A Proclamation

My father, James Robert Hawkins was mayor of Durham between 1971 and 1975. This was a turbulent time in the history of Durham, when the schools were integrated, Hope Valley was annexed into the city limits and the freeway divided Hayti. The development of the Research Triangle Park was a dream my father had, and one that he had a huge part in its conception and development. Overall, he had to make some very difficult decisions that came with the position of being mayor.

On the other hand, he was also given the authority as mayor to make proclamations. And so on June 25th, 1975, the 18th birthday of my twin sister Becky and I, my father wrote the following proclamation.

I want to thank my brother Richard, who found this in a box of items that was stored away for decades collecting dust.

I’m excited to share that my book, A Story of Durham: Told the Wright Way, is now available in hardback!

For the past two years, I have been researching and writing about my grandfather’s uncle, Richard Harvey Wright. When I began my search, I knew very little about this man except that he was one of the founding fathers of Durham, North Carolina. But what I discovered was a story of passion, love, and a determination to succeed with no boundaries. My new book, A Story of Durham: Told the Wright Way, will cause you to reflect on your own history and hopefully create in you a desire to study your past to understand your

3 thoughts on “A Proclamation

  1. As a native born Durhamite, I was born in 1950 and went to Durham schools grades 1-12 and graduated from Durham High School in 1968. I was in junior high school in East Durham when the school was integrated in 1963. I saw and learned a lot. Mostly I remember the fights between parents on the sidewalks and streets as we waited to be released from the gym to go home. Integration for me was a monumental time along with the assassination of John Kennedy. Durham had its turbulent times and I saw a lot that impacted my life. But, there were mostly good and happy times growing up in Durham.

    1. Bob, the days of integration were very difficult for me. But, now, as I reflect back on those days, I’m thankful for being placed in a diverse community and actually being a part of Durham’s history.

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