It seems to me that this community in a real sense is realizing its potential for leadership in the South.
Susie B. Jones, former Dean of Admissions at Bennett College
To me the single most important thing that came out of the 1960's is how the superstructure was able to absorb a revolutionary thrust for a long period of time [without ever really changing].
"Some things have changed a lot, some things haven't changed at all," a black lawyer observed. "[At] Shiloh Baptist Church . . . the baton was passed from J. T. Hairston to Otis Hairston. But the philosophy didn't change. 'Let's push in all areas as much as we can for the benefit of those we serve.' In the civil rights area George Christopher Simkins, Sr., made it possible for George Christopher Simkins, Jr., to do what he did. The father passed on to the son a perspective of how things ought to go and allowed him to become active in the community. . . . Now, another generation of folk are being given an opportunity to be heard [and] you have different voices. But there is a continuity among some of the voices that reaches back fifty years."
Continuity: the theme is an anchor in the shifting currents of Greensboro's racial history. From the church to the school to the NAACP, a thread of protest links one generation to another. Vance Chavis refused to ride Jim Crow buses or to attend Jim Crow movie theaters; his students addressed envelopes for voter registration and became leaders of the sit-in movement; and in 1969 Chavis himself became black Greensboro's spokesman on the city council. Otis Hairston grew up in his father's Shiloh Church, organized student civil rights protests at Shaw University, and returned to Greensboro to spearhead the civil rights battle as chairman of the Greensboro Citizens Association. The NAACP Youth group, founded in 1943 by Randolph Blackwell, produced a roster of leaders destined to transform Greensboro's history--