Interview with Dorothy Graham

You began with, "I don't think we profited much from integration in this area." Start again.


I don't think we profited much from integration in this area. I think we lost too many of our better teachers. When they sent me to Palm Springs School, even though they said that they did an objective selection, you know, just, ah, they did not specify who they were going to select. I'm a Delta, and I went to Palm Springs, and we could hold a committee meeting at, at, ah, Palm Springs any day in the week. We had that many Deltas who had been selected to go there. And you know Delta women are supposed to be highly scholastic people, so I know that was bad. So that left our schools bereft of the better teachers. Ah, before, while at Booker Washington, teachers were very careful about the way they dressed, they way the acted, the way they conducted themselves. Ah, they were particular about the demands that they made on children, and this didn't happen anymore. They could do as they pleased, you see, when the White teachers came in. Whether they were afraid or whatnot, it seems to me as though it's a very well-planned method to keep Black children from progressing. When Black children are not allowed to stand up and recite, they do not learn how to stand up and speak for themselves in any situation. They don't learn how to think on their feet, and you're not allowed, they don't get this opportunity in an integrated situation. Why, I don't know, but they're, they're not getting it. And, when they see people who come to business dressed like their going to play, that's very bad also. They don't learn what they're supposed to wear and how they're supposed to act. Young people need role models.


Stop right there