Parker, continuedfrom page 27
In 1993, she came back to the place
where she had felt such pain 25 years
before. As associate director for pre-award
grant and contract services in the Office
of Research Services, she reviews the
University's research grant requests for
There's a status symbol among people
who work on this campus - aside from
the money, the tenure, the title, the park-
ing space. It's what's outside your window.
Few can match Edith Hubbard's third-
floor corner view from Bynum Hall. To
the north, there's the fa~ade of Playmakers
Theatre, the fountain and the big tree she
loves to watch emerge slowly in the
spring. To the west, Steele Building, where
the first black students were segregated,
and a corner of South Building.
"I like being a part of something that
provides a service, being part of the
research effort here, helping people get
things done, watching the University
grow. I like seeing the diversity here - so
many black students, so many Indian stu-
dents. I mean, we're a true rainbow now.
"As a student here I felt like an outsider.
And I don't remember at what point it was,
looking at the canlpus, the trees, this
absolutely beautiful campus, I'm thinking -
this is mine, too. Then I think [ took owner-
ship of this being a part of my heritage, my
birthright as a citizen of North Carolina and
as a graduate of this institution.
"And my daughter graduated from
here, and I think I remember that proba-
bly as being the defining moment when I
said this is not a bad place after all, and it's
mine, and I have a obligation and a
responsibility to help change it." .lID.
civil disobedience. Parker went to jail
"At a Duke-Carolina basketball game,
there was a plan for a protest, and they
believed a mole was in the group so they
told people that ifyou're in, your life
could be in danger. We sat down in the
intersection of Franklin and Columbia
streets and blocked traffic as people were
leaving the game."
She also participated in a restaurant sit-
in. "When the cops come, you drop to the
ground and make them haul you away."
Parker can't do that anymore. Journal-
ists have to walk the fence. She started in
the Midwest, and when her marriage took
her west, she was a copy editor and Sun-
day preview edition editor for The Los
Angeles Times for 15 years. She's back at
the Journal in Winston-Salem, where it
started. The first black female to get an
undergraduate degree has done some
recruiting here for her paper.
She found she had blocked out some
ofthe unhappy stories. "The first time
somebody asked me to write about those
experiences, I had to go back and look at
them [in her journals] - I'd forgotten a
lot of those experiences."
This one is her favorite:
"In the spring as soon as the weather
warmed up, the girls were permitted to go
outside the dorm and tan. Of course, they
had to be on the side ofthe dorm away
from male eyes. Back up in the room one
day, they were comparing tans, and some-
body said to me, 'Where'd you get that
tan?"'This, she said, was not an insult.
Somebody had lost track of her being
black. She felt closer to being just one of
Parker was away from Chapel Hill
between 1966 and 1995. When she
returned, she went around with a group
of her college friends and looked at the
old haunts, at their old rooms in Cobb.
"It was weird. I went to dinner and
something kept bugging me. ... I looked
around and realized these were the people
[ didn't like when I was here. We had
become the people I didn't like then. We'd
become the establishment." .lID.
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Chapel Hill, NC 27516
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DAVID E. BROWN ' 75 is senior associate
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editor of the Review.
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Terry Rowe, Realtor
UNC Class of ' 69 Letterman
The accounts if Beech, Hubbard, Parker, and
LeRoy and Ralph Frasier were drawn from
interviews and from their comments in a
panel discussion at the GAA Black
Alumni Reunion in 1999 at which all
except Beech were present.
The GAA will commemorate the 50th anniversary in special events during reunions in thefall.
CAR0 LINA ALU MN I REVlEW