Interview with Rhody McCoy

OK, start again. You were outside in the hall, and briefly summarize the proposal, the people coming out and Clara Marshall's response when you talked with her.


Ah, I was given the, ah, proposal and asked to be seated, ah, out in the hall and wait for the interview. And I began to read the proposal which was a proposal between the Ford Foundation and the Teacher's Union for a model program for the, in the summer involving community people to assess their schools. Ah, it had no connotation as to, ah, decentralization or anything but it was just really to assess the schools and they would want to give the parents, ah, a few dollars for, for their work effort. And while I was reading the proposal, ah, the door opened and a candidate came out and then another candidate came out later and the third one came out. And I knew all of these people and I said, if these are candidates for this job, and after having read the proposal and then see what it meant, then I knew they had worked a, a hoax on them and that these people were not serious about quote, unquote "doing anything" in terms of education of their children. While I--after I was called inside, ah, I think, I think Assemblyman Wright introduced me and told them all my background, ah, where I had worked and that, ah, Edith Gaines had, ah, recommended me to come out and, and apply for this job because she knew I was, ah, an aggressive and dedicated educator. And, ah, at that point, ah, Clara Marshall, one of the, ah, community people--at that time there was no board, it was just a community group--ah, asked me who did I think I was and she called me a few choice names, like a rhiny[SIC] red, and I'll leave the rest to imagination. Ah, what did I think that I could do, and, and who told me I could do anything. And I told her I was a professional and I could do the job but they'd all have to have a commitment and they'd have to do what the professional said. And I think at that point Mrs., ah, Rooke was, ah, most supportive. She said, "this is the kind of guy, ah, he talked better than the other people and his credentials are just as good as the others." And, then Miss Bishop said, "I'm, I suggest that we ask Mr. McCoy to, to do the hunger program." And I said, "Fine, let me say again, one, I'm already a principal, I don't need this job, but, I know what can be done with this opportunity if everybody's committed to doing it." And they said, "Fine." And we organized right that very day.