Future Student Note

December 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Dear Student for (ENG 1200) West-Puckett’s Service Learning class,

My name is Louanne Reekes and I was in Mrs. West-Puckett’s class last semester. I completed my African American schools project on W. H. Robinson Elementary. I worked with one other student in my class to complete the project. We did a paper on our schools history and a timeline with general dates that we were able to find. Finding specific dates on Robinson was our main issue. We found a lot of general information about W. H. Robinson from the North Carolina Collection in Joyner. Also, in the paper we included national level topics dealing with segregation of public schools. We were able to uncover more specific information through an interview with Calvin Henderson. Even though we had access to Joyner, the interview with Calvin Henderson benefited our project tremendously because he provided us with specific information he remembered as a student. The information he gave us tied our paper together. I will say the project is challenging and takes a lot of effort and thought to put together. My biggest challenge was conducting a formal interview. I had never done one before, so I was extremely nervous, but after it was done I am proud of myself for sticking through it.

To better complete this project for your semester I would suggest more than one interview. Interviews with students give you information that cannot be found through any collection. If we had the time to conduct multiple interviews I believe we could have provided even more information.

Good Luck!

DW 30

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Joyner library is the archive I had connection to. I was not able to find a lot of history or information about my school; however the collection is huge and contains all different types of resources that are beneficial to others. The North Carolina Collection is where I received most of my information that helped put together the history of my school. Students hold responsibility when they are searching for a resource and or checking something out. Students go through a learning experience to better understand how the library runs for the next time they come in.

DW #26

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

During my interview Ms. Pahe informed me of the students that were most likely to segregate themselves and those who are least likely. Girls are more likely to segregate themselves. White girls seem to want to do things that are more hands on and African American girls play more “street” games and can entertain themselves without using the playground equipment. Boys on the other hand usually play together because they can play spots and run around together. So, girls and boys separate themselves and girls tend to segregate themselves from each other more than boys.

MP #2 final

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

For my mini-ethnography I chose to make observations at W. H. Robinson Elementary School. My topic of interest was segregation of the school system. The subculture that I observed at W. H. Robinson was Ms. Pahe’s second grade classroom.

During my observations of Ms. Pahe’s classroom I am trying to see if segregation is slipping back into our school system today. I believe that segregation still lies within a school, not by law, but by opinion and choice. My observations at W. H. Robinson Elementary School will enable me to test my hypothesis about segregation in our community’s schools.

W. H. Robinson has a history in the segregation era. In the 1900’s when the school first opened, W. H. Robinson was a school for “colored” people. It was not until 1971 when the school completely integrated. The school has made several transitions in the past century. Today, the school enrolls students in kindergarten through the fifth grade. The school’s history is of interest to me because I attended W. H. Robinson Elementary as a child. After studying the history of Robinson, I am able to compare the school during the period of segregation to the operation of the school today. Many thought segregation would be a slow continuous process. I would like to notice a transition in the school from the time period of segregation to today’s current school system.

I chose to study a second grade subculture because my sister, Jessica Pahe, is a second grade teacher at W. H. Robinson. Even though I am familiar with Robinson, the school has changed a lot from when I was a student and my sister will be able to answer any questions I have about the school. Also, second grade is an appropriate grade level for my topic. I feel like these students will be much easier to work with because of their age and knowledge. The students have not been taught the subject of segregation, so their knowledge of my presence will not affect their behaviors toward each other or towards me.

Before entering Ms. Pahe’s classroom, I came up with a code of ethics to help guide my actions. First, I must know exactly my purpose for observing Ms. Pahe’s classroom. This key concept will develop the notes that I record. I also will have to explain to Ms. Pahe why I chose her classroom as my subculture. Ms. Pahe should be able to understand my statement and why I am present in her classroom. As I conduct my field work, I must focus on my subculture. I will protect the student’s identities and I will not be judgmental. I am an outsider to this subculture, and during the times I observe I must keep an open mind. Recording my observations with an open mind will help me to record my notes accurately. To understand all aspects of my subculture, I must involve myself in rituals and behaviors of Ms. Pahe’s class. For anything that I do not understand I will ask questions to become more involved with the subculture. To help direct my notes I will conclude on my total experience of the subculture.

