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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Richard Hicks, February 1, 1991. Interview M-0023. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

White flight makes a high school all black

The rise of suburbs in Durham, North Carolina, made Hillside High School an all-black school as white families left the city and city policymakers did nothing to change district lines.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Richard Hicks, February 1, 1991. Interview M-0023. 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

As it relates to the students here we do not have a Caucasian or a person of any other race in this school other than blacks. There are 976 kids here at this time and they are all black students. However, about 30% of our staff is composed of Caucasian teachers or of another minority. However, we have found that that has in no way deterred the teachers or students interest in making this one of the best high schools around.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
How do you maintain the total black student population?
RICHARD HICKS:
It is just a matter that--I guess it was like it occurred in many cities that Caucasians chose to move from the inter-city areas and move to the suburbs and as they moved to the suburbs in the county school systems they began to build bigger and in some cases better facilities in their high schools. So what has happened over the last eight or nine years is that there has been a continuous flow so that those Caucasian families who still live within the school district, there children are grown and have children of their own and the city and county of Durham have not seen fit over the years to move the city school district line along with the movement of the suburbs. So there are many people who live in the city of Durham but are in the county school district because the school district line has not changed.