- Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
- Oral history interview with Floyd B. McKissick Sr., May 31, 1989
- McKissick, Floyd B. (Floyd Bixler), 1922-
- Contributor to Resource:
- Kalk, Bruce H., 1963-
Southern Oral History Program
- Date of Original:
- African American civil rights workers--North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
College integration--North Carolina
African Americans--Civil rights--North Carolina
Discrimination in education--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill (N.C.)--Race relations
- McKissick, Floyd B. (Floyd Bixler), 1922-1991
- United States, North Carolina, Orange County, 36.0613, -79.1206
United States, North Carolina, Orange County, Chapel Hill, 35.9132, -79.05584
oral histories (literary works)
- Floyd McKissick was born into a prominent black family in North Carolina. The racism he witnessed and experienced during his formative years and early adulthood, including during his tenure in the Army, had a profound impact in shaping his racial consciousness. After World War II, McKissick enrolled at predominantly black North Carolina College (later known as North Carolina Central University), where he discovered that the resources and facilities were inequitable, leading him to picket the North Carolina legislature to improve conditions there. He discusses how and why he decided to integrate the law school at the University of North Carolina, and he describes his three-year legal battle to enroll there. Once enrolled, he faced more battles, including his struggle to eat at the campus dining facility, and his successful effort to integrate the UNC pool. He received support from two whites, Reverend Charles Jones, pastor of the pro-integration Community Church of Chapel Hill, and Anne Queen, leader of the Campus Y. He also forged a friendship with Daniel Pollitt, a law professor and faculty advisor of the student NAACP. McKissick notes that though white students were afraid of being labeled "nigger lover," they began to accept integration relatively quickly. After completion of law school, McKissick advocated for civil rights and took part in Chapel Hill civil rights demonstrations in the early 1960s. He later worked as the director of the Congress of Racial Equality. McKissick argues that UNC could be doing more to integrate the university. Desegregation's success, he argues, requires the desegregation of faculty and staff, not just of the student body.
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 Oct. 30, 2008).
Interview participants: Floyd B. McKissick, Sr., interviewee; Bruce Kalk, 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)