Interview with Dorothy Graham

Well, now take me back to something we were talking about before: role models. You had begun a statement about, um, Black children needing roll models, tell me, tell me what you went, in just a second.


All children need role models, but Black children particularly need roll models, I think. Ah, when I went to Allapattah Junior High School, there were White teachers there who came to work looking like anything at all, just looking bad, frowsy[SIC], OK? Some of them didn't even smell clean, it se--seemed as though they didn't take a bath every morning before coming to work. And this would be one of the things that you tried to impress upon children, even though they didn't have hot running water, you could put enough soap on your body to warm it up to take a cold bath, but you take a bath before you leave home, you see. And this is what colored children are taught, but they didn't get this, they didn't get the importance of knowing how to read, that you have to read, you see, you make this important to them, and they read. This business about Johnny doesn't read, that's a lot of hogwash, he doesn't read because nobody has made him think he needed to read.


Stop down please.