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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Anne Queen, April 30, 1976. Interview G-0049-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Working with the YWCA at UNC to offer a welcoming environment for newly integrated African American students

Queen briefly discusses the process of integration at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she worked there as director of the YWCA and the YWCA-YMCA. Queen outlines some of the challenges African Americans faced, such as the conservative leanings of the school following the Frank Graham Porter years, and the efforts of the Y and student government to foster a welcoming environment.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Anne Queen, April 30, 1976. Interview G-0049-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Well, when the job became vacant, they asked me to come over for interviews and I did and I was ready to stop traveling and this was sort of a dream come true, to come to Chapel Hill. I didn't have any idea I'd stay as long as I did. I came in 1956; and I came for my first interview just about the time that the court decision was made on the admission of black students.
The first undergraduates.
Yes, the first three undergraduates; and that was the Frazier brothers and I've forgotten the other one, but they all three flunked out. I think that it is partly because they just didn't pursue their academic responsibilities. They also probably came from inferior schools. Then came Thal Elliott and David Dansby. had lunch with Edith today and we were talking about Thal's freshman year and about David …David was the first student, first black student to graduate from the University. Thal went off to Med School before he had gotten his bachelor's degree. The Y and the Student Government were very much involved in the recruitment of the first black students here. So, the Y, when I came was involved in trying to help prepare the environment in which the black students who came could study and have a full and well-rounded life at the University. So, it became a center where black students felt at home.
I have the general impression that the early and mid-1950s in Chapel Hill were very much a conservative reaction against the Frank Graham years, not just because Frank Graham wasn't here anymore, not just because Gordon Gray was president in the early fifties; it was part of the national …
Yes, the Eisenhower years. I remember that I think I said that in that little talk I gave. We were suffering the scars of the Eisenhower years, but the spirit of Frank Graham was here.