- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Interviews with Loy H. Witherspoon
- Loy H. Witherspoon oral history interview 2, 1991
Loy H. Witherspoon oral history interview 2, 1991
In this 1991 interview, student Michael Wilson interviewed Dr. Loy Witherspoon about his life experiences in the North Carolina Piedmont. Dr. Witherspoon describes his unusual childhood, the latter part of which was spent at The Children's Home, a Methodist orphanage on the edge of Winston-Salem. He relates in detail the daily activities he engaged in at the home, which included chores on the orphanage farm, food preservation and preparation, and sports and recreation, in addition to attending school at the Children's Home and at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. In particular Dr. Witherspoon stresses the influence of his high school Latin teacher, Margaret McDermott, who continued to be an inspiration for his own teaching in later life. Realizing at an early age that his vocation was to be a Methodist minister and a teacher, Dr. Witherspoon describes his education at Duke University where he earned a BA and a BD, and Boston University where he earned a PhD. In response to questions about civil rights, Dr. Witherspoon recalls student activism on the UNC Charlotte campus, and in particular the activities of student Ben Chavis. Dr. Witherspoon concludes by urging students to interact with the city of Charlotte, to take advantage of the cultural activities offered, and also to give back to the city, recalling the Athenian oath instructing citizens to leave the city more beautiful and enriched than they had found it.