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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 >>

A lack of commitment to diversity in the 1980s

Logan believes that the presidency of Ronald Reagan did a lot to erode the position of minority administrators. Immediately after desegregation, there was a commitment to keeping black administrators in increasingly diverse schools; by the 1980s, that commitment had evaporated. To illustrate his point, Logan describes a job opportunity he lost because, he thinks, of this lack of interest in minority administrators.

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

One other point about being a minority administrator that I want to work in. I really feel that there was once a time shortly after desegregation when a certain number of minority administrators were either kept on board or sought after to try to keep balance in our county and in our state. To have a certain number of minority administrators to deal with the political backlash of the minority public citizenry that would say, that school has 50% that school has 40% Black population and you don't have a minority administrator in the school or even in the system. Our county is made up of 48- 45-40 % Black population and we don't have but one or two Black school administrators. Where is the role model for our children? I really feel that that was a cry right after desegregation and that helped the minority administrator. Now, after Ronald did his thing to us and what the country went through in the eight years under his administration, I really feel now there is more or less an attitude we don't have to keep anything balanced. We are going to hire who we want for what position we want. To show you a prime example of that, I'm going to call the school, I'm not going to call anyone's name, I'm going to name the school. I was interviewed two years and verbally told my name was being recommended to the Board of Education for Atherdrive High School in Raleigh. Athersdrive is a predominantly White, more or less middle, upper-middle class high school and on one of the better sides of town. The interviewing committee wanted me, the parental committee that interviewed wanted me; when they took it to the Board of Education, when the Superintendent presented it to the Board, the Board kicked it back.
Was there any explanation?
The Board doesn't have to give one. See that is the problem. Then they turn around two years later, in this past year, they offer me Enloe. Are you familiar with Enloe?
Yes, that is the high school.
One of the largest high schools in the state, if not the largest and it has the problems to go with it. Now why not give--my whole point now--what I'm getting at--we're going to find fewer and fewer minority administrators. Look at our cities and our Black mayors. We're not going to give a minority an opportunity to become the mayor of a city like Las Vegas or San Diego that's got something on the ball and is doing well, we're going to stick them in Detroit, New York, Philadelphia where they are already broke, they got more problems than they can even imagine solutions to. They are already on the verge of failure--they are failing when they put the man in there and then they…