David Mason, Jr

Interviewed by Matthew Miller on December 1, 2008
This interview provides an overview of the black communities at Chapel Hill during Mason’s time. He notes the consequences of having segregated communities, such as having outdated infrastructure. His employment was at Chapel Hill was at the University. He remembers being employed at a young age at a restaurant. Outside of employment, bands and other activities provided entertainment in Chapel Hill. He invented a special sauce that became his life job for a while. Mason started working in an office then went back to school in the early 70s, graduated, and started to get a Masters at NCCU. Mason’s mother played piano for 70 years. He talks about how poverty in his childhood. Most blacks had property on Franklin Street. For example, Mason’s father’s uncle was one of the richest blacks in Chapel Hill. There was a black motel where famous people stayed. Black people made themselves known to the community, especially through entrepreneurship. He recounts recreation and employment as a teenage boy. He and his friends would try to “stage their own city”; he and his friends staged a sit-in at a restaurant and almost got arrested. He married at the time of the Vietnam War and did not want to go to war for a country that did not care about him. Here, he quotes Muhammad Ali. He shares how everyone in the community was really close to one another. He also shares how “integration was designed to fail us.” Chapel Hill favored whites but not blacks. Mason wishes he had stayed in the black community because he could have really made a difference.

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Title

David Mason, Jr

Description

This interview provides an overview of the black communities at Chapel Hill during Mason’s time. He notes the consequences of having segregated communities, such as having outdated infrastructure. His employment was at Chapel Hill was at the University. He remembers being employed at a young age at a restaurant. Outside of employment, bands and other activities provided entertainment in Chapel Hill. He invented a special sauce that became his life job for a while. Mason started working in an office then went back to school in the early 70s, graduated, and started to get a Masters at NCCU. Mason’s mother played piano for 70 years. He talks about how poverty in his childhood. Most blacks had property on Franklin Street. For example, Mason’s father’s uncle was one of the richest blacks in Chapel Hill. There was a black motel where famous people stayed. Black people made themselves known to the community, especially through entrepreneurship. He recounts recreation and employment as a teenage boy. He and his friends would try to “stage their own city”; he and his friends staged a sit-in at a restaurant and almost got arrested. He married at the time of the Vietnam War and did not want to go to war for a country that did not care about him. Here, he quotes Muhammad Ali. He shares how everyone in the community was really close to one another. He also shares how “integration was designed to fail us.” Chapel Hill favored whites but not blacks. Mason wishes he had stayed in the black community because he could have really made a difference.

Subject

Mason Jr, David

Type

Oral History

Creator

Marian Cheek Jackson Center

Publisher

Marian Cheek Jackson Center

Date

2008-12-01

Format

MP3 (320000 bitrate)

Language

English

Identifier

LH_0115

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Matthew Miller

Interviewee

Mason, David

Interview Date

2008-12-01

Location

Campus Y Conference Room, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC

Transcription

Not Available.

Duration

58:05

Collection

Citation

Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “David Mason, Jr,” Marian Cheek Jackson Center Oral History Trust, accessed July 11, 2020, https://archives.jacksoncenter.info/LH/LH_0115.