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0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: HT:Today is Friday, June 7, 2013, and I'm in Jackson Library with Dorothy Moore-Duncan, Class of '69, and we're here to conduct an oral history interview for the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection's African American Institutional Memory Project.

Segment Synopsis: Interview introduction

0:25 - Background and family

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Partial Transcript: HT: Let's get the interview started by my asking you something about your childhood: when and where you were born, and a little bit about your family.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her early life and family, including her parents professions in education.

2:49 - Decision to attend UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Right, and when you chose UNCG, what did they think about that?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her decision to attend UNCG, including a desire to move away from home. Moore-Duncan also describes attending "Saturday School" at Bennett College during high school.

5:15 - Men on UNCG's campus (part 1)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now when you got here, it had already been integrated a few years, and men were accepted and came in the fall of '64, but it still had a lot of the traditions of Woman's College, I assume, by the time you got here.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her memories of a few of the male students on campus at UNCG.

6:29 - Growing up in Robeson County

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what was it like growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s in North Carolina.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes growing up in Robeson County, including the segregation and the farming community.

10:54 - Favorite subjects

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, when you were in high school, do you recall what your favorite subjects were?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her favorite subjects in high school, and her major of Political Science in college.

11:49 - Living in the dorms

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what do you recall about your first days on campus in, I guess, the Fall, or '65, you said?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her first days on campus, including life in the dorms with the other black students.

15:45 - Transition from high school to college

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, was it much of a transition for you from high school in southeastern North Carolina to, sort of, an urban school like UNCG?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes how attending summer school at Bennett made the transition to college easier for her.

17:05 - Studying political science

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, you said that biology was your favorite program when you were in high school, and you sort of changed your mind, once you got here, to political science.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes studying political science at UNCG and then going to get her law degree.

19:34 - Rules and regulations

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Partial Transcript: HT: We've already touched on this a little bit: living in the dorm. What was it like, living in the dorm in the mid-1960s?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan briefly describes the dorm regulations in the mid 1960s, including her approval of the rules.

20:30 - Dining Hall

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Partial Transcript: HT: And what about the dining hall food? What are your recollections of the dining hall food?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan briefly describes her memories of the dining hall food.

21:03 - Social activities

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now what about social activities? Did you participate in social activities on campus, or did you have to go over to A&T to participate, or to Bennett to participate?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan briefly describes going to A&T for some social activities, including a Dionne Warwick concert and the Neo-Black Society.

23:34 - Campus traditions

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Partial Transcript: HT: What do you recall about campus traditions such as Rat Day, Jacket Day, Ring Day-?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her memories of several university traditions, including Graduation Day and Rat Day.

26:50 - CLEO program

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, tell me about this program at Wayne State.

DM: That was called the CLEO program-

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes the CLEO (Council on Legal Education) program and preparing to go to law school.

29:52 - Attending law school

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Partial Transcript: HT: And then I guess you decided, after taking this CLEO program, that you wanted to go on to law school.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes attending Temple Law School in Philadelphia.

31:30 - Working as a lawyer

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Partial Transcript: HT: And then after you graduated, what was the next step for you?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her career as a lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board.

35:44 - Men on UNCG's campus (part 2)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, if we can backtrack to UNCG for just a minute: I think we've already touched on this a little bit, but when you came in the mid-sixties, there were very few men on campus.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan continues to describe the men on UNCG's campus that she remembers.

36:41 - Politics in Greensboro in the 1960s

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what was the political life or political atmosphere like on campus in the sixties? Do you have any recollection of that?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes a garbage worker strike in Greensboro, and the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

39:52 - Discrimination at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, we've already talked about the Neo-Black Society which was founded in '68, about the time you were getting ready to leave, really.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her memories of discrimination at UNCG, from students and staff.

41:45 - Administrators

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Partial Transcript: HT: Do you recall Ada Fisher, Class of '70, by any chance? Dr. Ada Fisher.

DM: Vaguely, yes, I do.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her memories of UNCG administration.

43:11 - Memories of professors

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, can you tell me anything about some of your professors that you can recall? Do you have any specific memories of any of your professors?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan briefly describes her memories of her professors.

44:05 - Retirement

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, after you graduated, I know you went on to law school, and you worked fro the National Labor Relations Board for all these years. You say you just retired recently.

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her plans for retirement.

