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Interview with Debra Hicks

Hicks, Debra
Walton, Candace
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with People and Places; Then and Now; Cultural Identification; Stories and Storytellers; Tolerance and Respect
Debra Hicks recalls the topic of her senior exit project, a story about a multi-racial attorney who faces discrimination at work.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Candace Walton interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
CW (Candace Walton): This is Candace Walton. I'm interviewing Debra Hicks on November 24, 1999, and she is going to tell us a story that she remembers from her childhood.
DH (Debra Hicks): The story I'm about to tell is about this little girl. Ah, she grew up in a interracial family background. Um, she had very big dreams of wanting to become a lawyer one day. Um, she, was, at the time, there was a lot of racial tension that was going on, so she felt like she wouldn't be able to make it. She was kind of confused of what background she wanted to u-, what ethnic background she wanted to use, so she decided to use her black heritage, um background. And so she moved to New York and she went to school there, she made it through school and she did become a attorney. She later was going through problems because they found out that she was a black ethnic and not white, so they would, she could no longer work with the firm. Um, they had no sufficient reason as to why they wanted to cancel, didn't want her to be, um, the attorney. Um, so they told her she wasn't doing good with her cases, so she decided finally, she left the firm. She got married and she married this, uh, very predominant guy who's very, very well-off and they moved back to their, her hometown in Georgia. So she decided that she would go and visit her grandmother who raised her, and her grandmother was telling how she told her it would be hard and for her to make it once she let it known that she was an African, Afro-American. So she decided that she would start an organization, and I can't remember the name of it, to where, it has something to do with women's, um, Women's Black American, Women's something and, to, she, um, let me see what else. She, um, she, um, oh, started this organization. She started the organization and I can't remember the name of the organization and, um, she helped out a lot of, of women that uh, that were black women that were having problems being able to make it in society because of their, their color or their culture background. And, um, let's see she didn't she, her grandmother passed away and she, um, after her grandmother passed away, she moved from Georgia, her and her husband, she did have a child and, um, so she moved back to New York, and she, uh, after she finished helping with this, um, women organization, um, she went back into law practice. That's about all I can remember of this story. I read this story and it was a very good story and, um, it was just meaningful and touching that how, you know, we as, as individuals can criticize our own color because of being a little shade lighter or hair is straighter than your hair or whatever. But I really enjoyed it and I got a lot of good insight points on it.
CW: So it was a book that you read?
DH: It, actually it started out as a story that I had to do for a, my senior project, senior exit.
CW: Oh. So y'all made it up?
DH: We made the story up, but actually the story, there was story very similar, um, same name everything. Everything was the same except our name wasn't [laugh] in the copyright nowhere but, ah, it was a story an actual truthful story.
CW: OK well thank you very much for sharing \\ your story \\ with me.
DH: \\ You're welcome. \\