My name is Sandra Davidson, and I am in Folk 202. Here is my submission for the website!
My Great-great Uncle was playwright Paul Green. I grew up several streets down from his homestead and have always been told stories about his personality, his hobbies and his works. My Uncle Paul was rather progressive for Buies Creek, a small rural community located about fifty miles south east from Chapel Hill, and to many outside of our family he was perceived as a communist because of his views on racial equality.
My favorite story about Paul really speaks to how different he was in comparison to some of the individuals from his community. Uncle Paul lived in Chapel Hill and taught at UNC for a large part of his career. In 1941, he was living in Chapel Hill and collaborating with Richard Wright to adapt Wrights book Native Son to stage. Wright visited Paul’s home in Chapel Hill for a week to work alongside of Paul. Not suited or allowed to stay in any of the local hotels, Wright stayed with Paul. Word of this soon spread to Harnett County, and many of Paul’s former neighbors were up in arms about the audacity of Paul to host an African American…in his home nonetheless.
Long story short, Uncle Paul was informed that a group of KKK intended to pay his home a visit one evening. Growing up, Paul had put up with the KKK on several occasions and even had to eat meals alongside of family members who were a part of the organization. His tolerance for them was thin. In response to this news, Uncle Paul went to his closet, found his shotgun and sat outside the entire night waiting for their arrival. They never came. One can hardly speculate as to what Paul would have done had they actually showed up, and it’s surely best that they did not. Regardless, the tale makes for fun family fodder.