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Oral History Interview with Sarah Mendenhall Brown by William Chafe


Date: July 14, 1974

Interviewee: Sarah Mendenhall Brown

Biographical abstract: Sarah Mendenhall Brown served on the Greensboro School from 1949-1959 and as treasurer of the YWCA during the 1950s.

Interviewer: William Henry Chafe

Description:

This July 14, 1974, oral history interview conducted by William Chafe with Sarah Mendenhall Brown covers Ms. Brown's recollections of school desegregation while she was a member of the Greensboro School Board in the 1950s. Brown describes the school board's preparation for and reaction to the 1954 Brown decision, its reasons for denying transfer requests from black students and delaying implementation of desegregation, the Pearson Street Elementary-Caldwell Elementary court case, white flight in Greensboro, and the more recent school integration and busing.

Other topics include Brown's interactions with black people through the YWCA, the end of the ward system in Greensboro, white response to the sit-ins, the YWCA and church involvement in the sit-ins and business desegregation, community business leaders, and leaders in the black community.

Subjects:

Format of original: Oral History

Collection: William Henry Chafe Oral History Collection

Repository: Duke University

Item#: 4.23.630

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.



Oral History Interview with Sarah Mendenhall Brown by William Chafe

Note: This transcript is an edited version of an original transcript for which no audio recording was available. Therefore, CRG cannot guarantee that this transcript is an exact representation of the interview.

William Chafe:

How long had you been on the [Greensboro] School Board before the Brown [v. Board of Education] decision was made?

Sarah Brown:

About four years.

WC:

Had you been vice chairman all that time?

SB:

The latter. I was on the board about nine-and-a-half or ten years. And the last four years I was [unclear].

WC:

And how did you happen to become appointed to the board? Had you a long record of experience in the public school system?

SB:

Well, not really. I had taught school before I married, eleven years, and I had always been an advocate of public education. You probably know that our school board members are appointed by the [Greensboro] City Council. And I was appointed by the city council, and I was glad of the opportunity because I could see if from both sides. I had seen the school board with the teacher's angle, and I could see the school board from the superintendent's angle, so to speak. It was an interesting experience, and an interesting time to have been on the school board.

WC:

You were on the board with, let's see, John Foster—

SB:

Ed Hudgins.

WC:

Hudgins, Howard Holderness.

SB:

Dr. Raymond Smith.

WC:

Dr. [David] Jones.

SB:

Dr. [William] Hampton was one, the physician. Do you have a list of the school board?

WC:

Yes. But of course, it changes over time, and I try to keep—even though I don't keep it in front of me, I try to keep aware of who we are talking about in different periods as much as I can. I have heard it said that you come from a Quaker background. Is this correct?

SB:

Yes, all my—

WC:

Do you think that this has been an important part on your perception of what has happened?

SB:

Yes, I do. But more than that I think it has been my association and my affiliation with the YWCA [Young Women's Christian Association] for a long, long time. And I was treasurer of the YWCA at this point in time. And I've had the opportunity to associate with some wonderful black people, and I've always been grateful for that. And I feel sorry for people who have not. I really think my affiliation with the YWCA and my Quaker background gave me a feeling that maybe a lot of people would not have.

WC:

Would most of this association that you had with blacks [been] through the YWCA?

SB:

No, not entirely. With church groups [also].

WC:

Are you a part of the United Church Women?

SB:

Yes. But our YWCA has been integrated here many, many years, much longer than anybody, unless they were on the Y board or worked with the Y much longer than they knew. Some of my friends had no idea I was going to the Y and having lunch with colored women. And mostly I had meetings here at my house, integrated meetings [unclear]

WC:

You were then part of the whole effort then, during the forties as well as the fifties, in the YWCA?

SB:

That's right.

WC:

At least discuss the issue of racial [unclear]?

SB:

Yes. And I say that was such a wonderful opportunity. And the colored women and men were intelligent, educated, refined, cultured, most of them A&T [North Carolina A&T State University] people or Bennett College. And I just think that people who haven't had an opportunity to be with—other than ditch diggers, bus boys, and things like that—really just don't know how fine it can be and what a wonderful opportunity it is.

WC:

Who were some of the people that stand out in your memory as being—of the black population and the white population—as being the most active in that YWCA effort?

SB:

Mrs. David Jones. You know who she is?

WC:

Yes.

SB:

Her husband is president of A&T, and had been at that time on the national YWCA for many, many years. Let's see, I don't know that I can call too many names. That's been a long time ago. But most of those women were school teachers in the public schools and also, as I said, professors at A&T and professors' wives, and they were just as cultured and refined, and most of them had had many, many more years of education than I.