Being an outsider to the subculture of Ms. Pahe’s classroom was going to be challenging because I was already familiar with the environment. Attending Robinson as a child introduced me to the school. Now as I entered the school I had to take a step back and observe the school as an outsider looking in. I thought it was going to be easy to make observations of Ms. Pahe’s class because I was be comfortable field working in my sister’s classroom at W. H. Robinson. Even though I was comfortable with the environment I was going to observe, the subculture was going to be an entire new experience for me. I had never worked in an environment with kids of that age. I remember my reactions to new people in the classroom when I was in primary school, so I had many concerns entering the classroom such as; how would the kids view me, would they take me serious, would I be a distraction while Ms. Pahe taught, would they who I was? 

During my time at W. H. Robinson I hoped to learn more about student’s and teacher’s behaviors. From an interview with Ms. Pahe I hoped to understand how teachers must handle student behavior and the procedures teachers must follow to insure equality. Through observations of the student’s I hoped to see the interactions between each other in the classroom and during their free time.

My field work began with my first impressions of W. H. Robinson after years of being a student. It was around nine in the morning and I had difficulty trying to park since there are only a few visitor parking spaces available. No visitor spots were open, so I parked behind a long line of cars next to the rail road tracks. My first observation inside W. H. Robinson began as I entered the building and walked down the hallway to sign in as a visitor at the office. Walking down the hallway to Ms. Pahe’s classroom brought back vivid memories I have of the school from when I was a student. The smell of the school caught my attention. It was the same old moldy smell I remembered, so strong that it would linger around the entire building. The floors were even still the same from when I attended Robinson. It seemed to be that even the grade levels remained on the same hallways as they use to. As I walked down the hall I felt nothing had changed. The library and office were in the same location and even the staff members remembered me from when I was younger.

Entering Ms. Pahe’s class was my first introduction to my new subculture. I watched the students in the classroom turn around and stare as I walked by trying to find my place in the room. Ms. Pahe came over and welcomed me then showed me where I was allowed to sit and take notes. Many of the students seemed confused to why I was there. One student asked Ms. Pahe why I was there and Ms. Pahe explains I was there to “watch.” I pulled out my note pad and started my field notes. I notice the students were working on different assignments. Students at their seats were working on worksheets or reading a book, there were a few students at the computer and several students worked with Ms. Pahe. Soon I heard, “Clean up before going to your next rotation,” Ms. Pahe instructed the kids to transition to the next assignment. Students listened to Ms. Pahe without bothering each other. Students in the classroom continued to work on their assignments until Ms. Pahe instructed that it was time to clean up because it was time for resource. As the students lined up by the door they stood beside each other regardless of race or gender. I left W. H. Robinson after the students left for their resource.

As I continued observing Ms. Pahe’s class I made observations during class time and unstructured time. I found my observations during the classrooms unstructured time to me more beneficial for my topic of interest. I observed Ms. Pahe class during their time of recess. I watched the students separate themselves into different groups. Three African American girls were doing cheerleading jumps on one side of the playground, while two other white girls played on the jungle gym. Both sets of girls mingled with each other, but split back up for most of recess. The girls and boys separated themselves for the majority of time they were at recess. On the other side of the playground a group of kids; black, white, girl and boy climbed and played around each other on the larger playground equipment. As I continued to watch recess I noticed more groups formed around the playground. Girls separated from boys and black girls and white girls separated from each other.

To help answers the questions about segregation that I had yet to answer I interviewed Ms. Pahe. The interview helped confirm my observations that I made during recess. Girls tend to segregate themselves more than boys. Often times I will see African American girls playing “street game” such as double dutch jump rope or hand jives. Whereas the Caucasian girls will play on equipment, swings or walk around and talk to each other (Pahe). The interview with Ms. Pahe also informed me of other ways segregation is slipping back into our school system. She informed me that the SES (socio economic status) the economic status of a family has brought segregation into the school system. My lower performing students are African American males and my higher performing students are Caucasian males and females. This also proves that a higher SES leads to higher performing students. Students living in the poverty range often prove to be lower performing students (Pahe). To help prevent segregation Ms. Pahe states that “I make a conscious effort to group students according to race and gender when placed in heterogeneous groups. Which is a group that ability would not factor into, but when placing them into homogeneous groups which is a group that ability is factored into, often times I notice a trend in race and or gender.” My interview with Ms. Pahe explained a lot of underlying factors of segregation that I would not have uncovered with only my observations.

My field site showed me many ways segregation does and does not exist in our school system today. Segregation is a broad term and however races may not be segregated, other forms of segregation exist in our community’s schools. I was shown that students often times segregated themselves by gender. I was informed that a student’s SES may often lead to segregating students within the classroom. To conclude my hypothesis, I agree that segregation exist, but in underlying forms in the school system.

