Title: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, November 19, 1990. Interview L-0048.
Interviewer: Cheatham, Cindy
Interviewee: Pollitt, Daniel H.
Abstract: University of North Carolina law professor Daniel Pollitt recalls his relationship with and respect for UNC Campus Y director Anne Queen. Queen's interest in social justice issues intersected with Pollitt's active support of racial equity and student activism. The Campus Y served as a refuge and training ground for social justice activism, and it led to the creation of other organizations focused on social justice matters. The Community Church, composed of many UNC professors, also played an active role in endorsing desegregation. The connection between politically active UNC students and religiously concerned church members created an anti-segregation coalition. Pollitt describes how Campus Y student activists and some church members engaged in direct-action protests of a segregated movie theater in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Local white businessmen resisted attempts to integrate public facilities, often with force. At the whites-only Pines Restaurant, the local press captured the restaurant owner's attack on an elderly priest attempting to integrate the establishment. Many white Chapel Hill residents were appalled by the restaurant owner's segregationist fervor. However, civil rights demonstrations in downtown Chapel Hill drew negative views from North Carolina governor Terry Sanford and
Chapel Hill Weekly owner Edward Randis. They also created more violent backlash from segregationist whites. Pollitt connects whites' rising resentment of civil rights activism to frustration with other student and labor activism: by the late 1960s, UNC students involved in civil rights demonstrations also objected to the Vietnam War and to the inequity of UNC food workers' pay.