- Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
- Oral history interview with Lillian Taylor Lyons, September 11, 1994
- Lyons, Lillian Taylor, b. 1902
- Contributor to Resource:
- McCoy, James Eddie (James Edward), 1942-
Southern Oral History Program
- Date of Original:
- African American women--North Carolina--Oxford
Granville County (N.C.)--Race relations
African Americans--North Carolina--Granville County--Social life and customs
African Americans--Education--North Carolina--Oxford
- Lyons, Lillian Taylor, 1902-
- United States, North Carolina, Granville County, 36.30402, -78.65302
United States, North Carolina, Granville County, Oxford, 36.3107, -78.59083
oral histories (literary works)
- Lillian Taylor Lyons was born and raised in Oxford, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century. Lyons begins her interview by describing her family history, reaching back to her parents' experiences in Virginia and North Carolina. Her father was born enslaved in 1850 and accompanied his master with the Confederate army during the Civil War, while her mother was born just on the cusp of the Civil War and, according to Lyons, was not enslaved. After briefly explaining her father's work as an expert carpenter, Lyons shifts to a discussion of her mother's education in a school for African American children in Granville County, North Carolina, which was run by white Canadians following the Civil War. Education was important in Lyons' family, and she describes in some detail how she and her siblings all went to the Mary Potter school in Oxford. Following her own graduation in 1919, Lyons attended college and became a school teacher. In addition to describing her family history, her education, and her work as a teacher, Lyons devotes considerable attention to a discussion of race relations, particularly as it related to skin tone, in Oxford. Oxford was especially "forward-looking" in its views on race relations, as evidenced by the high value placed on African American education, according to Lyons. Researchers interested in the local history of Granville County will find the final third of the interview particularly useful for Lyons' extensive comments on Granville County families and their interactions.
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 Dec. 2, 2008).
Interview participants: Lillian Taylor Lyons, interviewee; Eddie McCoy, 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)