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Interview conducted as part of the Nash County Cultural Center’s Oral History Project. Tabron, who is a Black man, recalls growing up in Spring Hope during integration. He describes attending C.C. Spaulding High School, an African American school for grades 1-12. His mother spoke with her children about racial tension in the world, and the changes taking place at the time. Tabron says his parents taught him to use kindness, treating others equally despite any differences, no matter what hardship those individuals have inflicted upon them. He reflects on a time in his childhood having to come and go via the rear entrances of businesses due to his race; mentioning that he never questioned the practice as a child, since it was all he had known to that point. He recalls being transferred to Spring Hope Elementary School in the 6th grade, where he was 1 of just 3 Black students out of 200 on their floor of the school. Tabron mentions he was initially excited at the prospect of making new friends, but instead found himself dealing with attitudes and problems he’d never faced before at school. He describes most of the white students being more curious about him than scared; picking on him, laughing at him and running away. He says that others would hit and push him, and there was not a day that went by where he wasn’t involved in a confrontation of some sort, no matter how hard he tried to avoid them. Tabron tells of teachers being mentally abusive toward him by regularly belittling him in front of the class to set an example for the white students. He mentions being confused as a child because it was a Black teacher who did this the most, but later feeling that she was possibly trying to help him build inner-strength to deal with his difficult situation. He also describes an incident where he fell at school, breaking his arm, yet the teachers did nothing to help him for the entire day. He speaks about having one teacher who was kind to him, encouraged him, and would place him in groups with more accepting students. Tabron discusses his involvement in a civil rights march organized by Hosea Williams which took place in Forsyth County, GA in the 1980s. He reflects on having a realization during the march that racism was not just a Black issue, but rather a human issue. He mentions Coretta Scott King being a leader of the march, and describes the heavy police presence and safety tactics taught to the marchers. Tabron tells of violence directed at the marchers from Klansmen and their sympathizers gathered in opposition. He speaks about the lessons learned through his experiences, stating that it is the responsibility of each individual to look for the best in others despite any differences.

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