45:37 - Involvement with UNCG after graduation

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, have you been involved with UNCG since you graduated?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan describes her involvement with UNCG after graduation, including showing UNCG to her daughter considering college.

46:18 - Thoughts about UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what do you want people to know about your time at UNCG?

Segment Synopsis: Moore-Duncan shares what she wants people to know about her UNCG experience, specifically that it was able to make her stronger for her career in labor relations.

48:18 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: HT:Well, I don't have any more formal questions for you. Do you have anything that you would like to add that we haven't covered this afternoon?

Segment Synopsis: Interview conclusion.

0:00

HT: Today is Friday, June 7, 2013, and I'm in Jackson Library with Dorothy Moore-Duncan, Class of '69, and we're here to conduct an oral history interview for the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection's African American Institutional Memory Project. Thank you so much for coming all the way from Philadelphia to visit us today, and we're glad to have you are on campus again.

DM: Well, thank you.

HT: Let's get the interview started by my asking you something about your childhood: when and where you were born, and a little bit about your family.

DM: I was born in 1948 in a small town called Rowland, North Carolina, near the South Carolina border. That's in Robeson County. I am the third of four children. I have two older sisters, and a younger brother. My parents were schoolteachers, and they both taught in the public school system, initially in 1:00Robeson County, and we moved when I was a third-grader, I think, to Montgomery County where my mother taught school, and my father taught school in Wadesboro, North Carolina, and I graduated from high school at Peabody High School in Troy, North Carolina. And of course undergraduate school here at UNCG.

HT: What did your parents teach? High school, elementary.

DM: My father taught high school, and my mother taught elementary school. My mother ended up being the superintendent of the elementary schools for Montgomery County. As a matter of fact, my mother was one of the first teachers 2:00that desegregated the teaching staff at the schools. She was moved from Peabody Elementary School over to what then was the predominantly white elementary school in Troy. She taught reading and some other special [topics] that I don't remember, and thereafter she became the superintendent of the elementary education center.

HT: I assume that education was always very important to your family.

DM: Absolutely. As I've said before, my parents' philosophy was: it wasn't a question of if you went to college; it was which college were you going to attend. Yes, so it was very important.

HT: And when you chose UNCG, what did they think about that?

DM: You know, they didn't say anything much about the selection of UNCG. One 3:00back-story is my father attended A&T, and when he was a student there, he used to work at what was Woman's College at the time. He used to work here. Now doing what-I'm sure he probably told me, I just don't remember what it was now-but I think he was happy I was attending here. And I think my mom didn't express any view one way or the other as long as it was a school that I was happy with the choice.

HT: And what were the circumstances around why you chose to come here as opposed to A&T perhaps, or Bennett College, or Shaw [University], or a historically black school?

DM: It didn't surprise me when you mentioned Bennett. I attended Bennett during high school. They had what was called the "Saturday School," and you would take the regular college courses at Bennett, and if you chose to attend Bennett, they 4:00would give you credit for those courses taken at the Saturday School. And I had attended the Saturday School for at least two, maybe three years. I'm not quite sure how many years now. But by the time I finished high school, I think I had been at Bennett long enough; at least that's the perception of a seventeen year old, and I didn't want to go to Bennett. I didn't want to go to A&T because my dad had gone to A&T-all kinds of superficial things that a seventeen-year-old thinks about. And it was close to home, and when I expressed a desire to go someplace further from home, my dad said, "Yes, well okay, that's fine, but you come home once a year." And so I don't know whether I can say it was UNCG by default. It was also the era when schools were becoming desegregated and it was 5:00at a time when you were looking for what we deemed, at that moment, a quality education, and this was one of the very good schools in the area.

HT: Now when you got here, it had already been integrated a few years, and men were accepted and came in the fall of '64, but it still had a lot of the traditions of Woman's College, I assume, by the time you got here.

DM: Well, yes. I came in 1965, and, yes, there were still a lot of traditions. I think there were very few males on campus. They were, by and large, town students, I guess is what we used to designate that, and they didn't have any-I don't think they had dorms available for male students at the time.

HT: I think they had one.

DM: Maybe so.

HT: But very few.

DM: Very few, and I can only remember three African American men at the time who 6:00were here.

HT: Charles Cole [Class of 1969].

DM: Yes.

HT: Larry McAdoo [Class of 1968] and I think-

DM: Jon-and I can't remember his last name. [Jon McKinley Brawner, Class of 1970]

HT: I think it was Reginald. I'm not sure. But yes, there were very few white guys on campus and even fewer African American guys. It was just almost unheard of. Well, what was it like growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s in North Carolina.

