Title: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, February 15, 1991. Interview L-0064-4.
Interviewer: McColl, Ann
Interviewee: Pollitt, Daniel H.
Abstract: This is the fourth interview in a nine-part series of interviews with civil liberties lawyer Daniel H. Pollitt. In this interview, Pollitt discusses his thoughts on race and athletics at UNC, as well as his involvement in student activism during the late 1950s and 1960s. Pollitt begins the interview by discussing the impact of the recruitment of African American athletes, like Charlie Scott—the first African American athlete to attend UNC on scholarship—and Bill Chamberlain. After describing how UNC's football coach was reluctant to recruit African American athletes on scholarship, Pollitt describes how he worked alongside Dean Smith as the faculty advisor to the campus NAACP to recruit Scott in the late 1960s. (Note: Pollitt says numerous times in the interview that Scott, and later Chamberlain, came to UNC in the late 1950s, but it was actually during the late 1960s.) Pollitt discusses how lingering racial tensions and discrimination in the broader community played a decisive factor in the recruitment of African American athletes. He devotes considerable attention to his work as a leader of the student YMCA-YWCA during the late 1950s and 1960s. Pollitt explains how the student Y was the center of student activism on campus during those years and describes in detail how he helped to organize Vietnam war protests among UNC students, even chartering buses to take students from UNC to Washington, D.C., to lobby their local legislators about the war and to participate in anti-war demonstrations. The interview concludes with Pollitt's brief discussion of his work with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which he elaborates on in later interviews.