Grace Moore Logan was born on February 24, in Lincoln County, North Carolina, one of nine children born to Edward and Bertha Moore. Her father worked at Boger and Crawford Spinning Mills in Goodsonville (now Boger City), in Lincolnton, before moving to areas in Ohio and Pennsylvania because of the lack of economic opportunities for African-Americans in Lincolnton and Lincoln County. Her family also operated a store in Iron Station. Grace attended the Mount Vernon Rosenwald School in Iron Station, Lincoln County, before furthering her education at the Oaklawn School in Lincolnton. Upon graduation from Oaklawn, Grace moved to New York because of the lack of opportunities in Lincoln County, and she raised her family there. She married James William “Beale” Logan, and they had two children. Grace and her family moved back to Lincolnton after World War II because they longed to be back in their hometown with their family.
Yvonne Logan Clark is the daughter James W. and Grace Moore Logan. She was born in Iron Station at the home of her grandmother. She attended school in Brooklyn, New York, and lived in this city from 1944 to 1987. She moved back to Lincoln County in 1987, and her interview contains very insightful thoughts about the African-American experience in Lincoln County.
The audio recording and printable transcript of the interview are available below:
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What follows is the transcript of Grace Logan’s interview:
Grace Logan and Yvonne Logan Clark
Interviewee: Grace Moore Logan and Yvonne Logan Clark
Interviewer: Robert Hamilton Format: Audio Cassette (34 Minutes 10 seconds)
Transcriber: Tape Transcription Center Coverage: Lincoln County, North Carolina, early 1900s -2005
Subjects: Cotton Mills in Lincolnton, Boger and Crawford Spinning Mills, education, race, segregation, NAACP, Oaklawn School, Tucker’s Grove School, African-American educators, New York, Logan Family, Moore Family, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Link’s Chapel Methodist Church, and Iron Station, Lincoln County, N.C.
GL (Grace Logan): Grace Moore Logan.
RH (Robert Hamilton): OK, speak into the mic. All right, go right ahead.
GL: Grace Moore Logan.
RH: OK. And you were born?
GL: I was born in February. The 24th, I think.
RH: 24th of February?
RH: OK. Where was that at?
GL: Iron Station. Lincoln County.
RH: Lincoln County. OK.
RH: Who were your parents?
GL: Bertha — well, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Moore.
RH: And your dad was named Edward and your mother was named?
RH: Bertha, OK. How many children were in your family?
GL: Nine of us, I think.
RH: There were nine of you?
RH: OK. And what were some of your brothers’ and sisters’ names?
GL: Yates. Well, Clyde was my oldest brother. Clyde Moore. Yates, Yates was my — Yates Moore, Tom Moore, and Jack Moore. I had four brothers.
RH: Four brothers? OK, now sisters?
GL: (inaudible) Five. Pauline Coltrane, Adele Allen, Gertha McFadden. How many is that?
RH: That’s two right there, I believe.
GL: Pauline Coltrane, Adele Allen, Gertha McFadden (inaudible), and my sister that died last year, her name was Sue Betty Myrick.
RH: Sue Betty, okay.
GL: That’s four sisters I named.
RH: Probably was. I didn’t count–
GL: Yeah, because I didn’t count me as five. It was five sisters.
RH: Five girls and four boys.
RH: OK. Did you grow up on a farm here?
GL: Well, it wasn’t a big farm.
RH: Wasn’t a big farm? What did you all raise?
GL: I raised cotton, I guess. He wasn’t a big farmer. And just a, what they all those farms.
RH: Sometimes you call it truck farms, where you grew vegetables and stuff like that.
GL: Yeah. Right. Because he wasn’t a big farmer.
RH: Wasn’t a big farmer?
GL: No, because he worked.
RH: He worked?
RH: And what’d your dad work at?
GL: He worked, I think he helped build that the mill. What’s that, Boger City? I believe he worked up there when they were building it. But then he went — that’s when he was raising us, I think he went to Manassas, Pennsylvania, and worked in some other place. Ohio, I think.
RH: So he left and went to work?
GL: Yeah, he went working, and just what she could take the children and raise them.
RH: Oh my. So your dad was gone for part of the time?
GL: Yes, some of the times he was.
RH: Yeah. How long did he stay gone? How many years, roughly?
