Harvey Boyd oral history interview, 2004 April 17
Harvey Boyd reflects on his extraordinary life achievements, despite his limited opportunities as an African American man growing up in the segregated South. He begins by describing his childhood home, where he also lived at the time of interview, in the community of Crestdale in Matthews, North Carolina. Boyd emphasizes his passion for art and discusses the resistance he met from his family and community toward his dream of becoming an artist. Mr. Boyd reflects on the perception at the time that a career in art was not an option for an African American. To pursue his goal, Mr. Boyd decided to transfer to West Charlotte High School in order to take art classes. Following high school he attended Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), acquiring an Associate's degree in graphic design. He recounts his experiences working for the Charlotte Observer in advertising, particularly in regard to his growing awareness of segregation. Moving north, Mr. Boyd continued his art education at Howard University in Washington, DC, while working for the Washington Post. He describes his experiences living in a non-segregated city for the first time and the impact this had on his life and work. While at Howard, Mr. Boyd was heavily influenced by his art professor, Lois Mailou Jones, whose example confirmed for him that a career as an artist was indeed possible for an African American. Mr. Boyd goes on to describe his career in advertising and his mission to integrate the advertising world by including African Americans in advertisements for companies such as Kellogg.