Oral History

James Foushee - On the Civil Rights Movement, family, and Northside

Interviewed by Blanche Brown on April 22, 2012

Foushee speaks on growing up in Northside which includes his educational experiences, and his family overview. He goes into the dynamics of his relationship with his aunt. Furthermore, he talks about his relationship with his neighbor. He takes the listener through the beginning and organization of sit-ins, and his childhood story of separate schooling. He explains the purpose of “The Rock Wall.” Foushee speaks about what happened to the old neighborhood. He and his siblings lived with his aunt in a two-story green house that his great-great grandmother built. His house caught on fire and had to be replicated. He continues to speak about the planning and impacts of major demonstrations. He tells us about his relationship with friends Pat Cusick, John Dunne, and Quinton Baker, and experience in prison. The Civil Rights Movement of Chapel Hill encountered resistance, which Foushee demonstrates in the interview. Moreover, he recounts the problems with the town council and how the bureaucracy system has failed. He explains racism as it discrimination in job applications and discrimination testing when applying for a job. Foushee shares his personal encounters with racism and experiences from Maryland and returning to Chapel Hill. Foushee has had interactions with Reverend J. R. Manley and the First Baptist Church. When it comes to the underlying ideology of Civil Rights, Foushee points out that religion had a major role in the movement. He includes his reaction after Birmingham, Alabama church bombing. The interview provides Mr. Foushee’s brave and stubborn nature and what it brings. He concludes the interview with sharing his experience of an eight-day hunger strike and winning of the Rebecca Clarke Award. 

“You can only know people if you’ve been in their shoes.” Mr. Foushee’s nickname is “T.”

James Foushee - On the Civil Rights Movement, family, and Northside

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Oral history interview of Foushee, James conducted by Brown, Blanche on April 22, 2012 at House of James Foushee, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Thomas, Rashad A..

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “James Foushee - On the Civil Rights Movement, family, and Northside,” From the Rock Wall, accessed September 20, 2021, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/james-foushee-on-the-civil-rights-movement-family-and-northside.

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In this Oral History