Title: Oral History Interview with James Atwater, February 28, 2001. Interview K-0201.
Identifier: K-0201
Interviewer: Nardone, Jennifer
Interviewee: Atwater, James
Subjects: African Americans--North Carolina--Chapel Hill    Atwater, James, 1932-    Lincoln High School (Chapel Hill, N.C.)    Segregation in education--North Carolina--Chapel Hill    Chapel Hill (N.C.)--Race relations--20th century    
Extent: 01:18:24
Abstract:  James Atwater discusses life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1950s. Atwater grew up in Chapel Hill, as did his parents and grandparents. In this interview, he discusses how neighbors in the black community interacted in various social, religious, and academic activities. He also talks about the impact of segregation on this community and on the schools. White supremacy in Chapel Hill was easily maintained by the community's reliance on the University of North Carolina. Atwater's parents worked for UNC, as did many other black residents, so they were directly dependent on white university officials for their finances. Much of his consciousness about segregation in Chapel Hill came from comparing it to places such as Durham, Carrboro, and Philadelphia. He left Chapel Hill in the 1950s.