GL: I was young, but I think he would go and maybe stay six months along, and come back. Because I kind of halfway remember when he used to go, but not enough that I can tell you. You know?
RH: Right, right.
GL: Because that’s before I started to high school.
RH: OK. You were rather small when he would go away and work for an extended period of time?
GL: Yeah. I guess you would call it that.
RH: Was there wasn’t any work around here the reason he had to?
GL: I guess so, but you know how it used to be with blacks and whites. So he would go away anywhere he could find him a job and work.
RH: I wonder what kind of work he was doing when he went up there.
GL: I don’t know what they did. But I’ve heard my mother talk about it, and I kind of halfway remember when he used to be, because blacks couldn’t get decent jobs around here, so he would go up there.
RH: Up in Pennsylvania?
GL: Yeah, and he went to, I think, he went to Ohio one time, too. I was young.
RH: You don’t remember what year that was, do you?
GL: No, I don’t.
RH: Just roughly what year it was, was it about at 1900? I mean, 1915, 1916, somewhere along there?
GL: Yeah. It was after then, I believe, because — I don’t know. All I know, he was a good, he liked to be a good husband.
RH: A good provider?
GL: Yeah, yeah. That’s the word I was looking for. He liked to be a good provider.
RH: So you all lived better than most folks around, or about the same?
GL: I’m not going to say better, but you know? Black people couldn’t get good jobs like whites. Like women. When they built Boger City Cotton Mill, I think he helped with that.
RH: He helped with the building of that mill?
RH: Was that after he had been up in Pennsylvania and Ohio, or was that before?
GL: I believe it was before.
RH: Just from what you can remember.
GL: Boger City, were you around here when they built Boger City?
GL: No? That, he helped to build that because of whatever they did. I was young. I don’t know enough about it to tell about, but I know he — when they were building Boger City — he used to work up there. And then he went — I don’t know the years that he went to Ohio and around.
RH: Just roughly what the year that you think it was? Now, you said you were small. What year were you born?
GL: That was after I was born.
RH: Yeah, but what year then? You can kind of tell what year that might have been.
GL: No. I wasn’t oldest child. I had a brother older than me.
RH: Had a brother older than you? And what year was he born?
GL: Well, he was one (inaudible). You don’t have to have age.
RH: I don’t have to. I just want to try to determine the time that we’re talking about is what I was trying to do. If it was 1910.
GL: Where are you going to put this?
RH: This is just going to be for…
GL: No, it was after 1910. (break in audio)
GL: I went to school. I went to school down here. I mean, I didn’t go to school (inaudible). I mean, but my children were.
RH: Right, but back to you, what year were you born?
RH: 1915. OK, so your dad must have gone to Ohio, what, around 1920-something, ‘21 or ‘22?
GL: I don’t know. Well, I don’t know.
RH: You don’t have to guess, but it must have been during that time, during the ’20s, because you said you were very young then.
RH: Yeah, so that would have put you about five or six years old.
GL: I guess he did go around then. Because I think I heard my mother say he’d been up there more than one time. Because jobs — like I said — jobs were hard to get around here. I think he probably went to Ohio and worked, and I think I heard her say he’d been in (inaudible).
RH: OK. Did any of your brothers go with him whenever he went up there?
GL: No. We were all young.
RH: All young?
GL: Yeah. But I don’t know whether he had, I guess he did have something, going to school around here. I might have been going around here. I don’t know where I was — yeah, because I would have to have been. But I don’t know how old his children was when he went, but I know he went up there someplace and worked. Because there was nothing right here for blacks, and that’s why he went.
RH: Well, let me ask you. Did you go up here to Mount Vernon School? Right up here?
GL: Yeah, I went to school there.
RH: Right up here? What were some of your teachers’ names?
GL: Some of my teachers?
RH: Or some of your classmates? Who were some of your classmates there?
GL: Well, all these young people, all these people around here that are my age, they went to school up there with me.
RH: Sister Lomax was in class with you?
GL: I don’t know about the class, but in the school, all of us went to school together.
RH: You all went to school together?
GL: Yeah. And yes, she was in school. We were all in school together up there.
RH: Who else do you recall?
GL: That was in school up there?
GL: Oh boy. (pause) I can’t think. When you want to think of something, you can’t.