  Beittel, A. (1951).Some effects of the “Separate but Equal” Doctrine of Education:  Those who
            segregate. The Journal of Negro Education,20(2), Retrieved from
            http://www.jstor.org/stable/2966459

Segregation not only affects the group being segregated, but also those who enforce segregation. Social pressure influences whites to continue segregation. It is hard for whites to understand negroes because of the race relations, whites view negroes as servants. The barrier between the races conflicts with education. Without understanding the other race, neither want to step away from what makes them comfortable. Higher education could be achieved by mutual relationship between the two races.

Beittel, A. (1951).Some effects of the “Separate but Equal” Doctrine of Education:  Separate but
                Unequal. The Journal of Negro Education,20(2), Retrieved from
                http://www.jstor.org/stable/2966459

Beittel informs that us that whites in the South did not want the “colored” people to receive the same education as themselves. The policy of separate but equal was made to give blacks the same opportunity for education as whites, but in different schools. Whites wanted to remain superior to Negroes. President Mays once said, “History of segregation is the history of inequality”. Equal education cannot exist with separation.

David, Emerson. (2008). School choice and racial segregation in US schools: The role of
            parent’s education, Ethnic and Racial Studies. 31(2).

This article explains how “educational identities” relate to race and establish school choice. For highly educated whites, surveys show that race is a determining factor for school choice. As black percentages increases in public schools, educated whites are choosing alternative schools where white is the dominant race. The decision is leading to school segregation and racial inequality. This choice made by whites leads to negative interpretation of blacks in public schools.

(1958). Integration is going to be a slow process. Saturday Evening Post, 231(17)

This editorial examines the integration process. President Eisenhower explains that for the integration process to be welcomed it must be slowly taken in. Different parts of the country are analyzed to see how the integration process is being accepted. It is interpreted that the more “liberal” citizens are adjusting to the process better than “Southern” people.

Personal Contact with Jessica Pahe. (Pahe)

MP #2 Revised

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

For my mini-ethnography I chose to make observations at W. H. Robinson Elementary School. My topic of interest was segregation of the school system. The subculture that I observed at W. H. Robinson was Ms. Pahe’s second grade classroom.

During my observations of Ms. Pahe’s classroom I am trying to see if segregation is slipping back into our school system today. I believe that segregation still lies within a school, not by law, but by opinion and choice. My observations at W. H. Robinson Elementary School will enable me to test my hypothesis about segregation in our community’s schools.

W. H. Robinson has a history in the segregation era. In the 1900’s when the school first opened, W. H. Robinson was a school for “colored” people. It was not until 1971 when the school completely integrated. The school has made several transitions in the past century. Today, the school enrolls students in kindergarten through the fifth grade. The school’s history is of interest to me because I attended W. H. Robinson Elementary as a child. After studying the history of Robinson, I am able to compare the school during the period of segregation to the operation of the school today. Many thought segregation would be a slow continuous process. I would like to notice a transition in the school from the time period of segregation to today’s current school system.

I chose to study a second grade subculture because my sister, Jessica Pahe, is a second grade teacher at W. H. Robinson. Even though I am familiar with Robinson, the school has changed a lot from when I was a student and my sister will be able to answer any questions I have about the school. Also, second grade is an appropriate grade level for my topic. I feel like these students will be much easier to work with because of their age and knowledge. The students have not been taught the subject of segregation, so their knowledge of my presence will not affect their behaviors toward each other or towards me.

Before entering Ms. Pahe’s classroom, I came up with a code of ethics to help guide my actions. First, I must know exactly my purpose for observing Ms. Pahe’s classroom. This key concept will develop the notes that I record. I also will have to explain to Ms. Pahe why I chose her classroom as my subculture. Ms. Pahe should be able to understand my statement and why I am present in her classroom. As I conduct my field work, I must focus on my subculture. I will protect the student’s identities and I will not be judgmental. I am an outsider to this subculture, and during the times I observe I must keep an open mind. Recording my observations with an open mind will help me to record my notes accurately. To understand all aspects of my subculture, I must involve myself in rituals and behaviors of Ms. Pahe’s class. For anything that I do not understand I will ask questions to become more involved with the subculture. To help direct my notes I will conclude on my total experience of the subculture.

