Dark side of the campus.

There’s a small liberal arts college in Wilson, once known as Atlantic Christian College, now as Barton. It was founded in 1902 by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on a campus just southeast of Grabneck. The actress Ava Gardner attended the school, but did not graduate. In her era, and into my lifetime, Atlantic Christian admitted only white students. Those students produced a yearbook called The Pine Knot, filled each year with cheerful images of the people and events deemed most memorable. In the 1935 edition, the editors saw fit to insert between the campus athletes and the advertisements this page, labeled “Dark Side of the Campus”:

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The men and women depicted are not named or otherwise commented upon. They are, presumably, the housekeepers and custodians, cooks and gardeners, mechanics and porters who kept Atlantic Christian College running and eased life for its merry undergraduates. I cannot identify them, but I can honor their service and memory by recognizing them individually. If you know any of these Depression-era employees of A.C.C., please let me know.

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4 comments

  1. Just will never understand why some folks are not happy unless they get the chance to stir the pot I was raised in Wilson by a very loving lady her name was miss marry her feller was alvester and yes little was a white boy that knew nothing but love for this family my mama ,miss Mary worked side by side like my two brothers Larry an Ronnie and miss Mary’s daughter sorry my names just seem to leave me as time catching us all we were the moss boys miss Mary took care of us just as her own we knew not any difference between our selves except we were happy to be loved by someone other than that of blood kin mama still talks to our other mother Alvester has been past for a while just so you know everyone is not playing the game of poor folks treated like shit to get a race game going .thanks one of the moss boys and yes I loved my other mother miss Mary and my mama Esther as one every story out of Wilson ain’t want feed the gossip slinging few

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  2. I can hardly believe this…but I do. How humiliating for those who worked there. I’m sorry. What else can I say?

    Like

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