Oral History

David Caldwell, Jr. - On his education, sports experience, and family's involvement in law enforcement and the military

Interviewed by Della Pollock and Anna Spencer and Kathryn Wall on June 2, 2021

"That's what I try to instill, doing what’s right when no one is looking."

- David Caldwell, Jr.

David Caldwell is a native of Chapel Hill and long time community organizer and activist in the Rogers Road community. Mr. Caldwell brought materials to be scanned during the interview, and large portions of the interview related to those materials, which included photographs, maps, and newspaper clippings among other materials. The materials covered a range of topics which were discussed throughout the interview. The interview begins with Caldwell explaining the historical items he brought, their origins, and his vision for the usage of the materials. Throughout the interview he discusses his family’s involvement in law enforcement and in military service. Caldwell tells several stories related to the Invasion of Grenada, racial demographics and dynamics of the military, and the treatment of Black veterans. At various points during the interview Caldwell discusses his education growing up in Chapel Hill. He recalls the importance of education, as well as the sports he played while in middle and high school. Caldwell recalls his civics teacher, Joyce Clayton, who began a Black history class at Chapel Hill High School and remembers her as an inspiration. Throughout the interview, Caldwell describes the materials he has related to the history of Orange county and discusses the history of poor houses within the county. Towards the end of the interview, Caldwell tells the story of him and his friends playing pick-up basketball against some UNC football and basketball players while they were in high school. The interview confluences with Caldwell discussing the racial dynamics of playing sports in Chapel Hill including discussing the football game played between Chapel Hill High School and Lincoln High School before integration, his lack of access to courts to play on, and police involvement in pick up games with UNC players.

David Caldwell, Jr. - On his education, sports experience, and family's involvement in law enforcement and the military

Oral history interview of Caldwell, Jr., David conducted by Pollock, Della on June 2, 2021 at Home of David Caldwell, Jr., Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Broun, Rachel.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “David Caldwell, Jr. - On his education, sports experience, and family's involvement in law enforcement and the military,” From the Rock Wall, accessed April 18, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/david-caldwell-jr-4.

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