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Interview conducted as part of the Nash County Cultural Center’s Oral History Project. Shari Hicks Dickens was born in 1961 in Durham, NC. She lived in Franklin County until the age of 14, moved to Nash County as a teenager, and returned to Franklin County as an adult. A Black woman, she remembers attending a segregated school in first grade before attending an integrated school, Edward Best Elementary, in the second grade. She describes the transition for students being strange, but easy. She recalls parents lined up at anti-integration protests saying things that were likely negative, but does not recall any violence occurring as a result. She mentions being an only child who grew up in a farming community, and briefly discusses some of the work done at local tobacco farms. She reminisces about activities at Cedar Rock Baptist Church, where her great grandmother was one of the first members. She tells of how as a child, her mother helped her grandmother make the communion bread for the church. She talks about communal gatherings at the church and describes the members as family. She discusses her grandfather, telling a story of a clock he grandfather found in the woods while hunting, which has since been passed down to her. She speaks on graduating from Shaw University, receiving a business management degree. She remembers large gatherings with extended family and says she hopes to pass an appreciation for family history to her son.





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