RH: I know. I imagine. Well, let’s go on from there.
GL: There was some Wingates. I don’t know whether you know them or not.
RH: No, I don’t.
GL: They used to live up there, and they lived, I think they lived up town.
RH: Up at Mount Vernon?
GL: I know they went to Mount Vernon.
RH: Then you went on from Mount Vernon up to Oaklawn, right.
GL: I went from Mount Vernon to Oaklawn.
RH: Did you have to walk to Oaklawn?
GL: No. I didn’t. We didn’t have no bus, but my daddy bought me and my brother a car.
RH: Is that right?
RH: So you all had a car to drive?
GL: Yeah. My brother drove it.
RH: Is that right?
GL: He drove the car to uptown, and, well, I used to drive sometimes coming back home because he played football, and sometimes if he had a game or something, I would take the car back home. Yeah, that’s how we — because they didn’t give blacks a school bus. You know? Because they tried to get the school bus, but couldn’t get one. And so my daddy bought me and my brother a car, it was a few people around that had a car. Because Stanford Wilson up there had one so he could go to school. I can’t name them–
RH: So you never walked to Oaklawn. You all drove a–
GL: No, not from down here. No, no! (laughter)
RH: Well, the reason that I ask that was because Sister Lomax walked, and I didn’t know, but you didn’t walk. You rode in the car.
GL: See, I’m older than Lomax, and so yeah, my daddy bought me and my brother a car. And there was somebody else at school. Stanford Wilson, did you know him?
RH: I didn’t know him, but that’s interesting.
GL: He had a car, too.
RH: He had a car too?
GL: Yup. And it was a (inaudible). But it was a few school kids that had cars. Because I guess some of the parents didn’t trust the children because you know how children get out in the road and try to race and everything else. Because we used to do it too, but not too much because we knew mom would have half killed us, she would tell you, you better not be out there racing. She meant that.
RH: Well, there wasn’t a lot of people on the roads then, where there?
GL: No. Not like it is now.
RH: Were the roads paved going from here to Lincoln then?
GL: I believe it was. I’m not too sure about that, but I know we, I know me and my brother had a car, and we would let the other kids ride. They didn’t care as long as it didn’t run to fast, and they would — driving too fast because my dad (inaudible), and we wouldn’t look until we got on the — so we were trying, we listened to them. Mama didn’t play and he didn’t either, you know?
RH: Right. They meant what they said.
GL: Yeah, that’s right. And so Clyde, he would drive the car.
RH: What kind of car was it?
GL: I think a T model or A model or something, a Ford.
RH: OK, it was a Ford. OK.
GL: I guess it was a Ford.
RH: Who were some of your classmates up at Oaklawn? Or some of your teachers up there?
GL: Did you know Mr. Ramseur?
RH: I heard you all talking about him, yes.
GL: He was one of the teachers. He was a good teacher, very smart. And Massey, you heard of Massey?
GL: And Tillman.
RH: Right. They were all teachers there?
RH: Is that right?
RH: Mr. G.E. Massey.
GL: G.E. Massey, yes.
RH: He was a teacher there at Oaklawn when you were there?
GL: Uh-huh (affirmative).
RH: Is that right?
GL: And there was one named Tillman. And Mr. Ramseur, you heard of him before. He was a good teacher. He knew history, wow, that one man knew history.
RH: So you enjoyed school?
GL: Yeah, I used to love going to school. Sure did. And I’d study my lessons, too. I didn’t like that nobody gets lessons instead of me, like algebra and all that. I didn’t try to work it out.
RH: Well now, were you and George Reinhardt in the same class? You wasn’t?
GL: No. George, he wasn’t in class with me. He had a sister that went to school, I think.
RH: Miss Carrie. Now she was young, she wasn’t in class with you, was she?
GL: No, she wasn’t. I don’t know whether George was or not. Now, George might have been in class, I’m not sure. (pause) You know, we didn’t have a bus. We had to walk. A lot of people had to walk to school.
RH: But you all rode in the car, though?
GL: Yeah. Yeah, my daddy bought us the car.
RH: Well now, did you go ahead and graduate from Oaklawn?
GL: Yes. I think I did.
RH: So what did you do after you graduated Oaklawn?
GL: After Oaklawn, I went to New York and I stayed up there — yeah, I went to New York and stayed a long time.
