Oral history interview with prominent African American businessman and political leader of Greenville, North Carolina, named Denison D. "D.D." Garrett, Sr. He discusses his background, education, business pursuits, and political involvement including race relations in Greenville and Pitt County, especially during the Civil Rights era.
Denison Dover "D. D." Garrett, Sr., was born in Fairmont, North Carolina, on May 6, 1915; he attended Greenville Industrial High School in Greenville, North Carolina, and later attended North Carolina College for Negroes (now NCCU) at Durham, North Carolina, where he earned a B.S. Degree in Commerce. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy from 1942 until 1946. Upon his return from the Navy in 1946, he founded and ran for 65 years a real estate agency in Greenville called the D. D. Garrett Agency. Mr. Garrett was a founding member of the Greenville Good Neighbor Council, which the city later adopted and continued as the Greenville Human Relations Council. He was the first African American elected to the Pitt County Board of Commissioners where he served from 1988 to 1992. In 1993, the Pitt-Greenville Chamber of Commerce named him "Man of the Year." He was also active in his church and his community, especially the A.M.E. Zion Church and the NAACP for which he worked tirelessly during all of his adult life. He had been a member of the Mayor's Advisory Citizens Council, Governor Jim Hunt's Sickle Cell Advisory Committee, the Pitt-Greenville Housing Resource Board, and the Executive Committee of the First Congressional District Black Leadership Caucus. He was an active member of the Nu Alpha Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., American Legion Post #160, and Mount Herman Masonic Lodge #35. He was married to Clotea Williams and they had children Rev. Dennison D. Garrett, Jr., and Michael W. Garrett, and five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Mr. Garrett died on May 28, 2011, at the age of 96 years old and is buried at Brown Cemetery in Greenville, North Carolina.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.