WC:

What kinds of things did you talk about?

SB:

At the Y?

WC:

What were some of your objectives?

SB:

Well, of course, the objective of the YWCA is to bring women and girls together in creative ways, cultural ways. We had all kinds of workshops, and we were doing a lot of background work at that time before this [Brown v. Board of Education] decision had come in 1954.

WC:

I take it you probably expected this decision?

SB:

Yes, it didn't come as any shock.

WC:

And this is true probably for the rest of the board as well?

SB:

Oh, yes.

WC:

Had you had informal discussions about this within the board before it happened?

SB:

Yes, we had. We were more or less prepared and expected it and weren't at all surprised when it came. And I was thrilled to death to see the reaction of the board. I'm glad that we, in that respect [unclear].

WC:

Who do you think was most important in that decision to go forward rather than to talk about it some more or to—

SB:

Who, did you say?

WC:

Yes.

SB:

Well, I think Mr. Holderness and Mr. Hudgins [unclear], Mr. Foster—I think, Mr. Foster was president. No, I believe Mr. Hudgins was president.

WC:

Hudgins was president.

SB:

Yes, and Johnny followed him. Mr. Hudgins was very instrumental in it, and also Mr. Ben Smith [school superintendent][unclear]. He wanted Greensboro to lead the way, not hang back. And for the most part I think the citizens of Greensboro responded. Some didn't, some never will. But then I thought Greensboro responded beautifully, and I was proud of its citizens.

WC:

Now, when the decision came down, that vote was six to one, I believe.

SB:

You're talking about the Supreme Court?

WC:

The board's reaction to that decision that next night. And you had had informal discussions about the problems. Do you think that the board agreed on what that resolution meant when it was passed—the Hudgins resolution that we will comply and set up a committee to make [recommendations?]? Do you think that there was consensus of what that actually did mean in practical terms?

SB:

Yes, I think so. We had given it a lot of thought and consideration and we knew that it might get us into a lot of trouble, and of course it did, as you know. There were many nights really that I don't think that anybody on the school board felt too easy about going to bed. We had broken windows, crosses, that type of thing. Fortunately I never had anything happen here, but for many nights I thought maybe we might have.

WC:

So you don't think that there was any real division on the school board? Do you think that the school board felt that having passed this resolution that they were thinking in terms of rather immediate action to desegregate the schools?

SB:

Yes, I think so. I think it was impossible at that time to see all the implications. I'm sure we didn't anticipate everything that has happened since then. I think we fully understood what we were doing. We anticipated some anxious moments.

WC:

The committee on implementation was mentioned in the resolution, the Hudgins resolution. Did that have many meanings, to your recollection?

SB:

Do you know who was on that committee? This has been a long time.

WC:

Well, I think John Foster was on it. I think that Ben Smith was on it and—

SB:

Ed.

WC:

Yes. And I don't know [unclear] whether that committee was a functioning committee, or whether it was more or less a [unclear] committee which didn't really take any action. Most of the action took place on the school board as a whole.

SB:

I have that feeling. I don't recall that committee was real active. And we had a real close school board group, and I have a feeling that most of that took place at board meetings.

WC:

These were the informal executive sessions rather than the public sessions?

SB:

Oh, yes.

WC:

One of the things that has puzzled me is, given the directness of the initial response, to what would you attribute the delay of three years [from the] May 18, 1954 Hudgins resolution to September 1957 desegregation of [Greensboro] Senior High [now Grimsley High School]?

SB:

You mean what happened in those four years?

WC:

Yes. In other words, what—if it could be called the delay, and what would you attribute it to?

SB:

Did three years pass by before any implementation [unclear]?

WC:

Yes.

SB:

I had forgotten that. I really don't know, unless we were waiting for some guidelines. Could that have been it?

WC:

Well, that's true.

SB:

We didn't know how to go about it, and I guess we were waiting for some guidelines.

WC:

What were your feelings about the state's response to the whole thing, your feelings of other school board members?

SB:

Throughout the state?

WC:

Yes, especially the governor, the state board of education. Governor [William Umstead] had begun his approving of the decision, and Governor [Luther] Hodges succeeded him rather quickly after the decision came down, of course. [unclear] Then the Pearsall Plan—and I was wondering whether you recall how you and other board members felt about, especially, the people who signed an act in the Pearsall Plan?

SB:

No, I really don't recall anything about that at all.