RH: What year did you leave going to New York?
GL: I’m not sure. But I had children. My children went to school down here, because — no, I didn’t have no children when I went to New York. I stayed in (inaudible).
RH: OK, well that would have been — roughly how old were you when you went to New York? Do you remember? Were you 20 years old?
GL: I’m not sure. Because I had an aunt that lived up there. I had two of them that lived up there, and I went up there.
RH: So you went up to stay with them?
RH: Probably because there wasn’t any work here in Lincoln?
GL: Well, you know, black people, they didn’t have no work. I mean, they could do house work and cook for whites, but I don’t think I ever had a job cooking. But I did have a job at (inaudible). And they were the only two jobs I ever had around here. But James’, (inaudible), I used to work for them. Had that warehouse, James–
GL: I don’t know if it’s there now or not. It’s that bridge.
RH: But you worked for them some?
GL: I worked for them.
RH: When you were in high school?
GL: No. After I got out of school.
RH: After you got out of school.
GL: Because I was in high school, there was not much working I did because I had, you know, we had to go up there in the car. And when I got out of class, we had to come back down here. I don’t think I worked when I was in high school.
RH: I was just wondering whether your dad, you all probably had a little standard of living that was higher than some of the other folk around.
GL: He had a little store, up the road some place. He used to run a store.
RH: Your dad did?
RH: Your dad had a store?
RH: In the Mount Vernon area?
GL: Yeah. It was right down from the church. You come down from the church and it was across the road. He had a store.
RH: Is that right?
GL: Mm-hmm (affirmative). (inaudible) He sold drinks and all that stuff.
RH: For his items in the store there? Wow, well that’s really good. So he was in business here?
GL: A little bit. Like I said, he used to go away, though, and work, like to Ohio.
RH: But this was after he–
GL: Yeah, this was something when he got home. He was…
RH: Well, that is quite interesting. What else do you remember about growing up here in Iron Station?
GL: That’s what I remember. Working. Like I said, the little farming we did. I used to work in the fields. And my mother, I don’t think she worked in the fields. Not to my knowing. I guess she did when she was young, but…
RH: She just did, took care of the kids and did housework?
GL: Yeah. Well, she didn’t do no housework. She took care of the kids. I think she must have had some washing or something because she never liked to (inaudible). I’ve never known her to have a job like that, just pick up little jobs like washing for people.
RH: So back then, folks took in washing, as they called it, I guess?
GL: Yeah. But I don’t know, I guess she used to bring in washing. I don’t know. All I know is (inaudible). Because when I was young, I don’t know whether I ever took in any washing or not!
RH: Yeah. But your mother may have, though?
GL: Yeah. Mama used to. I think the…I don’t know. I guess she did take in wash.
RH: Well, just out of curiosity, what year did you come back to Lincoln from New York?
GL: I came back in, when did the war end?
RH: Now, was this the World War Two or Vietnam War?
GL: I don’t know.
RH: Or Korean War?
GL: Maybe Two. I don’t know. I think maybe it was Two, don’t you think?
RH: Was it in the ’50s or in the ’60s?
GL: It must have been World War Two.
RH: World War Two?
GL: Must have been, because I don’t know whether. I don’t know. I thought that it was — my brother wasn’t…one of my brothers, I think–
RH: What brought you back? I mean, why did you — you wanted to come back to this area, or you wanted to be back, or your mother got to where she needed somebody? What brought you back?
GL: I guess I just wanted to come back home. I went then because there was nothing down here for me to do. Just cooking or cleaning house or washing, all that. And that’s why I went then. And I didn’t do no housework up there.
RH: Well, now let me ask you this. What is your husband’s name?
GL: James Logan.
RH: James Logan. Well, is he from here?
GL: Called him Bill.
RH: Called him Bill?
GL: Yeah. He was from Lincoln.
RH: He was from Lincolnton?
GL: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
RH: Now did you all go to New York together?
GL: I don’t think so. He was up there, too, but I don’t know whether I went first. I must have went first, because I had people up there and he didn’t. Because my two aunts lived up there.
RH: How many children did you all have?
RH: You had two? A boy and a girl?
GL: No. Two girls.
RH: Two girls?
GL: Yvonne and (inaudible). You know (inaudible)?
