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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George Miller, January 19, 1991. Interview M-0015. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

White and black teachers' reaction to black students in desegregated schools

Miller discusses white and black teachers' relationship to the black student population based on each group's different relationship and access to educational resources. Unlike black teachers, white teachers had long lacked an intimate knowledge of black students' home life. In desegregated schools, white teachers maintained their social distance, which often reflected in lower expectations for black students.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George Miller, January 19, 1991. Interview M-0015. 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

GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Did you notice difference in the supervision of White teachers and Black teachers?
GEORGE MILLER:
Sure, White teachers don't want to spend that much time with the children. They don't want to go into their homes, they feel that the White children have access to most all of the facilities, the library and everything in the community--that makes a difference. They don't know the home, they don't know the library, not like my daughter. She could tell you what books we had here. A lot of them didn't have newspapers and one T.V. and it made a difference. They were victims of post-pms syndrome. The teacher before had always put in their minds that he wasn't any good. He was going to create a problem. And that was bad. Rather than changing the patterns the White wanted to suspend and they do to this very day. They love suspension. Out of sight, out of mind, problem gone. A lot of times you had to discipline a teacher. Any time you don't start class until ten minutes after the bell rings you have a problem. If you quit ten or fifteen minutes before the bell, you haven't prepared a lesson. And that can create a problem. If you don't have a lesson well prepared, you have a problem. I've had students come to me and say, you have to get rid of that teacher. We've been on the introduction for three months. I can't stand that. I can't go to college this way. You've got to face that fact. They had to go. I've asked them what they are doing and they say, we're having a synthetic discussion. Not in my eyesight! I've gone in and taken over the classes I've taken over English and biology classes. All you have to do is tell me what the subject is. I'm going to teach it.