WC:

The Pearsall Plan, of course, in its own way, was an effort to block desegregation.

SB:

That's right.

WC:

And the only person that I've been able to find that spoke out against it in Greensboro was Superintendent Smith, and I was wondering whether you—

SB:

Against the Pearsall Plan?

WC:

Yes.

SB:

Well, I think that now that you've said that it comes back to me a little bit. I think that we were all disappointed. We had hoped that North Carolina would be broad about this thing and, as I recall, I think we hoped that everybody would go along.

WC:

So this was really a hindrance rather than a help?

SB:

Yes, definitely.

WC:

Do you recall any comments made about Governor Hodges and his position at that time? I remember, for example, Mr. Foster has told me during that period of time when Mr. Foster initiated meetings with [Irving Carlyle?] and Winston-Salem people—Is it your impression that Greensboro was a leader in that coalition of the three cities?

SB:

Oh, yes.

WC:

That Foster and Smith were calling the meetings and stuff like that. They had hoped that the governor would be somewhat responsive to that, and Foster told me that he had even tried to call the governor. He did call the governor the night before desegregation took place in Greensboro and asked for any kind of comment at all [unclear], didn't have to be any commitments, and Hodges refused. And I wonder whether you were aware of this, and whether the people on the board felt angry at Hodges or had any feelings at all about his position in the issue.

SB:

I don't really recall. I know we discussed it here, and we were disappointed on our level, just from the standpoint of having children in school ourselves. We were disappointed that we didn't get more support.

WC:

On the board, at that point there was a change in membership. For example, Mr. [J. C.] Cowan, I guess, came on the board sometime around that period. Was he an enthusiastic and committed as—

SB:

He had a wonderful background and he's interested in the education—has always been active in Greensboro College. As a matter of fact, he was chairman of the board. He is one of the finest men that ever went on the school board.

WC:

Was there ever a point—you left the school board in '59?

SB:

I guess somewhere along there.

WC:

Did you notice any change in the attitude toward the issue of desegregation as new people came on the board, which is one of the things which seems to be true of other people's comments? Is—for example, after Superintendent Smith retired, it seems to be the wind was taken out of the sails of desegregation. The school board, for the next five years, did nothing except maintain by black children [unclear] and repeated applications from black parents. And I wondered if you could recall anything about that period and what was going on at the board during that period?

SB:

No, I don't recall that the attitude of the school board changed. I think it has changed recently, probably more than it did at that point, because while they have wonderful people on the school board—did you know Margaret Kennedy?

WC:

No.

SB:

She's chairman of the school board and a lawyer, and she's real, real smart woman. But the men on the school board are much younger. That's a sign that I'm getting old. When I was on the board the men were older than I, but now the men on the board are much younger than Margaret, who is chairman of the school board. And I think the attitude of the board has changed in recent years, but at that point that you are talking about, I don't recall that there was any great change.

WC:

There were a number of—for example, do you recall the application of Reverend Julius Douglas—rather his children's application? The board turned that application down for both of his children, and I'm trying to find out if you recall that particular episode and why an application such as that, which was certainly couched and in very educated language, and what seemed to be fairly—and they seemed to argue that his children needed scientific education or education in science that they couldn't get at Dudley [High School]. Do you recall what it was, or why the school board turned it down?

SB:

You don't know Mr. Douglas?

WC:

No, I don't.

SB:

He's a strange person and he likes to be in the limelight. [unclear] And I believe, as well as I recall, that maybe we thought that he was trying to make a test case out of this, and he did stir up a lot of trouble [unclear].

WC:

So that you would turn down what seemed to be [unclear] applications.

SB:

That's right.

WC:

There was also, I gather, some concern on the part of some white liberals and some black people that the board of education, particularly in the years '60-'61, was not really being very forthcoming in information about policies in terms of availability to transfer. Do you recall if there was any kind of desire to keep this cool, keep it under the surface tensions—in other words, not stir up trouble?

SB:

I believe so. But Greensboro was so fortunate in a lot of ways because we did have the benefit of the Negro colleges. I think we just wanted to keep it cool. As I said, it's been so long ago, but it was a time when we were all stirred up. I guess it was sort of like sitting on a stick of dynamite, and I think that's why we took things so slow and easy.

WC:

It wasn't the case, particularly with the case of the Pearson [Street Elementary School]-Caldwell [Elementary] School [unclear] case, in which the McCoy children and some other children had applied for admission to Caldwell, I guess, and they were eventually accepted at Caldwell in May. And then in June every single white student and every single white teacher transferred out of Caldwell and it became an all-black school. Do you recall anything about whatever decision making took place then which would have caused that to happen?

