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Oral History Interview with Carl A. Mills Jr., June 30, 1999. Interview K-0182. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Carl A. Mills Jr. became principal of Cary Elementary and Junior High School in 1953, and by the mid-1960s was serving as superintendent of the Cary district. When desegregation began, Mills was serving as principal of Cary High School, and he welcomed the one African American male who was the first to enter the all-white school. The process that followed was a smooth one, directed by local committees without much contribution from black families, which were few in the area. It is somewhat difficult to dissect the different stages of Mills's career, and how his school dealt with maintaining integration. However, he does reveal what might be distrust of government inspectors when he describes their questions about what appeared to have been the resegregation of his school: by the time the inspectors arrived, black students had left the classroom to learn trades. Not long afterward, Mills left the education business for a career in town recreation.
  • Small African American population eases desegregation process
  • One black student integrates and eases path for those that follow
  • Allowing local control of desegregation eases the process
  • After desegregation, students and teachers settle into racially-dictated roles
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  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.