Oral History

Keith Edwards - On growing up in Carrboro and the role of teachers

Interviewed by Bob Gilgor on December 14, 2000

“The thing I remember the most coming up in the Black community, the Black community supported the schools, not only financially, but they also supported the schools by parents having involvement in the children’s schooling.”

- Keith Edwards

Keith Edwards was born in 1950 and grew up in Carrboro and Chapel Hill with 10 siblings, where she and her siblings attended public schools. Edwards describes her early school experiences at Northside Elementary as well as her anticipation to attend Lincoln, due to its “electricity,” impressive band and football team, and significance as “the heartbeat of the Black community.” Due to integration she was forced to attend white schools instead of Lincoln, where she was met with mental and physical abuse which only improved after Lincoln fully closed. Edwards describes how many teachers, especially younger ones, had no idea how to deal with this abuse to Black students. Edwards later describes how she dealt with no racial problems whatsoever after moving from Carrboro to the Northside area, because she actually lived on the same street (though a different side) as white people, which made them all feel part of the same community. She contrasts this with her experience living in Carrboro, where the similar economic status (between Black people and poor whites) led to resentment and blame, as the poor whites assumed “by them bein’ white, by right they had to have something.”

Keith Edwards - On growing up in Carrboro and the role of teachers

Keith Edwards - On growing up in Carrboro and the role of teachers

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Oral history interview of Edwards, Keith conducted by Gilgor, Bob on December 14, 2000 at Northside Elementary School, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Allen, Kate.

Citation: Southern Oral History Program, “Keith Edwards - On growing up in Carrboro and the role of teachers,” From the Rock Wall, accessed May 21, 2022, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/keith-edwards-on-growing-up-in-carrboro-and-the-role-of-teachers.

Rights: Researcher must obtain written permission of interviewee, interviewer, director of the Southern Oral History Program, or director of the Chapel Hill Museum for publication.

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