David Mason, Jr. - On Lincoln High School, school desegregation, and NorthsideInterviewed by Matt Miller on December 10, 2008
David Mason, Jr. a lifetime resident of Chapel Hill, is one of the leaders of the Lincoln High Alumni Association, an active member of St. Joseph CME, and a community historian. This interview, conducted as part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History’s local Life Histories series, was focused on David Mason Jr.’s reflections on Lincoln High School, school desegregation, and the essential elements of the Northside community. Mason talks about spheres of influences such as Gil Gore, Guy B. Phillips, Willie D. Bradshaw, R.D. Smith, Big John, E.A. Brown, and Thurman Couch. Mason also speaks on oral history and the traditions of black people. In his spare time he attends the The Pines and Finley Golf Course. The interview progresses to include segregation and integration of Lincoln High School and Chapel Hill High School. Athletics make up a portion of the discussion of education. Integrated snowball fights are even a topic. He shares the experiences he had with teachers and coaches. He notes the influence of Lillian Robinson. Furthermore, in speaking on education, Mason talks about music education, and teacher and student meetings. The safety of black people in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, economic dynamics of Carrboro residents are important interview topics in discussing racism. Mason’s interview concludes with sharing experiences of waiting tables, the closing of Lincoln High School, sit-ins, Colonial Drug Store, student discipline, his brother, and his own career.
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