Interview with Jan Robertson
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

UM, I'D LIKE TO START BY ASKING YOU ABOUT WHAT YOU CALL THE SOUTHERN WAY OF LIFE. CAN YOU DESCRIBE FOR US BRIEFLY WHAT OLE MISS WAS LIKE THEN…

Jan Robertson:

Well, when I was at Ole Miss one of the most important things was sports. There was not a great deal of interest in world affairs, uh, national, affairs. Primarily as involved race and integration were uh the topics if they were discussed at all. Uh, more was discussed about our winning football team. It was a, it was a place where mainly uh women took a background role. Uh, Most of the women who were students there were not, did not consider themselves necessarily preparing for a career but for a, well a career choice, as a wife and mother uh, more than going out into the workplace. Uh, the teaching profession was one of the few the, things that was really open to women in the south in that, at that particular time. There was not the questioning of authority and authority figures that students do so much now at that time. Uh, you, most of the students pretty much accepted what the governor had to say or the senators or you know legislators and um, there was very little questioning of the way things were. Uh, it was an all white world. Um, whatever contact students had with blacks were mainly in the context of perhaps um, a cook or a babysitter or a maid in the household. There was very little opportunity. Uh, now, I grew up out in the country on a farm and so my playmates by and large were black, and my brother and uh, and sister, um, but that was, there was just not an opportunity for blacks and whites to get to know each other, and so you tended to accept stereotypes as the fact about what people were like and what they thought.