Banita Brown oral history interview, 2006 December 2
In her interview, Dr. Banita Brown, an associate chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, reflects on her upbringing, education, and career. Dr. Brown recollects her formative years and early education in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and her educational journey from junior high school to earning her PhD. She discusses the academic challenges and the social environments she encountered, explaining that her ability to handle and grow from difficult situations stemmed from her family and faith. In regard to racial integration, Dr. Brown discusses how her family became the first African American family to join their local YMCA in the 1970s. She describes her participation in swimming and dance classes, and how some of the white children had never interacted with African Americans as peers before they had met her. As she concludes, Dr. Brown discusses how attitudes towards higher education have changed and how this has affected her as a professor.