RH: I may have met her, I think.
GL: (inaudible) I used to say I wanted six children, and I wound up with two. I wish I were (inaudible). I’m so horrible, that’d have been so many. But my mother had nine, I believe, eight or nine!
RH: You were wanting to compete with her. Well, that’s interesting. What year did your husband pass?
GL: He died in New York, I believe. R
H: He did?
GL: Yeah, and I brought the body home. Yeah, I think he died in New York. (inaudible)
RH: Well, I don’t want to– (break in audio)
GL: I had a Mama. You’d better get out of that, Sunday morning, we did the — no, we lived around here, but we went to church around Link’s Chapel.
RH: OK, so you never went to Mount Vernon?
GL: Yeah, my dad belonged to Mount Vernon.
RH: Your dad belonged to Mount Vernon.
GL: My mom belonged to–
RH: Link’s Chapel?
GL: Link’s Chapel. And they used to have a service at one church on Sunday, the next one they’d have around there. Because my mother sang in both choirs; she sang with the Baptist people and she sang with the Methodist people. That’s the way they used to do — like do you know my Aunt Pearl? She lives up above Lincolnton somewhere. The Watts? You know Frederick and J and–
RH: I know Frederick but I don’t — that’s his mother?
GL: Aunt Pearl is his mother. And Uncle Roy, she, well — they’re from around this neighborhood, and when we were coming along, the Baptists and the Methodists, they sang, they had a choir together. One big choir, and they sang at one church one Sunday, the next week they’d sing in the other church. So Aunt Pearl, she was my daddy’s sister, and she sang and they sang around here one Sunday, and the next they’d sing around to Link’s Chapel. They had a good choir, too. So that’s the way I was brought up in the Baptist and the Methodist Church.
RH: OK, so you attended both of them?
GL: Yeah. Went to one on one Sunday, the next one we’d go to the other.
RH: That’s interesting. But you tended to go to Link’s Chapel later on?
GL: Yeah, I guess so.
RH: Was there any particular reason?
GL: No, I was raised in both churches. To me, they’re both — like when I went to New York. I didn’t know where a Methodist Church was. And then when I found out — this was closed to where I lived. So I just went to the Baptist Church because it was near there.
RH: So you attended a Baptist Church in New York?
GL: Yeah. To me, a church is a church, as long as you’re doing the right, you know.
RH: Well, let me talk a minute about this. Now, you grew up just down here in Lincolnton, and then you went to New York. What did you find, how, were the people better, the situation better, the living better? Were people nicer in New York than they were, what you remembered when you were here?
GL: Yeah, they were all the same. I mean, yeah. Anywhere you go, you’ve got to kind of pick your crowds you hang out with, right?
GL: So that’s just the way it was.
RH: But you found the opportunities better there in New York, and the people that — were people more agreeable there, or what did you recall?
GL: I went there because I could make a better living there. That’s why I went to New York. You know, when the war was going on, you couldn’t hardly find no work, nothing, and that’s why I went to New York. To better myself.
RH: Right. And you were able to do that there?
RH: What kind of work did you do in New York?
GL: I was a teller. I worked for Robert Hall. You know who [Robert Hall] is, right?
RH: I can’t say that I have, but he had a clothing shop there?
GL: Yeah, he had a big factory — make men’s clothes, that’s what I used to do up there. And I could make a pretty decent living in New York.
RH: Much better than you could here?
GL: Oh yeah, because they didn’t allow blacks to work in the cotton mills or nothing.
RH: Nope, back then they didn’t.
GL: I’ve never been in one, but I used to hear that they didn’t allow blacks in.
RH: Right. Back then they didn’t, yeah.
GL: Yeah. I’ve never been in a cotton mill. Just gone and walk in the door, but I never worked in one. A lot of people around here worked in them, though.
RH: Right. Later years, they did. But early, you know, back before, during World War One earlier, back then, I don’t think they were able to work in, you know, in–
GL: Well, World War One, did they have cotton mills then? I never been, I was never in the…
RH: I’m not sure exactly when they started to be honest with you. I guess they started — yeah. They would have had them, turn of the century, they would have had them. You know?
GL: I don’t know, but you know what, I don’t think they had blacks worked in cotton mills until the…
RH: After the Civil Rights Act? I mean, they might have been at some places.
