Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Edwin Caldwell, March 2, 2001. Interview K-0202. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Caldwell doesn't let race make decisions for him

Caldwell asserts that he has not let his race be the sole determinant of his decisions and offers an example of a time when he voted to suspend a black teacher who expected his support.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Edwin Caldwell, March 2, 2001. Interview K-0202. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

I have never been a token. I had a reputation, whether I was with the Church of Reconciliation, or the Presbyterian Church, the school system. We had teachers who were up for suspension. One of them happened to black. He wasn't doing what he was supposed to be doing. He wasn't doing his job. I read that. He thought that I was going to support him. I told him, "He has to go. He is hurting children." That guy doesn't speak to me today. He is up in Orange County I see him every once in a while. He thought I was going to support him because he is black. You are gone. You are foolish if you think I am going to do that. You know you haven't been doing what you are supposed to do. You were not even showing up. He was a traveling band director and he was supposed to go to this school and he was supposed to go to that one. He is off somewhere not doing what he is supposed to do. Got to go. It is things like that. I am for right. The teacher organizations respected me, both black and white.