Vermelle Ely, Price Davis, and John Funches, 2004 June 29
Scope and Contents
Vermelle Ely, Price Davis, and John Funches all attended Second Ward High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and are all members of the Second Ward High School Alumni Foundation located on Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte. In this interview, Ms. Ely, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Funches reminisce about their high school experiences. Although they attended Second Ward decades apart from each other, all interviewees emphasize the feeling of camaraderie and family connection that they experienced there. In addition, Ms. Ely, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Funches describe their personal experiences with segregation, desegregation, and integration--Ms. Ely as a teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, Mr. Davis in New York City after graduation, and Mr. Funches in the military and the work force in Charlotte. The discussion turns to the interviewees' opinions on the significance of the black community in Charlotte, the weakening that both integration and urban renewal caused within this community, and the loss of black identity in the present generation at the time of interview. The interviewees express ambivalence about integration; they feel while it was mostly beneficial in that it provided everyone with access to the same educational system, blacks in Charlotte lost their strong sense of community.
- Creation: 2004 June 29
Conditions Governing Access
16 of the 23 interviews that comprise the Era Before Brown v. Board of Education oral history project have been digitized and are available in the digital repository. Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use.
Vermelle Ely was an 71-year-old woman at the time of interview, which took place at the Second Ward Alumni House in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1933. She was educated at Second Ward High School and Shaw University, and was employed as a teacher. Price Davis was an 84-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place at the Second Ward Alumni House in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina in 1920. He was educated at Second Ward High School and was employed as a truck driver. John Funches was an 53-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place at the Second Ward Alumni House in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1951. He was educated at Second Ward High School and Central Piedmont Community College, and was employed by Federal Express.
Language of Materials
Part of the Oral Histories, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository
Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States