Title: Oral History Interview with Maggie W. Ray, November 9, 2000. Interview K-0825.
Interviewer: Grundy, Pamela
Interviewee: Ray, Maggie W.
Abstract: Maggie Ray graduated from high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1960, as desegregation in schools was beginning. After years in the northeast and traveling abroad, she returned to Charlotte, eventually sending her children to integrated schools and taking a teaching position at West Charlotte. In this interview, she describes the legacies of integration at West Charlotte, which, while not fully realized, manifest themselves in easy friendships between black and white students and comfort in integrated settings. She sees backsliding, too, however, and worries that as Charlotte's African American community struggles, desegregation is not enough to help it. Her solution is the next step in her journey from indifferent southerner to civil rights activist to parent and teacher: she believes that maintaining what she describes as equity, or full equality, is more important than maintaining desegregation. This interview offers a useful look at a relatively successful effort at integration and one observer's responses to its benefits and costs.