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Oral history interview with Peter Holmes, April 18, 1991

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Creator:Holmes, Peter (Peter E.)
Creator:Link, William A.
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with Peter Holmes, April 18, 1991
Date:1991 Apr. 18

Peter Holmes became the Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in 1973 and held the position until 1975. Holmes's appointment coincided directly with Judge John H. Pratt's ruling in the Adams v. Richardson case that ten southern states needed to implement more rigorous policies of desegregation. After a brief discussion of how he became director of the OCR, Holmes delves into a description of the various challenges the OCR faced leading up to the Pratt decision in 1973. According to Holmes, the OCR had been primarily concerned with implementing desegregation in elementary and secondary schools, although they had begun to investigate the level of desegregation in higher institutions of education, as well. The Pratt decision, however, necessitated a shifting of the OCR's focus towards developing guidelines for desegregation in southern universities and colleges. The remainder of the interview is devoted to a discussion of the various factors that guided the policy-making process and the various challenges and obstacles the OCR faced in implementing those policies. Because the interview was conducted for a research project on desegregation in North Carolina, Holmes tends to focus on his interactions with North Carolina universities and colleges. In particular, he describes his interactions with and perceptions of William Friday, president of the University of North Carolina system, and he addresses tensions between UNC and the OCR both during and after his own administration. Holmes also devotes considerable attention to interactions between the OCR, the federal court system, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF), and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). Other points of interest include Holmes's response to charges that the OCR was ineffective in implementing and enforcing desegregation and his emphasis on the dual system of higher education in the South as a unique challenge in determining desegregation policies.

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:Holmes, Peter (Peter E.) | Friday, William C. (William Clyde) | United States--Officials and employees | College integration--Government policy--North Carolina | University of North Carolina (System) | Affirmative action programs in education--Southern States | Higher education and state--North Carolina. | United States. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare. Office for Civil Rights.`` | United States, North Carolina, 35.759573, -79.0193 | Southern States, 33.346678, -84.119434
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/L-0168/menu.html