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The Baldwin School: Yesterday and Today

The Baldwin School

Class of 1963

The Baldwin Chapel School's class of 1963 have a unique story to tell, as they left Rosetta Baldwin's watchful eye to enter the world at a time that held new promises, and new uncertainities, for African Americans. With the breakdown of legal segregation in High Point, African Americans had more contact with whites, although public schools remained segregated in the city until 1969. Relations between the races were in uncharted waters, and frequent demonstrations in nearby Greensboro during 1963 only heightened tension. The experiences of the class of 1963 with the white community varied greatly - some of the students had daily contact with white children; others stayed within the predominantly black community and dealt little with outsiders. Regardless of their level of interaction, most of the students recall ambivalent feelings toward the white community.

To learn more about individuals quoted and depicted in the class photo below, read brief class biographies.

The Baldwin Chapel School class of 1963 Courtesy Baldwin Museum
The Baldwin Chapel School class of 1963

“I was always here [at Baldwin Chapel School] so I didn’t know much about segregation….I was just a child.” - Pam Anderson

“I thought we were all the same—I didn’t see a lot of white people. We would go downtown on Saturday to shop and that was the only time. I didn’t see them at church or at school, only when we went downtown to shop or eat and I didn’t think about it back then....But I was never afraid of them.” - Barbara Collier

“Back then it was just all of us blacks. About the only time you saw, affiliated with any white kids,...or even came in contact with any would be in a department store or in a grocery store....I really didn’t come into contact with white students until I started going to public school....At that point in time I don’t think [whites] had no better [financially] than some blacks, you know. I mean, we weren’t the richest family, but we had what we needed.” - Lonnie Butler

“I would work [for a white family] where there was kids; there were two boys....I would take my kids with me to work sometimes, and they all became one, you know? So it was no different and they knew how to act around other children, I guess by them going to work with me and seeing those kids. They didn’t really know the difference.” - Frances Faust

“[African Americans] from other neighborhoods that...you really didn’t see much, they didn’t really want to be bothered with you either because your skin was too white. Your neighborhood was your friends. That’s how it was.” DeCarlos Rogers

Lynn Fountain, Brenda Fountain, Dr. Perry Little and the Reverend B. Elton Cox, September 1, 1959. Courtesy of the High Point Enterprise May 16, 2004
Lynn Fountain, Brenda Fountain,
Dr. Perry Little and the Reverend B. Elton Cox,
September 1, 1959. Courtesy of the High Point Enterprise.

Some members of the class of 1963 actively participated in the civil rights movement, while others only felt its effects. No matter the amount of their participation, all the students still feel—and debate—the results today.

“When integrations started, we had fewer resources….We didn’t have our own neighborhood stores anymore. We started being dependent on other people. It tore down the fabric of our communities—they started giving us things…that we didn’t really need….It just tore our community down but we lost a lot of our identity.” - Barbara Collier

Million Man March, Washington, D.C., October 16, 1995. Photo Courtesy Rosetta C. Baldwin Museum
Million Man March, Washington, D.C.,
October 16, 1995, Photo Courtesy Rosetta
C. Baldwin Museum

“I wanted to join the civil rights movement simply to show that African American men could do some things positively. But the experience we received [at the Million Man March]—we got there about 2:30 in the morning; we were one of the first groups to get there….To experience a million men coming, and knowing at any other time that there would have been fighting because there was people stepping on one another’s toes and bumping up against one another, but the attitude was much different.” - Julius Clark

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