SB:

Wasn't that after 1960?

WC:

That was '59.

SB:

I was not on the board then, and I really don't recall anything about that except what I read in the papers.

WC:

It seemed to have been a fairly emotional issue because so many black people felt that they had been betrayed, that [unclear].

SB:

They got what they wanted, and pretty soon they didn't want it anymore. Well, that's happened in more than one instance, hasn't it?

WC:

Yes.

SB:

Of course, our population changed so. The neighborhood used to be all white. Where I grew up in south Greensboro are all colored. And so it wasn't—it just happened that way. The white people moved out and the colored people moved in.

WC:

Do you remember when it was that the black population started to move north of—west of Lee Street towards Asheboro [Street] and the whole [unclear] area?

SB:

Well, in 1950 I was living on Asheboro St., on the corner of Asheboro and Murray, and we moved out here in 1950. And our church was Asheboro Street Baptist Church. And we lived down there for many, many years before we built a new church this way, of course, because everything was coming this way. And pretty soon—let's see, we built our church in 1957, and we moved out of our church on Asheboro St. and the colored church bought it. And it wasn't too long after that before colored people and Indians moved in all of that section.

WC:

Have they built new houses for them?

SB:

No. No, they took over old houses that were already there. You see, south Greensboro was originally Greensboro.

WC:

Yes.

SB:

And there were some beautiful, wonderful, old homes. [unclear]

WC:

There seem to be some fairly new suburban houses out there.

SB:

Those are apartment complexes. But before that, people had started moving this way, north of Lee St. And I'd say it was about '65, I guess, when Asheboro St. and all that old [unclear].

WC:

Had there been a great deal of political discussion or cooperation between whites and blacks in the forties and fifties? You don't have a ward system here, do you?

SB:

No.

WC:

Someone like [unclear], to be elected to the city council, he's not elected as a representative of a given ward of southeast Greensboro—

SB:

No.

WC:

Rather of the whole city?

SB:

That's right. No, we don't have a ward system.

WC:

Would that reflect a fair amount of biracial politics?

SB:

No, I really don't think so. However, a lot of people have felt that we needed the ward system for that very reason. And in fact a couple years ago, the city council had quite a wrangle about that. High Point has a ward system. We had it years ago, but we out grew it. We thought that was a backward step, but there are some people who feel discriminated against. They thought a ward system would [unclear], but I was delighted that we decided not to go back to the ward system. I think we have a better representation on the school board. Maybe everybody is not represented, but I think the people on the school board are better qualified to serve. And they certainly are people who have everybody's good at heart.

WC:

The city council too is city-wide elected?

SB:

City councilmen is city-wide.

WC:

When the sit-ins began in 1960, what was the feeling about those sit-ins in the heart of the South and the people with whom you would identify yourself, in terms of your attitude toward social and political questions? Did you see these an unnecessary and destructive or as necessary and creative or constructive?

SB:

Do you mean when the colored people first started—

WC:

When the four students [unclear] Woolworth's?

SB:

Well, you know, that was a singular thing. I wish Daddy was here. He could tell you about that. They were doing a job downtown on Main Street putting in a storefront right next door when all of this was going on, and it was a lot of excitement. [unclear] But I guess, for the most part, people in Greensboro were really upset about it.

WC:

It does seem that it's possible to say that there is a general liberal white community in Greensboro, but this issue does seem to be dividing them. There were some people who felt that these particular demonstrations were good, had to happen, had good results, [and] others who would say that they were bad and not necessary to happen.

SB:

And the thing that bothers me is that there are so many people who will never change their minds—“It's always that way, and it always ought to be that way”—which disturbs me to no end.

WC:

Of course, there were two sets of sit-ins. There was the '60 sit-in at Woolworth's, then there was a much larger demonstration in '63, in which eighteen hundred people were arrested at a bunch of the theaters, the S&W and Mayfair [Cafeterias]. Do you think there was a substantial difference in the way in which those two episodes were perceived?

SB:

Well, probably. I really wouldn't know about that. But as I think of the two, the first was probably more of a success, and I think the second was more spectacular than anything else.

WC:

Were you at all active in any of the efforts to either put pressure on the merchants, or mediate between the two sides during that period?

SB:

No. I was on the school board at that time. And while I was still active at the Y, I was not on the board at that time. Now, the YWCA maybe laid the groundwork for a lot of what took place.

