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Oral History Interview with Bennie Higgins, December 28, 1990. Interview M-0003. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Bennie Higgins, an African American education professional in Greensboro, North Carolina, ascended from a teaching job in 1965 to a citywide administrative position in 1990. Much of this interview focuses on his tenure as principal of Smith High School. The interviewer questions Higgins about the daily administration of a principal's job, including hiring and cafeteria management. Researchers interested in these kinds of management details should look to the text in its entirety. Those interested in the role of race in Greensboro's public schools will find a few passages of particular interest, including excerpts about desegregation's impact on Higgins's career and the status of principals in the African American community in Greensboro. Toward the end, Higgins reflects on the role of black educators in desegregated schools, and the complex relationships between black and white students, teachers, and administrators. He sees much room for improvement in how teachers and administrators deal with race in the classroom, but also great opportunity for positive change.
    Excerpts
  • Attendance is a challenge for a principal
  • Desegregation erodes the esteem for black principals
  • Racism continues to pose challenges to black students and educators
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • School integration--North Carolina
  • African American high school principals--North Carolina
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.