DM: It was very segregated. I grew up in small rural communities. In Robeson County, it was primarily made up of African Americans, whites, and Indians, and it was a farming community, and so it wasn't-in that sense-very prosperous. I 7:00have to-Now it's really a poor community because a lot of the farming is not done there anymore. And so I think, when I go back to Robeson County, it's very sad that there's nothing, no industry there, and no jobs there for people. Growing up in Troy, which was a little more populated, but the population of the town probably might be thirty-five hundred people or maybe a little more than that. Again, it's a segregated community: Black folk lived on one side of town; white folk lived on the other side of town and never the twain should meet. It seems to be different now, and you have not only African Americans and whites: you have an Asian population, and you also have a Hispanic population, and 8:00that's very different from what it was when I grew up. If I can go back for a minute: When I was a child in Robeson County, we used to have a lot of-because it was such a large farming community-a lot of migrant labor coming through Rowland. I don't know when that migrant labor stopped coming through there, but, you know, maybe it was when the industry-the farming industry-started to slow down, because then there was no need for a lot of migrant labor. But you know my parents owned a farm so we worked on the farm even though they taught school. We worked on the farm and so we did things like harvesting tobacco, picking cotton, picking tomatoes, those kind of thing, and they used migrant labor also but, again, I don't know when all that stopped.

HT: Let's see, you mentioned that there's very little or no industry down there so I'm assuming it's still very rural and agricultural.

9:00

DM: In Rowland it is still rural and it's still agricultural, but it seems to be a combination of farms now, and unless you have, I think, a contract with a tobacco company, I don't know that tobacco is planted in such great numbers anymore. It see soybeans when I go down there but I get down there infrequently and so I'm not down there in the summer when most of the growing would happen, so I'm not quite sure what they do in that area anymore. I just know when I look around at people, they don't seem to have employment. Around the Troy area, there used to be a lot of textile places, and those are no longer there either. There used to be furniture places, of course, in the High Point area. That seems 10:00not to be there anymore. All of those things seem to have gone offshore.

HT: We have lost so much of that in the last ten to fifteen years. Textiles have moved overseas. Furniture-well, some furniture is still made, but a lots of that's gone.

DM: A lot of it has gone offshore too. And in Troy it looks like it's a lot of, you know, service industry. There's some healthcare institutions around there, like some nursing homes, and hospitals, so you have that, but I don't see a lot else around that area.

HT: I notice so many of the rural areas here in North Carolina have really suffered. There's a lot of poverty and that sort of thing.

DM: Yes, I think so.

HT: It's a shame.

DM: It truly is.

HT: It truly is, yes, and it's particularly in the eastern part of North Carolina, southeastern. It's terrible. Well, when you were in high school, do you recall what your favorite subjects were?

11:00

DM: Yes, it was probably biology, chemistry, math.

HT: And were you going to major in anything specific in high school-I mean, I'm sorry-in college when you got here?

DM: Yes, as a matter of fact, I started off as biology major and took the basic biology courses and [changes tone of voice] I don't think so. I switched my major to political science.

HT: Very quickly.

DM: It didn't take long.

HT: So was it just political science or political science and history?

DM: I think it was just political science.

HT: Political science.

DM: I didn't do a double major or a-If I did a minor, I don't remember, okay.

HT: Well, what do you recall about your first days on campus in, I guess, the fall, or '65, you said?

DM: Yes. It was a little bit scary, but I guess it is for anybody who's starting 12:00out on a new path.

HT: Had you been to campus prior to that?

DM: I don't think I did. I don't think I came to campus before that. So my first day was my first day. My roommate freshman year was-Is it okay to use names?

HT: Oh, yes.

DM: Alice McCollum [Class of 1969] and so when I walked in the room that day, she introduced herself, and she was crying because her parents had dropped her off at college and left. It's funny, and maybe one of your prior interviewees has told you that there were five of us during the course of that time who bonded and have remained friends from 1965 to this day. And Alice is one of 13:00those people that I bonded with, or one of the five that I bonded with during that time period. We were roommates our freshman year; we weren't roommates after that, but the friendship has lasted. She's now a probate court judge in Dayton, Ohio.

HT: And which dorm were you in, and were all the black students in one dorm? How did that work?

