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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert Logan, December 28, 1990. Interview M-0027. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Desegregation reduces the number of black administrators

One result of degregation is the diminishing number of black administrators, Logan believes, and because administrators are in charge of hiring, the problem could snowball. He describes this situation in area schools where black administrators leaving their jobs are replaced with white ones.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Robert Logan, December 28, 1990. Interview M-0027. 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

How did the desegregation of schools affect your role as a principal?
With that said, can anyone not see what could happen then primarily what is already happening now. If we go to that type of system, where principals are under contract, superintendents will have less authority to hire principals. Boards will not only then be hiring superintendents they will be hiring principals. Everyone is under contract with the board but the way the law spells it out principals are to make recommendations to the superintendent for employment of teachers and superintendents are to make recommendation to the board for the employment of principals and what will become the reality will be that boards of education will not only employ the superintendent but then they will employ the principals that they wish to work with that superintendent. And one might say, well good, then you have a team approach. The superintendent can come and he can bring his team. Yes, maybe. And what you may have on the other approach is that old ugly nepotism where you may have board members that will run on political issues, get elected and then start to put their constituents in the principalships because they either supported them or helped them get elected to the Board of Education and the people may be good educators and they may not be good educators. We don't know if they are good politicians or bad politicians but the process will become less objective, it would become less of a professional process and it would become more of a political process and where the racial breakdown comes there is even fewer Black superintendents and fewer Black board members than there are principals counting minority principals and you could see a severe, severe decline in the number of minority administrators in the state due to the fact that they would start to replace them with their buddies. Down east the good boy is what is in effect now already and if you legally make it okay--that's what happened to New Jersey. That is why the state had to step in and take over segments of the school system in New Jersey. It has already happened in California. The state has had to step in and take over certain school districts out in California because the Board Members were squandering away the money and putting their buddies in positions--not only were some not qualified they didn't have the experience, the background and hadn't earned the positions. They definitely were not the best persons for the positions. Some weren't even qualified for the position. Now something else that I have noticed that obviously is taking place due to declinement. Very seldom have we been able to maintain when a Black principal retires or is promoted it is very difficult to find another Black administrator to replace him with. In my four principalships I have followed three Blacks and one White. I followed a Black at Central, a Black at Cedar Grove, a White at Bedingfield, and I followed a Black here. What some school systems will try to do and I was replaced by when I left those schools, I was replaced by White, White, Black and I haven't left here. After the whole thing shakes out we are down one in the replacement process. I've been replaced by so far two Whites and one Black and I replaced three Blacks and one White. I'm not saying that that was done because of the good old boy mentality. In one situation they honestly did have a Black candidate to put into the job. They took the next best prepared candidate in this system and it just happened to be a White female.
Were you sought after because you were Black for this job?
For this job, I think so. That was not the case in Wilson. I think it was the case here because of this systems desire to keep a racial balance, not to keep a racial balance but to keep some minority administrators. There are only three of us here.