Wiley Lash Interview


Wiley Lash Interview


Wiley Immanuel Lash was born to Reverend Wiley Hezekiah and Mayzonetta (Mary) Grundy Lash in 1908. After his graduation from college, Lash returned to Salisbury, becoming the sole owner and manager of Lash's Self-Service Grocery on East Council Street - the store he had owned with his brother since 1929. The store, one of the first black businesses in downtown Salisbury, served as an informal hub for political activism and social services for the needy.

Wiley began his life-long career as a political activist participating in Salisbury's Negro Civic League spearheading voter registration drives in the black community. He also served on boards which covered virtually every area of the life of the city. In 1979 Wiley became a member of City Council and Mayor Pro Tem. Wiley was reelected in 1981, winning the largest number of votes on the Council to become the City's first black mayor. When his term ended (1985) Wiley was honored as the city's first Honorary Mayor.

The Lash Collection (Manuscript Collection #9616) holds materials from various members of the Lash family. Included are pictures, a few speeches by Wiley Lash in a public relations function, diaries from his mother, and brief reports, etc. from various committees on which he served.

The digitized version of this collection was produced as a part of the Internet Multimedia Studio (IMS) project in the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). The IMS project is a part of an initiative to enhance the instructional use of technology at UNC-CH. The virtual archives presented here is the result of a pilot project conducted with the Rowan Public Library in Salisbury, North Carolina, during the spring of 1997. It had the explicit goal of developing a model for conversion and distribution of such materials that could be applied on a larger scale to libraries across the state. SILS faculty member, Dr. Helen R. Tibbo, coordinated this project with Mr. Kevin Cherry, a recent SILS alumnus, and Public History Librarian at Rowan Public Library. SILS students, Laura Micham and Lynn Pritcher, were responsible for the document selection, scanning, and Web page development for this project.

Collection Items

Wiley Lash was interviewed by Salisbury Post newswoman Rose Post over the course of a year in 1991. Lash and Post discussed his life, and how Salisbury and Rowan County had changed since the time that he was a boy. There are a number of references to…
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