- Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
- Oral history interview with John Harris, September 5, 2002
- Harris, John, 1930-
- Contributor to Resource:
- Taylor, Kieran Walsh
Southern Oral History Program
- Date of Original:
- African American businesspeople--North Carolina--Greensboro
Taxicab drivers--North Carolina--Greensboro
African American neighborhoods--North Carolina--Greensboro
African Americans--North Carolina--Greensboro--Social life and customs
African Americans--North Carolina--Greensboro--Economic conditions
Urban renewal--North Carolina--Greensboro
African Americans--Civil rights--North Carolina--Greensboro
Greensboro (N.C.)--Race relations
- Harris, John, 1930-
- United States, North Carolina, Guilford County, Greensboro, 36.07264, -79.79198
oral histories (literary works)
- John Harris's father founded the Royal Taxi Company in 1934, serving the black community in Greensboro, North Carolina. After a childhood of work and play in the streets of segregated Greensboro, Harris followed his father into the profession, and at the time of this interview in September of 2002, the septuagenarian Harris was still driving. In this interview he describes his childhood in segregated Greensboro, rich in recreation but also redolent with the influence of a workaholic father; his experiences as a cab driver, including his escape from a hold-up; the effects of redevelopment on Greensboro's black community; and the civil rights movement. Harris, after many decades as a cab driver, remains a stable center in a changing community, the proprietor of a black business that weathered the economic pressures of urban renewal and growth. His position enables him to reflect on the pressures on businesspeople in the context of segregation and civil rights.
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 Nov. 20, 2008).
Interview participants: John Harris, interviewee; Kieran Taylor, 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)