Title: Oral History Interview with Venton Bell, January 30, 1991. Interview M-0018.
Interviewer: Wells, Goldie F.
Interviewee: Bell, Venton
Subjects: African American high school principals--North Carolina
Abstract: At the time of this interview, Venton Bell was the principal of Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, a relatively small school with a mostly African American student body. In this interview, he describes his duties as principal as the interviewer reads him a list of questions. This list is constraining, but it includes questions about race and desegregation; Bell's responses to these questions offer a black administrator's perspective on these issues. He emphasizes the challenges that desegregation poses to Charlotte schools, such as the low socioeconomic status of many of his students, drawn from poor areas all over Charlotte; the closing of black schools and demotions of black educators; and parents' loss of faith in the system's fairness. Those researchers interested in the logistical details of running a school will find plenty of useful information.