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Oral History Interview with Brenda Tapia, February 2, 2001. Interview K-0476. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Brenda Tapia was one of the first African Americans to attend North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville, North Carolina. In this interview, she describes her experiences there and reflects on the effects of desegregation. Tapia's experience with desegregation was overwhelmingly negative. Moved from her black school after a successful sophomore year, she entered North Mecklenburg as an unknown, excluded from participating in clubs and marginalized in the classroom. By graduation night of her senior year, Tapia was furious. Her experience and observations led her to view desegregation as "one of the worst things that could have been done to [African Americans]." She maintains that though it changed the law, it did not change white Americans' attitudes, and she argues that its legacy is a black community sapped by discrimination.
  • A black student at a formerly white high school encounters discrimination
  • White traditions win out; light-skinned blacks gain acceptance
  • Desegregation shuts down black schools though they are newer than white ones
  • A subtle style of racism in North Carolina
  • Anger becomes understanding
  • Reflections on fear, ignorance, and racism
  • Desegregation damages the black community
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • 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.