Title: Oral History Interview with William Hamlin, May 29, 1998. Interview K-0169.
Interviewer: Grundy, Pamela
Interviewee: Hamlin, William
Subjects: School integration--North Carolina--Charlotte West Charlotte High School (N.C.) Charlotte (N.C.)--Race relations Hamlin, William
Abstract: William Hamlin, who attended West Charlotte High School before integration and who observed the integration process from a distance, offers his thoughts on the effects of integration on West Charlotte and Charlotte itself. Like many former West Charlotte students, Hamlin describes the school's magnetism and its glowing reputation. But he tells a darker story, too, about a violent integration process that he believes will never be completed. Hamlin feels conflicted about integration and its legacy. While he thinks that the process was largely successful, he does not think it can eliminate racism or break down the barriers between African Americans and success in America. Over time, Hamlin confesses, he has come to believe in the wisdom of a degree of cultural separatism, in part because he worries that total integration might spur the erosion of cultural traditions.