord, it looked almost the same, you know. And some of the same institutions, like this guy at the Colonial Drugstore. That's the South, you know. There was the University Motel and the Tarheel Sandwich Shop and all. But the institutions pretty well stay. I'm sure Chapel Hill has changed but that stretch of Franklin Street, which was the battleground… I noticed some of the streets in the black community are now paved that weren't paved then. We knew this was happening anyway, Lincoln High School was done away with, I guess the next year.
PAMELA DEAN:
High school's way out on the northwest side of town.
PAT CUSICK:
And this was in Ehle's book too, the splitting of the town, which everyone blamed us for polarizing the town. I guess the next year, the one black alderman got defeated. That's true but then it was, the very day that I got the release from probation up here after five years was the day that Lee was elected as the black mayor of Chapel Hill. So I think we did screw things up short term, but I have no regrets except that we didn't attack the University and we did do some stupid things like the either/or and stuff like that, you know. But I think the major strategic mistake was letting the University off the hook.
PAMELA DEAN:
Was that mainly because you had started out with this seemingly possible goal of getting the accomodations ordinance? You guys got trapped in that.
PAT CUSICK:
Well, we were one vote short, and we kept thinking that we'd get that vote. And like I said, we in Atlanta, the rest of the South in terms of the city councils and different governing bodies were not that close. But it seemed so close that we'd be able to do it. So we focused everything there.
PAMELA DEAN:
Who was the fellow who was on the board of aldermen who was also the Orange County…
PAT CUSICK:
Roland Giduz.
PAMELA DEAN:
Yes.