Humphrey Cummings oral history interview, 2006 February 3
Charlotte attorney Humphrey Cummings shares his memories of his time as an African American student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) during the late 1960s and early 1970s. As one out of a class of around thirty black students, he describes the climate on campus at the time. Mr. Cummings describes race relations on campus, the Black Student Union, and their work in advocating for an African American Studies program. He also talks about politically active African American students who went on to become influential leaders, most notably Benjamin Chavis and T.J. Reddy. He discusses his perception of campus administration on issues of race, characterizing much of the administration as being slow and cautious when reacting to demands of black student groups or when handling racial conflict. Mr. Cummings describes Vice Chancellor Bonnie Cone as being different from the rest of the administration in that she was more personable and was interested in resolving the concerns of individual students. In addition to discussing student activism, Mr. Cummings describes the changes he has seen in Charlotte through the time of interview during the forty years he has lived in the city.