James Atwater - talks about the Pottersfield neighborhood in Chapel Hill and influential teachers at Lincoln High School

Interviewed by Bob Gilgor on March 30, 2001
This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s Lincoln High School, the historically black secondary school that closed in 1962 when a school desegregation plan was implemented. Interviewees discuss African American life and race relations in Chapel Hill, as well as education, discipline, extracurricular activities, and high school social life before and after integration. James Atwater's interview includes the following topics: growing up in Chapel Hill; Lincoln High School; President Franklin Roosevelt; “Potter’s Field” neighborhood in Chapel Hill; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; UNC-CH relations with the African American community; welfare policy; juvenile reform schools; Orange County Training School; alcoholism; French teacher, Mrs. Turner; Mr. R.D. Smith, agriculture instructor; New Farmers of America; Lincoln High Principal, Mr. McDougle; discipline at Lincoln High; music teacher, Mr. Pickard; lack of resources at Lincoln High.

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This interview is part of a project conducted by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate and undergraduate students in a 2001 oral history course. Topics include Chapel Hill's efforts to end racial segregation in the public schools; the process of creating integrated institutions; and the ways in which the…