WC:

I know the Y was asked to pass a resolution on that issue [unclear].

SB:

National Y?

WC:

No, this was local. The local Y was asked to pass a resolution in favor of the sit-in issue that came along to be sanctioned in legal activities, and I gathered from some other people that it was a fairly divisive moment in the history of the Y.

SB:

Yes, I guess it was. I know we had a lot of people who left the YWCA at that time and said they would never belong. We had some people on the board who got off the board because of that.

WC:

Do you recall who the people were on different sides to bring out particular controversies?

SB:

Do you know Mrs. John R. Taylor, Betsy Taylor? Have you talked to her?

WC:

Yes, I have talked to her.

SB:

I was going to say she's the one you ought to talk to about this. She was definitely in favor of all of this, and very [unclear] and very outspoken. She did a lot of work with her church and made a lot of enemies for herself I know, because she was so outspoken.

SB:

And her whole family was that way. Her husband stood behind her 100%, so did all of her children. And I would say they had some rough moments. But Betsy was one and her husband. And Mary Frances [Powell Seymour], who was our executive director at that time, she was the guiding light. She was the power behind the [unclear]. She saw all this coming and she tried to prepare us for what was going to happen.

WC:

Did you notice, and did you feel, that it's been women who have been more active in the movement, primarily, than men [unclear]?

SB:

I know it's true. Maybe it's because they had more time, and maybe because they were thinking about children, too. I just think women are more broadminded about things like that. I think they accept change more readily than men.

WC:

That's probably true.

SB:

I think men are [unclear].

WC:

What were your feelings about the role of the churches during the whole desegregation controversy? Did you find that they were supportive or quiet?

SB:

No, definitely. My own church was not. During that time we had colored people that went all over the city to various churches to see if they could be admitted, and we had some who came to our church. And our ushers, on that particular day, were ushers [unclear], and they didn't let them come in. And not only that, they weren't very nice to them either. And that almost broke up our church. Our minister was floored, flabbergasted. He couldn't conceive of anybody being turned away from the church by level of color. But they also did it to the First Presbyterian Church, one of the biggest churches here in the city. And they also tried to go to West Market [Street Methodist Church]. Well, they tried it all over. And eventually some of them did get in. And I think our church, Asheboro Street, was the first to finally admit. And we got to the point where we had maybe six or eight, maybe ten every Sunday, and most of those were college students. Even that was slow, mighty, mighty slow.

WC:

This was during the school controversy?

SB:

Yes.

WC:

How about the businesses in the city? The merchants, to begin with, I suppose, they were not particularly helpful. Of course, they were the ones that brought on the demonstrations.

SB:

And I guess [unclear] Cafeteria at that time—you know, you mentioned that a moment ago. He was very much opposed to it, of course. He stood guard on his door and that sort of thing.

WC:

He was also a leader in West Market Street, wasn't he?

SB:

Yes. There's a lot of talk about these big Christian men, you know, acting the way they did—and women, too, for that matter. I think the merchants were real, real slow. I think that was really forced on them, I doubt if they ever would have come across.

WC:

How about the [Greensboro] Chamber of Commerce, which also had a lot of merchants in it, but also has other people? Do you have any feeling about that?

SB:

No, I don't recall that I had any feeling about that at all. I wouldn't be in a position to know anything about that. I don't think that the merchants were coerced. I don't think they were coerced. I think that they just finally saw the writing on the wall and realized that they had to come around or else.

WC:

What about the large employers in the area—Jefferson Standard [Life Insurance Company], Cone Mills, Burlington Industries, Western Electric? Did they play less of a role, either in the school desegregation period or the period after that?

SB:

No, I don't recall that they did. Of course, now they have since then, as you well know. But at that time I don't recall that they were outspoken. I recall that they came to our rescue. The school board was kind of out on a limb at that time.

WC:

And looking for some help?

SB:

And looking for some help, that's right.

WC:

Do you think it would have made some difference if let's say if Spencer Love or Mr. Cone had made a public statement in favor of what the school board had done?

SB:

No, I don't really think that would have made any difference.

WC:

The people were responding independently.

SB:

Yes. No, I don't think that would have influenced anybody one way or the other.

WC:

Are there other organizations in the community which are important, in terms of the weight they carry, which did or did not have anything to say at this period, in the early sixties?

SB:

Well, the League of Churches. I think the people who were in favor of this were terribly disappointed with the churches who weren't cooperating. Well, we mentioned the churches, and we mentioned the merchants. The YWCA, of course, came to the rescue. They backed us all the way. I can recall it was a kind of a lonesome time.

