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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with E. V. Dacons, March 4, 1991. Interview M-0009. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black students' limited resources did not dampen high expectations held by teachers

Although black parents and students assumed they had great resources, Dacons explains how his students, in fact, received fewer equalized resources and facilities than their white counterparts, a common story of segregated schooling. Nevertheless, Dacons discusses how he and his teachers maintained high expectations for black students.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with E. V. Dacons, March 4, 1991. Interview M-0009. 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

Did you get brand new books or did you get used books?
That's another thing. You see these books here at Lincoln Heights had, many of these books had been used. They were coming in there from other schools cause the names would be in them. There were a second year algebra book, a geometry book, maybe another science book that wasn't even there. They weren't there. They had never been in the curriculum at all and so I said our children deserve this. That's like cutting down on the size of the gym that you're going to put in here. Don't put in a gym that is not regulation size and doesn't have a stage for drama productions. We had drama then and they weren't going to put that there at that school, just a hall and a platform. I said we don't do just little plays, our department compensate the state level, the regional and district. Our kids expect it and our parents expect it and they deserve it. They don't know if Lincoln Heights is getting it--they think that they are getting everything. They're not. We didn't have a stage or anything. We were adding a gymnatorium, they're not the best things but it would seat 550 and so he said that would cost me $12,000 and I could build a classroom and I said we need that. I said, another thing you have that gym 4 feet shorter than regulations. The Northwest Athletic Conference meets here and the old Rosenthough had regulation size and you're building this smaller. We need one here that we can accommodate these people. But we got it. We got a regulation size.
But how did you get the books--the algebra books?
Well, just saying to them, how are our kids going to college. When they meet here, when they're on the college campus they run across kids from New England, from the West Coast, Southland and Florida. They have already had these experiences, they've had this learning and they are so far ahead of our kids. It's not fair. It's not right. Our parents think they're getting the best but they're not. I'm here in their behalf. This is a role that I played myself. to help our children and we're trying to help our folk to achieve and to do something out here in life and they can't do it here with just being--we don't expect our kids to leave and just go to work at the sawmills, we expect our children to leave here and go on to higher learning and they are. So I was able to get myself thirty books. That's not a big feat but for that era that was a big feat.