Title: Oral History Interview with Brenda Tapia, February 2, 2001. Interview K-0476.
Interviewer: Johnson, Jonetta
Interviewee: Tapia, Brenda
Abstract: Brenda Tapia was one of the first African Americans to attend North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina. In this interview, she describes her experiences there and reflects on the effects of desegregation. Tapia's experience with desegregation was overwhelmingly negative. Moved from her black school after a successful sophomore year, she entered North Mecklenburg as an unknown, excluded from participating in clubs and marginalized in the classroom. By graduation night of her senior year, Tapia was furious. Her experience and observations led her to view desegregation as "one of the worst things that could have been done to [African Americans]." She maintains that though it changed the law, it did not change white Americans' attitudes, and she argues that its legacy is a black community sapped by discrimination.