Interview with Charles Epps

Let me ask you this next question, I mean, as a Black American as a negro what were you told by your parents? How were you going to be able to make it in this society? They always said you had to have grades that was twice as good. Was that the attitude that you thought these students at Howard should have?


Well, my parents told me that, ah, son, this is, ah, the way life is but you're going to have to work twice as hard as the White man to get to the same point. What they were telling me of course and preparing me for was a, a society that, ah, is segregated and where there is gross discrimination. And I accepted what they had told me at face value and in fact I found it to be true. So I realized that, ah, my card to get out of the ghetto was education and I worked very hard at it and I was successful in getting out by, by education. And I think that still applies today. And I think that's the same message that the students needed to hear in 1968 that education is still the best way to earn one's place in this, in this society.