In Taylorsville, a one-man desegregation movement

“One day in the early 1960s, when drinking from the ‘Whites Only’ water fountain on the factory floor [in Taylorsville, my husband, Mike Claman] had had enough of it. He tore off the signs. He then went to the ladies’ and men’s bathrooms and tore off the signs there, announcing that there would be no more segregation within the plant.

“The outcry was horrendous, with delegations marching into Mike’s office. He politely informed the workers that if they did not want to drink the same water, from the same fountains, they could go thirsty; if they did not choose to use common facilities, they would have to wait until they went home….”

— From North Carolina Ends Factory Desegregation—with Backlash” by Edith Claman at Moment magazine

 

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