Title: Oral History Interview with Burnis Hackney, February 5, 2001. Interview K-0547.
Interviewer: Gilgor, Bob
Interviewee: Hackney, Burnis
Subjects: School integration--North Carolina--Chapel Hill African Americans--North Carolina--Chapel Hill Lincoln High School (Chapel Hill, N.C.) Hackney, Burnis
Abstract: In 1966, Burnis Hackney was among the first African Americans to enroll in the new, integrated Chapel Hill High School (CHHS). In this interview, Hackney attempts to resolve his belief in the essential value of integration with his regret for the traditions jettisoned during the process. The process itself went relatively smoothly for Hackney, who did not experience direct racism from white students or teachers. The most difficult element of the transition was leaving the nurturing atmosphere at Lincoln High School for the academically demanding, individualistic ethos of CHHS. A sense of inevitability flows through this interview: Hackney remembers that he and other black students were resigned to the integration process, which seemed determined to move forward despite how African Americans felt about it.