- Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
- Oral history interview with Clyde Smith, March 17, 1999
- Smith, Clyde (Clyde T.)
- Contributor to Resource:
- McGlamery, Reid
Southern Oral History Program
- Date of Original:
- 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
- Smith, Clyde (Clyde T.)
- United States, North Carolina, Lincoln County, 35.48618, -81.22387
United States, North Carolina, Lincoln County, Lincolnton, 35.47375, -81.25453
oral histories (literary works)
- 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.
- Metadata URL:
- Title from menu page (viewed on November 10, 2008).
Interview participants: Clyde Smith, interviewee; Reid McGlamery, interviewer.
This electronic edition is part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South. It is a part of the collection Oral histories of the American South.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner.
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers.
- Contributing Institution:
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)