DM: No, all the black students were not in one dorm, but the university seemed to have gone to great pains to make sure that the black students were rooming together so that there was one student whose-and there were [unclear] required to submit photos with your application-and one of the young women's photo, she was very fair, and so I think they thought she was not African American, so she was put in the room with two other young women who happened to have been white. 14:00And when they discovered the error, it was, "Oops, the computer made a mistake," and she was moved into a room with two African American freshmen. I didn't have that problem because I was paired with Alice but, as I said, I think that there was malice aforethought in whom to put as roommates, but we were not all in the same dorm.

HT: So you just had one roommate, and there were not two other students.

DM: No, I had just one roommate, and I was in Coit Hall.

HT: I guess you've heard that Coit has been-Well, all the Quad has been renovated?

DM: I'd heard that.

HT: Maybe you'll get a chance to see that afterwards if it's not raining too much. They've done a beautiful job.

DM: Oh, great.

HT: Very nice. So, who was your roommate in subsequent years; sophomore.

15:00

DM: My sophomore year was Thomasine Oliver [Class of 1969], and my junior year and senior year was Cynthia Inman [Class of 1969]-well, it was Farrell at the time, Cynthia Farrell.

HT: And did you enjoy having these roommates?

DM: Oh, yes. They were-And it's just like roommates. Every now and then we had a little tiff, but it's like sisters.

HT: That's right.

DM: You have an argument and you get over it.

HT: Well, was it much of a transition for you from high school in southeastern North Carolina to, sort of, an urban school like UNCG?

DM: No, it wasn't because I had gone to Bennett. My mom would-or my dad, one of 16:00the two, mostly my mom, I think-would bring me up on Saturday mornings, and I'd be here all day. There were summer programs that my parents insisted that we attend some sort of summer program. They gave us a choice: either you worked, or you found a summer program to attend so-But my sisters and my brother and I, too, used to attend things like the National Science Foundation Institute. Bennett would have a summer program. I think I probably attended a Bennett program, so in those programs you would have to live in the dorm for either six weeks or four weeks. So we attended programs like that. My parents one summer sent my-One of my older sisters and me to Cincinnati, and we took summer school courses at a high school in Cincinnati with my aunt. So we would do things like that so it wasn't that big a transition.

17:00

HT: Well, you said that biology was your favorite program when you were in high school, and you sort of changed your mind, once you got here, to political science.

DM: Yes.

HT: How did you discover political science?

DM: Oh, you ask a good question there. I have not a clue. I don't know how I discovered political science. I can only remember that my advisor was a political science professor, and that was-I don't know whether she's still here or not?-was Margaret Hunt [political science faculty].

HT: I've heard the name.

DM: Yes.

HT: Well, maybe she influenced you.

DM: I wish I could say I remember. I honestly do not, but that's altogether possible.

HT: So did you take a political science course in your freshman year, or was that something you started in your sophomore? Do you recall?

DM: Oh, you test my memory.

18:00

HT: Somewhere along the way.

DM: I'm sure I may have. I just really don't remember.

HT: So that must have piqued your interest once you got into this particular field.

DM: Yes, I did because I graduated with a BA in political science, and then after that law school.

HT: Well, that was a good course to take, it sounds like.

DM: Well, you know now that I have practiced for the number of years that I have, I would-if I could step back with the knowledge I have now-I would not have majored in political science, because I now conclude that the better path if you wanted to go to law school would be courses in logic, or math, even music because it teaches your brain to think in a different manner, and so I think that's-and even the sciences, I think, would have been a good course of study if 19:00you wanted to go to law school. Now Alice said that when I walked into the room that first day, I said I wanted to go to law school. I don't remember that, but she says I did, and so I have no reason to doubt her. And so maybe that was the path I was thinking about to begin with. I really don't know.

HT: We've already touched on this a little bit: living in the dorm. What was it like, living in the dorm in the mid-1960s? This is in relationship to rules and regulations and things like that.

DM: We had curfews. I guess I didn't find any problem with living in the dorms during the '60s, as a matter of fact. I guess I'm conservative in the sense that 20:00I think rules are a good thing for youngsters, because I think sometimes when you have a little too much freedom and you don't know how to control that, you get out of control.

HT: Did you have rules and regulations at home?

DM: Oh, absolutely. No, you were not free to do what you wanted, when you wanted, where you wanted. Not if you wanted to live to see the next day.

