Interview with Paula Giddings

Paula, tell me why you had problems with Freshman Assembly?


Well, Freshman Assembly was one of those programs that all Freshman were supposed to, we had to go to, we didn't have any choice. Ah, and they always dragged in these speakers or some kind of cultural program that, again, seemed very, very, very irrelevant to us. You know the mission, the traditional mission of Black schools has been not only to educate Blacks but to sort of acculturate them and socialize them for the wider industrial order. And those programs symbolized that. So here you would have to drag into these, to this Freshman Assembly to hear someone give us a very Booker T. Washington kind of talk, ah, up from slavery kind of talk. And they were, they were dull and they were offensive in many ways.