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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Fran Jackson, March 23, 2001. Interview K-0208. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Frustrations with white schools connected to experience in early desegregated public schools

Jackson felt that white teachers ignored black students during the early years of desegregation. Out of this experience, she came to resent predominately white schools as institutions perpetuating white privilege and racial discrimination. She discusses her support of predominately black post-secondary schools as a better environment, a sentiment voiced again later in the interview.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Fran Jackson, March 23, 2001. Interview K-0208. 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

FRAN JACKSON:
When I first integrated? For the most part I felt that the white teachers were rather insensitive. And in retrospect I don't necessarily blame them because I think that we are a products of our, of the context with which we live in. And they were just--. They basically ignored-. Now I know some of my friends can tell you some pretty blatant kinds of things that happened but from my own perspective I feel that for the most part the more subtle racism that they simply ignored and did very little to cultivate any type of relationship with us. So that was--. And as a result of my experience at Chapel Hill High I vowed that I would not go to a white, historically white college. And I must tell you that that was a time in sixty-eight when a lot of colleges were trying to quote "become more diversified", and they actively recruited African American students. But in my class of all the students that went to college, the majority students who went to white institutions did not graduate. And I know--. I can count, I know of at least four. And they were really, really bright people, really smart but they did not finish--. Three of them, two at least went to East Carolina. Maybe I shouldn't mention the institutions.
CHRISTA BROADNAX:
[Laughter]
FRAN JACKSON:
But yes and I went to Johnson C. Smith.
CHRISTA BROADNAX:
Okay
FRAN JACKSON:
The best decision in my entire life. And after Smith I came back to Chapel Hill, got my masters degree at Carolina. And then after having taught for a few years I got my doctorate from Carolina. But that was a really wise decision for me to-. And I made friends that I still have today we get together and so-.
CHRISTA BROADNAX:
Okay. So does that effect your outlook on predominately white schools today or--?.
FRAN JACKSON:
You mean my experience?
CHRISTA BROADNAX:
Right, right.
FRAN JACKSON:
I still feel that many predominately white institutions are somewhat insensitive, particularly to African-American students. I think that there has been an effort to make some changes. But I don't think significant changes have been made. And I think that the last institutions which will make changes are the major white institutions because they are benefiting from the privilege of being white institutions. And they feel that it's their way or no way. And I do feel that will be the last institution to make any major changes.