HT: And what about the dining hall food? What are your recollections of the dining hall food?

DM: I just remember that the food in the dining hall was wonderful. It was-Whoever was in the back cooking was doing a tremendous job.

HT: So you always got enough food.

DM: Always got enough food, and despite what people might say about institutional food, the institutional food at the time that I was here was great.

21:00

HT: Now what about social activities? Did you participate in social activities on campus, or did you have to go over to A&T to participate, or to Bennett to participate?

DM: We went over to A&T to participate in social activities. I mean there were some things that I remember that-only one thing in particular. Dionne Warwick used to come do a concert here every-annually-and I would go to that concert, and there were one or two other things. Sometime the Neo-Black Society might then have sponsored something. I probably attended that, but by and large, we went over to A&T.

HT: Well, speaking of the Neo-Black Society, were you a founding member by any chance?

DM: No, I wasn't. I was here when it got started because it was in its infancy at the time.

HT: Right, in '68, 1968.

DM: Yes, so I attended functions but in terms of any role; in terms of being an officer, or anything: I don't recall that I did any of that, but-

22:00

HT: But you actually joined.

DM: Yes, I was a member, but not in any leadership capacity.

HT: Do you remember Betty Cheek [Class of 1968]?

DM: I do remember Betty and her sister-

HT: Yvonne [Cheek, Class of 1967].

DM: Yvonne, because they were upperclassmen at the time we were here. But I'm sure I haven't seen either one of them since I was here.

HT: They both live in Minneapolis. I interviewed them about a year ago. And they promised me-There's going to be a forty-fifth anniversary for the Neo-Black Society celebration this fall, and they promised they would come back. Of course this is all gearing up for the fiftieth anniversary which is coming up in about five years, so anyway.

DM: That's very nice.

HT: Hopefully they will be able to make it, because they're still working part-time, consulting and that sort of thing. Well, what about extra-curricular 23:00activities on campus: intramurals and-?

DM: I don't think I did-

HT: Sports and that sort of thing.

DM: No, I, you know, it was just class.

HT: Now did you work on campus by any chance?

DM: No, I did not have to work during the time I was an undergraduate. I was fortunate.

HT: Well, school is a fulltime job.

DM: Yes, it is, and I was fortunate enough that my parents could-And I'm sure they struggled-but they could pay tuition and give me spending money.

HT: What do you recall about campus traditions such as Rat Day, Jacket Day, Ring Day-?

DM: I remember Jacket Day. As a matter of fact, I still have my jacket. I found it in a closet.

HT: Is it still in good shape?

DM: Surprisingly, it was, and I had it cleaned just because I found it that day so I could show it to my daughter. And I remember Rat Day, and I remember Ring Day.

24:00

HT: Do you recall any specific things about those days that stick in your mind?

DM: No just-The only ones, the only thing I really do remember is-and I'm not sure with what precision-is Jacket Day because our jackets were navy blue and others were camel and, I think, green, and I know there was another color.

HT: Red.

DM: Yes, okay.

HT: And it rotated every four years.

DM: Yes, that I remember, and there was a ceremony associated with Jacket Day, but that's about all. Rat Day, I think, was just kind of fun.

HT: It was a hazing event. Incoming freshmen were required to put on a little rat ears, and they had to obey any kind of rules sophomores would tell them. And 25:00they had something kind of like, Bow down to me. I understand if you met a male professor on campus, you had to, sometimes, ask the male professor to marry you, or something like that.

DM: And I remember some of the activities took place on the Quad, but that's about all. It's been too many years.

HT: Now what about the Junior Show? Did you participate in that when you were a junior?

DM: I doubt it. At least if I did, I have no memory of it.

HT: And do you recall the Daisy Chain when you graduated, where they had two lines of-I think they were juniors or sophomore-who would hold this huge chain of daisies and ivy, and seniors would march through them in the commencement ceremony?

DM: I do not. I remember on graduation day, it was hot, and that George McGovern was the speaker, and that's all I remember. I don't-You know, that was a haze. I 26:00got through that day, and then my-you know, my parents were there, and right after graduation exercises, we left and went back home because I-That summer I was going to a program at Wayne State University in Detroit that was recruiting law students, and so I left. I went home that day, and I left shortly after that to go to Wayne State, so that day was a haze.

HT: And you probably said, "Whew, I've finished all that."

DM: That's exactly-That was exactly what it was. That phase is over with; now on to the next thing.

