Vermelle Ely, Price Davis, and John Funches oral history interview, 2004 June 29
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.