GL: Yeah, they might have been, but I don’t think they worked in a cotton mill up there. My daddy had to build that thing, that cotton mill. Because when I was in school, I don’t believe any blacks worked in those mills.
RH: Could have been, I mean, they could not have.
GL: I’m not sure. But I know I used to go to school, once in a while, we used to go. I have walked up there.
RH: Up to school?
GL: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
RH: You did occasionally walk, but you all did have a car that you could drive.
GL: We had a car, but I don’t know why I was — because yeah, we had a car, and they used to play football at Oaklawn, and sometime — I don’t know. I don’t know what I was doing walking. But the football, I know, my brother played football. I didn’t like football because I was afraid he was going to get hurt. That’s a rough game, and I’d be out, I didn’t enjoy it because I was scared Clyde was going to get hurt.
RH: Well, that’s all right. (break in audio) (overlapping dialogue; inaudible)
GL: Yvonne don’t know.
YC (Yvonne Clark): Her name is Yvonne Logan Clark.
RH: And you’re who’s daughter?
YC: I’m Grace Logan’s daughter.
RH: And your father’s name?
YC: James William Logan.
RH: James William Logan. OK, and now you were born here in?
YC: I was born here in Iron Station.
RH: OK. Were you born here at home, or were you born–
YC: At home in my grandmother’s house.
RH: OK, all right. And then you went to school where?
YC: I went to school in Brooklyn, New York.
RH: OK. So how many years were you there in New York?
YC: Well, probably from around 1943 or ‘44 until 1987.
RH: OK. Now what year did your mother go to New York?
YC: Well, to my knowledge I believe she went maybe a year or so before I did, which was probably around ‘42 or something like that.
RH: OK, around ‘42. Now Sister Logan said that your grandfather worked in Pennsylvania in Ohio. Did you know anything about that?
YC: No. My grandfather was deceased when I was born.
RH: OK, but you didn’t hear that talked about?
YC: No. Just that he did go to Ohio looking for work. I believe some of it may have been on the railroad.
RH: OK. (inaudible) And the steel mills, OK. And Sister Logan said he had a store in Lincolnton also?
YC: Yeah, I’ve heard that. Not in Lincolnton. As far as I 26 know, here in Iron Station.
RH: In Iron Station, yeah.
YC: Somewhere along this road, what is Mount Vernon Church Road.
RH: Mount Vernon Church Road?
YC: Yeah, but now mother says it was her father’s, but the rest of the sisters say that it was her brother’s, her brother’s store, a little candy type store.
RH: But so your grandfather may have worked there?
YC: Right. They seem to think that it was my Uncle Clyde’s store, not the father’s store.
GL: My daddy had one before Clyde. I won’t say, yeah, maybe it was before the store.
YC: Well, see, she’s the oldest, so she may remember something that they don’t have knowledge of.
GL: (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) had one too after he was born and grew up.
RH: OK, OK. So wait a minute. That was some business — black folks had business here in the Ironton community during that time?
YC: That’s what they say. It was like she said. I think it was a little candy-type store, maybe candy or sodas and that, but I (inaudible).
GL: My daddy had one, he told us, when we was in school. But then after Clyde came along, my brother came along, he had one too. They both had it, but not at the same time.
RH: Not at the same time.
YC: The store that she thought was her father’s may have been when she was kind of young.
YC: So I guess the rest of them, if they were there, they were too young to remember that. That may be the case.
RH: Because Sister Logan, you were near the oldest, weren’t you?
YC: Yeah, she was the next to the oldest.
GL: And he had a store, but it was on my daddy’s mother’s land.
RH: That’s interesting– (break in audio)
YC: Well, coming back to Lincolnton was somewhat of a shock to me, because in New York I wasn’t used to everything being in black and white. People didn’t think so much in black and white. You know, in Lincolnton when you’re having a conversation with somebody, the first thing they want, "Were they black or white?" And I just wasn’t used to that because in New York I grew up with all types of people, you know, all nationalities, races, all income levels. By working, I dealt with different backgrounds. But I found, even in the ’80s, Lincolnton was still on this black and white thing. You know? And still on this religion thing. You were either Baptist or Methodist, where in New York you had Jews, you had Catholics, you had, you know, different nationalities and religions and everything. So to me, Lincolnton was moving very slowly when I came back. And it’s still moving slow.