HT: Well, tell me about this program at Wayne State.

DM: That was called the CLEO program-

HT: How do you spell that?

DM: C-L-E O: It's an acronym for Council on Legal Education Opportunity. And I 27:00think that program still exists. It's to recruit minority students to go to law school, and so we were-And Alice also. I went to Wayne State, and Alice went to the University of Cincinnati in the same program, because these programs were all over the country.

HT: And how did you find out about this?

DM: You know, a young man who was-had gone to Carolina, I think, talked to us about going to law school, and attending the CLEO program, and I think that's how I found out about it. He was an African American student at Carolina, and maybe had finished Carolina, and maybe he had gone to the CLEO program.

HT: So he came to campus and spoke?

DM: I don't know whether he was at campus and spoke or whether he was a friend 28:00of some of the women on campus and he just happened to be talking about it. He might have been from Durham, which is where Alice is from, and maybe he talked to Alice about it, and the two of us-You know, I don't remember the particulars, but I think that's how we found out about CLEO.

HT: When did you realize that you wanted to become a lawyer?

DM: Well, Alice said I said it my freshman year.

HT: But you didn't know about it.

DM: I didn't. I didn't know about it until I probably got close to my senior year, and I didn't know whether I wanted to go immediately or not, but after undergraduate school, I had done some interviewing, and I'd gotten a job offer to work in New York. And I was going to be sharing an apartment with someone in 29:00Yonkers. And going to New York absolutely scared me to death, and when I got accepted in the CLEO program, I said, "Well, that's it. I'm not going to Yonkers because I'm going to the CLEO program."

HT: And was this CLEO program all summer long?

DM: Yes, it was six or eight weeks.

HT: And what did you learn there?

DM: It was kind of a precursor to law school, so you would take multiple courses. You'd take exams, and so it was to kind of introduce you to what law school would be all about; teach you study habits; how to brief a case; those kind of things that you don't know until you walk through a law school door.

HT: And then I guess you decided, after taking this CLEO program, that you wanted to go on to law school.

DM: I did, and I applied-I don't know how many law schools I applied to but I 30:00got a call from Peter Liacouras, who was a professor at Temple's law school, who subsequently became dean of Temple Law School, and then the president of the university, so Peter recruited me to go to Temple, as well as some other students from CLEO programs, not the one that I attended but in other parts of the country.

HT: So you went that fall.

DM: Yes, I went to Temple that fall. The spelling of his last name is L-I-A-C-O-U-R-A-S.

HT: Okay, thank you. And what was law school like for you?

DM: I hated law school. I think probably most people do. It was reading; it was 31:00analyzing; it consumed the entirety of your life, but you get through it, and so if you're committed to it, it's like anything else. You don't have to love it; you have to do it because that's your craft.

HT: And so you did that for three years. Is that correct?

DM: Yes.

HT: And then after you graduated, what was the next step for you?

DM: I started-Well, I took the bar exam in Pennsylvania, and I took a bar review course before that. And I finished the bar exam on a Thursday, and I started working for the National Labor Relations Board on that Monday. And I started there as a field attorney.

32:00

HT: In Philadelphia.

DM: In Philadelphia.

HT: So you never had any desire to come back to North Carolina to practice?

DM: No, but I still might do that, because I've now retired. I worked for the National Labor Relations Board a total of forty and one half years. And the last fifteen years, I was the regional director for the Philadelphia office of the National Labor Relations Board, and we covered eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware. That was the geographic area covered by the Philadelphia regional office. It is, in this eastern megalopolis, one of the more important offices on the East Coast. You've got difficult cases, big cases, 33:00and so it was what I called a labor of love, and I loved working for the National Labor Relations Board.

HT: Now is that a governmental agency, or-

DM: It's a Federal agency;

HT: A Federal agency, okay.

DM: It regulates relationships between unions, employers, and employees, and administers one statute: the National Labor Relations Act. I don't want to do too much philosophizing but it gives employees the right to join unions and organize on behalf of unions or to refrain doing that, or to engage in activities for mutual aid and protection, and a lot of employees don't know they have the rights to do that, and so this statute protects employees' rights to engage in that activity. Employers have rights and unions have rights, and so my 34:00job as regional director was to head that office. We ranged from seventy to fifty attorneys and field examiners. Our field examiners were not attorneys who did the same kind of work that our attorneys did, except the formal legal work, so it was to manage and run that office, and make decisions as to whether people committed unfair labor practices or not, and to conduct elections to determine whether employees wanted to have union representation.

