Your Voice: The stone the builders rejected

Linda Pierce, like us fellow Black Baby Boomers, was born into this world where the majority race treated her as a second class “citizen”. She had to sit in the back of the bus, upstairs in the movies, drink from the colored water fountain, buy shoes and clothes without trying them on and attend the Negro schools. Her race was referred to as colored, Negro, Black and then African-American. Linda rejected the second class status assigned to her, lifted her head up and began her journey. She studied hard in school and embraced religion at an early age.

When this honor student graduated from Williston Senior High School in 1963, her choices of colleges was limited because of her race.  She saw every road block as a challenge and either went around or over it in her tactical manner. Some obstacles slowed her down, but none stopped her from moving up the high mountain. Linda is well known as a “full time” Christian, entrepreneur, and community organizer. The organizations she supports and causes she fight for are too numerous to name. Linda has always been a treasure to our community and now her name will live on in the history of Wilmington and UNC-W. In 1968, the New Hanover County Board of Education closed Williston Senior High School. It was a hard blow to take for those of us who learned so much at Williston. Our school, Williston the greatest school under the sun, lives on because of Linda and the many hard working members of the Williston Alumni Association.   The little Negro girl that had to drink from the colored water fountain, ride on the back of the bus and travel to NCCU in Durham, NC for her peaceful college education is now a well- educated and distinguished lady.

Linda Pierce now has an office on the campus of UNC-W. The sign on her door reads “Chairman of the Board”. Psalm 118: 22-25 “The stone rejected by the builders has become the corner stone”

James J. Hankins , Wilmington, NC

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