Interview with Paula Giddings
QUESTION 7
JUDY RICHARDSON:

How were they offensive?

PAULA GIDDINGS:

Well, because.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

PAULA GIDDINGS:

The ah, can I blow my nose?


JUDY RICHARDSON:

Why did you find Freshman Assembly so insulting?

PAULA GIDDINGS:

Well, here we were for the most part, here we were in the middle of a Civil Rights Movement. So many important things were happening all around us. Nothing was being explained in terms of the curriculum of Howard University, nothing was being talked about. It was business as usual going on. And here, and in the midst of this were these assemblies that had nothing to do with what was going on. I mean this was a period of tremendous fermer, ferment, things were changing all the time, all the time. And we'd walk in and hear someone talk about how to dress, how to speak properly, how to fit into some other kind of occupation or job that had nothing to do with Black people or helping Black people out, except maybe a wage. So it was a very, ah, we, we found that, most of it found it very, very offensive. And it wasn't the kind of education, in my generation particularly, in those earlier too, in this period of time. I mean we went partly to get some kind of intellectualized experience of what was happening. Ah, in terms of the arts, in terms of, of literature, in terms of social sciences, of political sciences, etc., etc--We might not have understood it so clearly of what, what we were looking for and searching for but we knew Freshman Assembly and the rest of those things weren't it.