HT: So did you appear in court or did you work behind the scenes?

DM: Well, I did both. When I started, I did investigations and litigation; and when I ended, I headed the office.

35:00

HT: So you had quite a few people working for you; you supervised quite a few?

DM: Yes, we had a staff of seventy-It had ranged from seventy to fifty. In times of budgetary difficulty or if the case intake dropped, then we'd usually lose people by attrition. Sometimes people just took jobs in the private sector.

HT: You never thought about starting your own law firm?

DM: Nobody ever made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I just-I happened to have liked being a neutral, and that's what the National Labor Relations Board was; it's a neutral agency.

HT: Well, if we can backtrack to UNCG for just a minute: I think we've already touched on this a little bit, but when you came in the mid-sixties, there were very few men on campus. Do you have a recollections specifically about some of the African American men on campus? We've already mentioned their names, but did you ever have any classes with them or-?

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DM: I don't think so. I don't think any of them were political science majors, and I don't think-Well, I think Charles might have been in my class. I think Larry was ahead of me, and you mentioned-whether it was Jon or Reginald-I don't remember whether he was in the class of '69 or before or after.

HT: I can't remember either. He's either '69 or '70.

DM: I don't remember having any class with either of those.

HT: Well, what was the political life or political atmosphere like on campus in the sixties? Do you have any recollection of that?

DM: I really don't. I must confess, when I came to UNCG, I was seventeen years old, and through the eyes of a seventeen-year-old-which means I finished here 37:00when I was, I had just probably turned-I turned seventeen just before I came, so by the time I left, I had just-would turn twenty-one that summer-so during that seventeen to twenty, twenty-one period, I think your vision is not particularly astute.

HT: In the time that you were here, so many of the things like the Greensboro Sit-ins had already taken place in 1960. There were some protests on Tate Street in '63 to integrate the theater over there and the shops and that sort of thing, so you missed all that. And then was an ARA strike on campus. Do you have any recollection of that? That was in '69, and I can't remember if that was-It might have been after you left, because I can't remember what time of the year that happened.

DM: I don't remember a strike when I was here. Only-On campus. I do remember a strike at Gilbarco, and there was a trash strike-trash haulers strike-in 38:00Greensboro. That's the first time I had ever heard anything about unions, and that's-Maybe that might have piqued my interest in unionization when I went to law school, other than taking a course. There were some riots when Dr. King was killed, and we got calls-At least some of us got calls, and I don't remember whether I specifically or word just spread around campus-from A&T saying, "You guys get out of there because we're coming over that way next." But the university, because of the riots, I think, shut down and told everybody to go home, if I remember correctly.

HT: That sounds about right. Of course that happened in '68, and there were so many assassinations during the sixties, starting with President John F. Kennedy. It just seemed like it never ended. Do you have any recollections of that series 39:00of assassinations, and all the turmoil that was going on in the sixties?

DM: Just the-at least on campus-just the King assassination on campus. I remember when Kennedy was assassinated. It was before I came.

HT: You were still in high school.

DM: I was still in high school at the time. I, you know, now in hindsight, I do know. But I perceived McGovern as a pacifist, but I really don't remember the content of his speech for graduation. So in terms of the political atmosphere, I, other than just very much generalizations, I can't give you anything specific.

HT: Well, we've already talked about the Neo-Black Society which was founded in '68, about the time you were getting ready to leave, really. You graduated just 40:00a few-Do you have any specific recollections about the Neo-Black Society: what they were involved in, what they were trying to do at that time when they were getting started?

DM: No, other than just as a general matter. It was kind of a camaraderie and a kind of safe place for African American students to promote. I hate to say our general welfare, because there was an air of discrimination, and there's nothing specific that I can tell you about except black students were not wanted on campus, and there were-Some people, I don't' know that anything specifically happened to me, but for others it was made-It was made very clear sometimes by professors, sometime by other students, that you were not welcome.

HT: But you never had anything specifically aimed toward you?

41:00

DM: Other than this one class that I had where, as I said, a professor made some remark that was denigrating African Americans, and a white student in class spoke up and said, "You know that's not right," and whoever she was, looked at me and said, "Hey, help me out here. You know what he's saying isn't right," and that's where my memory shuts down. I don't remember what happened after that. That's the one specific that I can tell you about, but it was a generalized atmosphere of not wanting African American students here.

