An excerpt from an oral history interview with Joanne Peerman. As an African American child growing up in the 60s and 70s in Chapel Hill, Joanne Peerman experienced desegregation first-hand. She attended an all-black elementary school, but her middle school and high school were recently integrated. Tensions arose as the student populations were first merged, especially in the high school where African American students staged marches and protests.
When Joanne recalls her childhood, she remembers joining in with these protests, and believing fervently in integrating any club or organization that had previously been “all white.” But she also remembers what it was like to be the child of a respected and feared high school football coach, known and remembered by everyone as "Coach Peerman." As Joanne became more and more involved civil rights protests, she found herself at odds with her father, who was counted on by the school to act as a disciplinarian. In particular, the struggle that she describes in this oral history takes place in her ninth grade year at Phillips Junior High School in 1970.
As an African American child growing up in the 60s and 70s in Chapel Hill, Joanne Peerman experienced desegregation first-hand.