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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Serena Henderson Parker, April 13, 1995. Interview Q-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Used books at a segregated black school

Parker remembers using "dirty, nasty" used books handed down from a white school.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Serena Henderson Parker, April 13, 1995. Interview Q-0073. 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

EDDIE McCOY:
What about stories? Did anybody—teachers tell you about Rip Van Winkle or anybody?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Oh, yes. All them things, uh-hum.
EDDIE McCOY:
Huh?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Yeah, we did. We had the same thing you all had. Of course, it was told to us more freely and more understanding.
EDDIE McCOY:
Uh-huh.
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
And they just took time.
EDDIE McCOY:
Uh-huh.
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
And we had to read all them books like Huckleberry Finn and all that. We did all that kind of stuff.
EDDIE McCOY:
When you was in school?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
At Fairport, yeah.
EDDIE McCOY:
Where did you get your books from?
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
I don't know where they got them. We didn't have no new books like the white folks. Charles [Gregory] told me, said, "Well, they didn't give us no new books until a long time after that." I think we was—I think I was teaching when they was still giving these old books. You know, the white people's used—.
EDDIE McCOY:
Uh-huh. I had them.
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Uh-huh, yeah. And then they'd send them down to the blacks. And Mr. [Gregory] used to go up there and tell them, "I don't want this old dirty, nasty book. I want some clean books." And so, we haven't been so long, you know, [got to where] I could get the clean—get new books.
EDDIE McCOY:
Yeah, it was about the '70s.
SERENA HENDERSON PARKER:
Uh-huh. I reckon so. We still had those old books.