RH: OK. The black community in particular, what have you found?
YC: OK, the black community, since I’ve been back, to me is a little slow. A little slow in asking for what they want. I think that the progress is moving on that level only because the black people are still protecting themselves. You know, you can’t get people to speak up. They’re still afraid to do that. The threat may not still be there, but they are afraid to do it themselves. Even, you know, a little simple thing, like being a member in NAACP. I’ve heard professional people say they don’t join or they don’t want it to be known that they join because they’re afraid of their careers. And I don’t really think the threat is there, but in their minds it’s still there. So basically I think they’re holding themselves back a lot. It’s not so much the other races that are doing it. They’re doing it to themselves. And I’m told constantly, "Well, you think that because you grew up in New York." You know? Which may be true. But I do think a lot of it is brought about by them. But I haven’t experienced that. Like I said, I wasn’t here. And again, even as far as the Civil Rights Movement and things like that, they know about Dr. King, but all those other people who did things, there’s very little knowledge about that. You know? They were not taught it so they don’t have an interest in learning about it. And that, too, is holding them back.
RH: What do you think that — are we talking mainly the adults or what do you think about the children? What is their situation? I mean…
YC: The children, I think that the children are being brought up the same way. They’re not exposed to their history, so they’re not interested in their history. And they still have the thought that white is better. You know? I’d rather be white because I would be better. Black people think that about themselves, so their children are going to think that. And of course the white people are going to think that.
RH: This day and time?
YC: Of course. I do think that.
RH: That’s the thinking?
YC: That’s the thinking. That seems to be, anyway. They’d still rather be white. If you have white friends, then you are better. If you live in a white community with very few (inaudible), even if they can, then you’re better. I still think that they are holding themselves back.
RH: Mrs. Logan, do you see that type of thinking here locally?
YC: Yes, yes, I do. You know, I do. And I notice you and everybody else will see a person who has maybe moved near a white neighborhood, and they think that they are better simply because they move into a white, predominantly white neighborhood. Doesn’t matter if the white neighborhood is more rundown than the black neighborhood they left; it’s still a white neighborhood. I do see that.
RH: What do you think about Lincolnton compared to surrounding counties? I mean what?
YC: Lincolnton is no comparison to Catawba County because the people there are all moving.
RH: Right, because you work there.
YC: Right. And they are moving. They’re at least trying, putting effort into it. I don’t know too much about the black community in Cleveland County. Most of my dealings there are with working.
RH: What kind of work were you in?
YC: I worked for the government.
RH: OK. And so you had to expose your — living in Lincolnton and working in an adjoining county–
YC: Well, I work in Lincoln County, too. Worked Lincoln County, Cleveland County, some of Iredell County, so we were kind of–
RH: So you got exposure to somewhat to those surrounding counties: Catawba, Iredell, and Cleveland. What about Gaston, did you have any–
YC: I don’t think I ever actually worked Gaston. I worked–
YC: –I think about five counties. No. I worked Cleveland, Iredell, Catawba. What else?
RH: And Alexander.
RH: What about Lenoir — Caldwell?
YC: No, I never had to actually work Caldwell. But I had to deal some with Caldwell County.
RH: But that gave you an opportunity to really get a little bit, or maybe a lot, of insight into what was going on in those areas.
YC: And I do think that a lot of them were more advanced, as far as black history is concerned, than Lincoln County. I do think that Lincoln County, like I said, holds itself — the residents of Lincoln County — hold themselves back. You know, it’s not that the barriers are there anymore. It’s like a little puppy or something. If you keep him tied all the time, you can take the thing off. He still sits there. He doesn’t realize that it’s not there anymore. You know, he sits in the same spot and he’s an obedient little dog. And I do think that that is one of the problems in Lincoln County. You know, and a member of the NAACP, after one time I stopped being active, because I heard someone make the comment that, "I cannot do that because of my job. I will not be got on that because of my job." You know? And my opinion, well then you should just leave the organization. How are you going to be a leader of something and you’re afraid to speak out? You know, so that person (inaudible), probably wrong. But that’d be my opinion. Like I’m constantly told, "Well, you grew up in the north." Well, that’s just my opinion.
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