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Oral history interview with Mack Pearsall, May 25, 1988

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Creator:Pearsall, Mack, 1937-
Creator:Campbell, Walter E.
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Mack Pearsall, May 25, 1988
Date:1988 May 25

Mack Pearsall is the son of Thomas J. Pearsall, chair of the North Carolina Advisory Committee on Education that created what came to be known as the Pearsall Plan. Ratified by the General Assembly in 1956, the Pearsall Plan allowed parents to move their children to non-integrated schools or granted them vouchers so that they could send their children to private schools. The younger Pearsall laments that this policy, created in the aftermath of the Brown ruling, cast him and his father as anti-black. He argues that unlike his father's rival, I. Beverly Lake, Thomas Pearsall had a diverse approach to race. Mack Pearsall recalls his father's anguish over this public perception, and insists that the Pearsall Plan served a practical purpose at the time by preventing public school closings. Mack Pearsall goes on to discuss the racial conflicts that arose from the merger of the Rocky Mount and Nash County school systems North Carolina in 1992. Pearsall argues that Rocky Mount residents largely ceased their resistance to the school merger in order to attract industries to the area. As North Carolina's economic footing has changed from an agricultural to a global economic market, Pearsall points to the necessity of higher education for the state's residents. Better job training and a more knowledgeable populace, he argues, will place North Carolinians ahead of competing nations, and will ultimately produce greater racial integration.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

Types:Transcripts | Sound recordings | Oral histories (document genres) | Text | Sound
Subjects:Pearsall, Mack, 1937- | Pearsall, Thomas J. (Thomas Jenkins), 1903-1981 | Businesspeople--North Carolina--Rocky Mount | Landowners--North Carolina--Rocky Mount | School integration--Law and legislation--North Carolina | Education and state--North Carolina | North Carolina--Race relations | North Carolina--Economic policy | Schools--Centralization--North Carolina--Rocky Mount | United States, North Carolina, Nash County, Rocky Mount, 35.9382103, -77.790534 | United States, North Carolina, Nash County
Collection:Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)
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Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/C-0057/menu.html