WC:

Do you think that overall Greensboro has come out of that period well or—

SB:

Oh, very. I think we've been fortunate, so lucky. And again I give the credit to the fact that we had such a wonderful colored people here to begin with, and Guilford College, which meant a lot to us in this respect, and the presidents that were there.

WC:

Why Guilford more so than, say, UNCG [The University of North Carolina at Greensboro] or Greensboro [College]. Was something special about Guilford?

SB:

Well, it was one of the first, and of course they had so many foreign students there through the years. You see, that was sort of a stepping stone, I think. And Greensboro has a lot of wonderful colored businessmen who are intelligent, foresighted. I think Greensboro has been more fortunate than a lot of places, in that respect.

WC:

[unclear]

SB:

And, you know, after this thing really got going, the transition was sort of smooth. Of course, now, I guess busing will always be a problem. That's caused a lot of people a lot of headaches. But I really think that first transition was, after we really got [unclear].

WC:

Who among the Negro population [do] you think was most important in this respect—people who you refer to?

SB:

Well, I mentioned Dr. Jones—Mrs. Jones' husband, who is on the school board, the National YWCA Board—and Dr. Hampton. And Henry Frye and his wife have also helped, and they are wonderful people. Some of the [unclear] and some of the teachers at the colleges, whose names I can't think of right now—oh, and some of our colored school men, principals. And one of those was on the city council at the time. Mr. [Vance] Chavis was a school principal. He was a big help, as were all the colored educators.

WC:

Mr. [Tarpley?]

SB:

Yes, Mr. [unclear]. However, he was not so popular at that time. Mr. [unclear] wasn't a very popular man.

WC:

Popular with blacks or whites?

SB:

Not at all with whites.

WC:

And you don't know why that would be?

SB:

No, I don't know why they didn't like Mr. [unclear]. Chavis has a lot of friends in the white community.

WC:

What about Dr. Simkins? He's someone—

SB:

He's a troublemaker.

WC:

Or he's someone with a lot of controversy around him.

SB:

He's giving the present school board a lot of trouble. And he has one of the most charming, attractive wives I have ever known. She is a beautiful woman, and she is as smart as she can be. And I worked with her at the YWCA. And I wondered so many, many times—I don't see her much anymore. I see her at the curb market and around and about but we don't have time to talk. And I wondered so many times if she shares his views, and I can't believe that she does because she wants everything to be nice and right. I just don't believe she shares his views, but maybe she does. But he certainly has been a very controversial person.

WC:

There were people, of course, who came here in the sixties. CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] was set up, and I assume that in general, the white community did not think very highly of that [unclear] of black leaders—Mr. [Otis] Hairston?

SB:

Yes, the preacher, Rev. Hairston.

WC:

[unclear] and a number of others.

WC:

Well, I've talked to a number of people. I've been through all the school board minutes and I've been through most of the newspapers, so I have a little bit of historical background to make my questions.

SB:

Are you working on your PhD?

WC:

No, I have my PhD. This is going to be a book.

SB:

How do you plan to use this?

WC:

Well, it will be a book in case studies, social change, and race relations in one community.

SB:

Is it being centered here in Greensboro and others, I suppose?

WC:

Is it being centered here?

SB:

Yes.

WC:

Yes, it is going to be a case study of Greensboro, with the idea in mind [unclear], from a material point of view, to what happens to a single community in a twenty-year period of time, and then generalizing from the case study what the crucial factors are which effect social change—how people with different perceptions effect what happens. So I've been working on the book nine months.

SB:

When do you hope to get started on it?

WC:

Well, I probably won't start to write until—I'm going to get a sabbatical leave and probably finish the research and start writing [unclear].

SB:

You've really got your work cut out for you. I was trying to think of somebody else you might talk to. Would you like to talk to anybody at the YWCA?

WC:

Yes, I would like very much. I've not been there yet.

SB:

Well, we have a new executive down there. She's had illness in the family, lost her mother in April. So I don't know Mrs. Davis as well as I would like to. [unclear] She would be more than delighted to fill you in on some of these things.

WC:

I'm sure, probably, that they have records down there, too?

SB:

Oh, yes. And they have such a wonderful program going on down there now on teenagers. The Y, like a lot of other things, sort of out grew itself and out grew its usefulness and had to set up different goals, different channels to work through. So we don't think of the Y in terms of swimming pools and basketball like we used to for girls—

[End of Interview]