Title: Oral History Interview with Barbara Lorie, February 26, 2001. Interview K-0211.
Interviewer: Froemming, Melissa
Interviewee: Lorie, Barbara
Abstract: After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Barbara Lorie became radicalized. She worked at Durham Academy for a year before Chapel Hill High principal May Marshbanks hired her as a literature teacher at the newly built integrated high school. There she employed unconventional teaching methods to eliminate racial barriers within her classroom. The Chapel Hill superintendent of schools as well as white Chapel Hill parents questioned Lorie's tactics because of the uncomfortable atmosphere they felt it created for blacks and whites. Following the resultant demotion, Lorie quit and worked for Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines. There she encountered similar racial tensions between the students, leading her to conclude that racism is endemic. She argues that racism breeds violence, and she blames television for perpetuating a dominant and violent white male culture. Lorie also contends that not only blacks but whites were psychologically damaged by segregation; she maintains that whites isolate themselves from other cultures and that blacks lose their cultural identities when not integrated into the dominant society. Lorie's social justice activism continues into her old age: she joined a predominantly black church to maintain an intimate relationship with blacks, and she identifies herself as a left-wing, environmentalist radical feminist.