Robert Kelly Bryant Jr. was born and grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He worked for NC Mutual, the largest African American-owned business in the country at the time. After his retirement in 1981, Bryant spent many years telling the stories of Hayti and being a champion for public works in the community.
Click here to listen to part 2 of the interview starting at 33:07-37:49 to hear him discuss segregation practices in Downtown Durham and the role of W.G. Pearson, superintendent of African American schools, in the education of African Americans and recruitment of black teachers in Durham. This interview with R. Kelly Bryant was conducted by Paul Ortiz.
Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South was an oral history project led by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University from 1992-1995. The project used scholars to interview African Americans to capture their personal experiences living through the era of Jim Crow. There are over 1,200 interviews, with 310 from North Carolina, and 44 specifically from Durham. 410 have been digitized and available in the Duke Libraries Digital Collections.