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Oral history interview with Clyde Smith, March 17, 1999

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Creator:Smith, Clyde (Clyde T.)
Creator:McGlamery, Reid
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Clyde Smith, March 17, 1999
Date:1999 Mar. 17

Clyde Smith took three coaching positions at Lincolnton High School in Lincoln County, North Carolina, shortly after a "freedom of choice" plan brought black students to the formerly all-white school, and shortly before integration began in earnest. He experienced integration as a coach: the basketball court and the football field were some of the earliest sites of integration. But while sports teams often integrated more smoothly than classrooms because the white community valued athletic ability, some tensions on his squads remained. Black players were frequently undisciplined, he remembers, preferring to goof off on the basketball court rather than run drills, or preferring the glory of Friday night football games to the rewards of Monday morning practice. Eventually, the all-white coaching staff warmed to their black athletes, but not before they dismissed a number of them. Smith offers only one side of the conflict between coaches and players, but his recollections suggest that though their abilities may have eased the integration process, black athletes nonetheless experienced some of the discomforts of the transition.

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:Smith, Clyde (Clyde T.) | Coaches (Athletics)--North Carolina--Lincolnton | School integration--North Carolina--Lincolnton | African American high school students--North Carolina--Lincolnton | High school athletes--North Carolina--Lincolnton--Attitudes | Discrimination in sports -- North Carolina--Lincolnton | Lincolnton (N.C.)--Race relations | African Americans--North Carolina--Lincolnton--Social conditions | United States, North Carolina, Lincolnton | United States, North Carolina, Lincoln 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/K-0443/menu.html