Civil Rights Greensboro

UNCG Home > The University Libraries > Civil Rights Greensboro Home > Whites: "I Wasn't Prejudiced Before"

Whites: "I Wasn't Prejudiced Before"

Date: April 14, 1974

Author: unknown

Biographical/Historical abstract:

Additional contributor:


In response to a March 8, 1974 racial disturbance at recently-integrated Grimsley High School in Greensboro, this unidentified Greensboro News & Record reporter interviewed white students for their perspectives on race relations at the school. The article anonymously quotes the white students, many of whom were having a difficult time with integration. Feedback from the white students included: some felt they were being held back in class because black students were not on the same academic level as them, black students were launching unprovoked violent attacks on white students, that black and white students still socialized nearly-exclusively with their own, and black students tend to be distracting. A white teacher notes that, “We thought that if they got their rights, they would all put on suits and ties and act like Sidney Poitier. We thought wrong.” A school official says, “When I was growing up, I was prejudiced because of what people told me about blacks, but these kids are becoming prejudiced because of what they're experiencing themselves.”

This article was clipped and saved in a scrapbook on desegregation by Clarence “Curly” Harris, manager of the Greensboro Woolworth store at the time of the 1960 sit-ins that spawned lunch counter sit-ins across the South and rejuvenated the civil rights movement.


Format of original: Newspaper Clippings

Collection: Clarence Lee Harris Papers

Repository: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Item#: 1.4.1076

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Civil Rights Greensboro and the appropriate repository.

Item image