HT: Do you recall Ada Fisher, Class of '70, by any chance? Dr. Ada Fisher.

DM: Vaguely, yes, I do.

HT: Because she was a real leader, and I think she talked to the Chancellor Ferguson about some situations on campus, and I think they worked some things out, so-She was a very active-a true activist on campus.

42:00

DM: You know, I can't dispute it. You know what: it's been forty-some years.

HT: If you were asking me these questions, I'd say, "What."

DM: Well, and that's why I tell you, sometimes I don't have and over the course of the years you learn not to misstate, and if your memory is vague, it is what it is. And as I mature, it gets vaguer and vaguer.

HT: Well, I just mentioned Chancellor Ferguson who was the chancellor while you were here. Do you have any recollection of him; every meeting him.

DM: I would see him around campus, but no.

HT: What about Vice Chancellor Mereb Mossman, or any of the other administrators?

DM: Oh, gee, I remember the name, but-

HT: There's actually a building on campus named in her honor.

DM: Yes, but in terms of meeting her, you know what, I really don't have any recollection of that.

43:00

HT: And there was a very famous dean of students. Her name was Katherine Taylor who was actually a graduate of the school.

DM: I remember the name, yes, but that's about it.

HT: Well, can you tell me anything about some of your professors that you can recall? Do you have any specific memories of any of your professors?

DM: Other than Dr. Hunt, that's the only one I can really recall. And I did have a professor, a male professor, who was a retired attorney, and he taught, I think maybe, a history course or political science course, but I don't recall his name. But those are the only two that I can recall. And I guess I was impressed by the fact that he was a retired attorney, and that he was now teaching in undergraduate school. I kind of-It was a disconnect. I couldn't figure it out why, but, you know, I don't think I ever asked the question. I now 44:00see that lawyers do all kinds of things, so-

HT: Well, after you graduated, I know you went on to law school, and you worked for the National Labor Relations Board for all these years. You say you just retired recently.

DM: Yes.

HT: What are your future plans?

DM: I don't know. I have just finished my last commitment about three weeks ago, and so now I think I have some time to kind of reflect and figure it out. I might do some arbitrations; I might do some mediations. I got a-I plan to get admitted to the North Carolina bar because my family still owns a lot of real estate here, and I thought that I should probably do that. I'd like to probably travel some, but I will find something to do because I don't want to do absolutely nothing; at least, not right now.

HT: That sort of makes sense.

DM: And I still-I teach a course in collective bargaining at Temple Law School, 45:00and I will do that again the spring semester, and so maybe I will do some more teaching. I'm not quite sure yet.

HT: So you think you'll stick around in the Philadelphia area?

DM: That will always be my home base, but I will always come to North Carolina. You know, this is my roots, and it's also where I get rejuvenated, so I will always come back.

HT: Well, have you been involved with UNCG since you graduated?

DM: This is-Well, my daughter applied for admission here, and was accepted, but she decided not to come. And so I came back just that one time to bring her here when we were doing kind of a college tour. I think we probably stopped at every college and university between Pennsylvania and North Carolina for her to take a 46:00look at to see whether she wanted to apply, and other that one occasion, this is the first time I have been back on campus since that.

HT: Quite a few changes have occurred.

DM: It's extraordinary.

HT: Well, what do you want people to know about your time at UNCG?

DM: I don't know who to attribute the quote to: "If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger." I didn't kill me; it made me able to survive anything. I have made some lifelong friends here, and it has made me strong. In the labor relations field, it's a contentious field, and with decisions that I made as 47:00director of the Philadelphia office, somebody was always unhappy with that decision. If they won, they were happy. If they lost, they were unhappy and so it taught me an inner strength and a survival that I don't know that you learn in other ways. And so the strength that I learned-because you have to depend on yourself-and the friends that I made-to learn how to lean on them when I needed it, and that they were there-have been the two things that I guess I take away 48:00from here. I would hope that other people who attend, not only this university, but any university, would make the kind of friends that I made.

HT: So it sounds like it had quite an impact on you.

DM: Oh, it did. It did.

HT: Well, I don't have any more formal questions for you. Do you have anything that you would like to add that we haven't covered this afternoon?

DM: No.

HT: Okay, thank you so much.

DM: You're quite welcome.

HT: I really appreciate you coming all the way from Philadelphia on a rainy day.