Title: Oral History Interview with John Harris, September 5, 2002. Interview R-0185.
Interviewer: Taylor, Kieran
Interviewee: Harris, John
Abstract: John Harris's father founded the Royal Taxi Company in 1934, serving the black community in Greensboro, North Carolina. After a childhood of work and play in the streets of segregated Greensboro, Harris followed his father into the profession, and at the time of this interview in September of 2002, the septuagenarian Harris was still driving. In this interview he describes his childhood in segregated Greensboro, rich in recreation but also redolent with the influence of a workaholic father; his experiences as a cab driver, including his escape from a hold-up; the effects of redevelopment on Greensboro's black community; and the civil rights movement. Harris, after many decades as a cab driver, remains a stable center in a changing community, the proprietor of a black business that weathered the economic pressures of urban renewal and growth. His position enables him to reflect on the pressures on businesspeople in the context of segregation and civil rights.