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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Geraldine Ray, September 13, 1977. Interview R-0128. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Segregated primary school has fewer resources than the local all-black high school

Ray explains what her segregated primary school was like and the subjects they learned. Since the teachers had such limited resources, there were some subjects like history that they could not learn until high school.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Geraldine Ray, September 13, 1977. Interview R-0128. 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

KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
And what was the name of that school?
GERALDINE RAY:
Weaverville Colored School.
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
So this was a segregated school?
GERALDINE RAY:
Yeah, it was the same school that we were talking about in the beginning. I went there from the first through the eighth grade. And I graduated eighth grade here in Weaverville. I rode a bus, I walked I would say three-quarters of a mile every mornin to catch the bus. I had to get up and be on the road by and be waiting on the side of the highway at 7 o'clock to catch the bus.
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
From Barnardsville?
GERALDINE RAY:
From Barnardsville. And so after I graduated from here, I still had to walk to catch the bus and come to;and then the little towns that we came through going and coming to school was Flat Creek, Democrat, Dooley Springs, Alexander, Weaverville and then when I got in High School we went from here to when they desegregated;But, I came out two years before they desegregated and I went to Stephen Lee High School.
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
Can you describe Weaverville Colored School?
GERALDINE RAY:
It's a two room building. It had a cloak room with a partition to cut off the two classes. We had two teachers and one of em was my cousin . . .
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
Really, what was her name?
GERALDINE RAY:
Monny Flat Jones. She was the principal. She taught me the last four grades. The first four was Amanda Horn. In which, we lived;my mother in law bought her place in which we are presently living here now. She lived here, on this spot, only closer to the highway up there and uh she left when I was in the eighth grade and went to Philadelphia, because her husband had passed and her daughter lived in Philadelphia so she went up there to stay with them and we had one more teacher at that time which was Miss Margarite Dixon. Marguerite Dixon. Macarath.
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
So, these segregated schools;Well, I'm asking about yours specifically, all of your teachers were black?
GERALDINE RAY:
Yes
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
To your knowledge were all of the teachers in the segregated school black?
GERALDINE RAY:
Yes, to my knowledge
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
So, what kind of memories do you have of this school? Did you get a good education there?
GERALDINE RAY:
Well, when you left there and went to high school. 'Cause back then;they did the best they knew how. You had a good basic in reading, arithmetic, and writing. Now as far as some of the other subjects. We had never heard tell of until we went back, 'til we started high school and when we got in high school;I'ts just like starting over in school again, because we hadn't had that.
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
Like history?
GERALDINE RAY:
Yeah, and all this stuff. See you had some history;but you had geography at that time. And uhh; see when we got in high school you had extra curriculum, you had home ec, you had science, you had algebra, you had core and all this which we hadn't heard of down here. We just had books, well which were hand me down books. And they did the best they could with what they had.
KELLY ELAINE NAVIES:
So, did you feel like you had to catch up when you got to high school?
GERALDINE RAY:
Well, as I said in reading, writing, and arithmetic and spellin I always made good marks in spellin;I always made a hundred on that. So, I made a fair good report, because I enjoyed going to school.