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Oral History Interview with Venton Bell, January 30, 1991. Interview M-0018. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • 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.
  • Harding High's student population reflects the socioeconomic status of its community
  • Desegregation's damaging effects
  • Professional contacts trump race in determining who holds leadership positions
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • African American high school principals--North Carolina
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.