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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with J. W. Mask, February 15, 1991. Interview M-0013. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black schools get few resources

Illustrating the meager financial support superintendents offered to black schools, Mask recalls a colleague who was refused a request for toilet paper. Integration made resources like new desks and books available.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with J. W. Mask, February 15, 1991. Interview M-0013. 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

A. C. Crowder was the principal of the Elizabeth Street School in Goldsboro and I know that we used to talk about the time of segregation. We would meet and we would talk about the experiences that we had with some of the superintendents. He was saying that he had 600-700 students and this was in the Goldsboro district and he told the superintendent that he needed some toilet tissue. He said, just let them use--he gave him six rolls of toilet tissue and said, if they need anymore let them use newspaper. That is what they use at home. That's right. That didn't surprise me at all but some superintendents, and I hate to say this, sort of wanted to run the school systems as they would a plantation you know. You know, like give the slaves enough to survive on and don't provide them too much by way of elevating experiences or expanding their opportunities.
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
What about the books? Did you get used books and desks?
J. W. MASK:
Yes, not all books, but used desks. Used desks were common. We never got used desks until we moved to the Monroe Avenue High School on the 4th day of January, 1954. Prior to that time we always had and always received some furniture that was used in another school. There were two things that integration brought about--because you didn't have to use second-hand books and desks.