Being an outsider to the subculture of Ms. Pahe’s classroom was going to be challenging because I was already familiar with the environment. Attending Robinson as a child introduced me to the school. Now as I entered the school I had to take a step back and observe the school as an outsider looking in. I thought it was going to be easy to make observations of Ms. Pahe’s class because I was be comfortable field working in my sister’s classroom at W. H. Robinson. Even though I was comfortable with the environment I was going to observe, the subculture was going to be an entire new experience for me. I had never worked in an environment with kids of that age. I remember my reactions to new people in the classroom when I was in primary school, so I had many concerns entering the classroom such as; how would the kids view me, would they take me serious, would I be a distraction while Ms. Pahe taught, would they who I was? 

During my time at W. H. Robinson I hoped to learn more about student’s and teacher’s behaviors. From an interview with Ms. Pahe I hoped to understand how teachers must handle student behavior and the procedures teachers must follow to insure equality. Through observations of the student’s I hoped to see the interactions between each other in the classroom and during their free time.

My field work began with my first impressions of W. H. Robinson after years of being a student. It was around nine in the morning and I had difficulty trying to park since there are only a few visitor parking spaces available. No visitor spots were open, so I parked behind a long line of cars next to the rail road tracks. My first observation inside W. H. Robinson began as I entered the building and walked down the hallway to sign in as a visitor at the office. Walking down the hallway to Ms. Pahe’s classroom brought back vivid memories I have of the school from when I was a student. The smell of the school caught my attention. It was the same old moldy smell I remembered, so strong that it would linger around the entire building. The floors were even still the same from when I attended Robinson. It seemed to be that even the grade levels remained on the same hallways as they use to. As I walked down the hall I felt nothing had changed. The library and office were in the same location and even the staff members remembered me from when I was younger.

Entering Ms. Pahe’s class was my first introduction to my new subculture. I watched the students in the classroom turn around and stare as I walked by trying to find my place in the room. Ms. Pahe came over and welcomed me then showed me where I was allowed to sit and take notes. Many of the students seemed confused to why I was there. One student asked Ms. Pahe why I was there and Ms. Pahe explains I was there to “watch.” I pulled out my note pad and started my field notes. I notice the students were working on different assignments. Students at their seats were working on worksheets or reading a book, there were a few students at the computer and several students worked with Ms. Pahe. Soon I heard, “Clean up before going to your next rotation,” Ms. Pahe instructed the kids to transition to the next assignment. Students listened to Ms. Pahe without bothering each other. Students in the classroom continued to work on their assignments until Ms. Pahe instructed that it was time to clean up because it was time for resource. As the students lined up by the door they stood beside each other regardless of race or gender. I left W. H. Robinson after the students left for their resource.

As I continued observing Ms. Pahe’s class I made observations during class time and unstructured time. I found my observations during the classrooms unstructured time to me more beneficial for my topic of interest. I observed Ms. Pahe class during their time of recess. I watched the students separate themselves into different groups. Three African American girls were doing cheerleading jumps on one side of the playground, while two other white girls played on the jungle gym. Both sets of girls mingled with each other, but split back up for most of recess. The girls and boys separated themselves for the majority of time they were at recess. On the other side of the playground a group of kids; black, white, girl and boy climbed and played around each other on the larger playground equipment. As I continued to watch recess I noticed more groups formed around the playground. Girls separated from boys and black girls and white girls separated from each other.

Writer’s Memo

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Reekes Louanne

07 December 2010

Writer’s Memo – MP2

I am currently writing my second draft for my mini-ethnography, MP 2.  The culture I chose to observe is a second grade class at W. H. Robinson Elementary.  Throughout my observations I was aiming to answer my question: Does segregation still exist in schools?

 I chose to follow my discovery writings to put my ethnography together. The discovery writings started the process with choosing a topic of interest and led to taking field notes and observing the culture chosen. Putting my discovery writings together helped me organize my paper. Interestingly the introduction has been the hardest and most frustrating part for my paper. Trying to rearrange some of my discovery writing to give a good flow into my field notes had been difficult. I first wrote my first draft and hated it, so unexpectedly I chose to redo my intro.

I like the layout of my second draft. I am planning on including my field notes about my field site next in my draft.  I do not plan on recycling this work.

I want readers to focus on the topic of my work; segregation. Also, I would like them to have a clear understanding of my field site.  I want readers to understand this work is based on my own research.

This paper was challenging, I did not particularly find one certain thing helpful.

And I would like the reader’s response in a written memo.

Interview for MP #1

December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

L:  This is Louanne Reekes recording and this is also:

B:  Blythe Neuhoff

L:  And it is November 15, 2010 and we are at the NAACP office in Greenville, NC.  We are interviewing:
C: Calvin C. Henderson

L:  Ok um we have a few pictures to show you that we had to get started off, just to see if you recognize any of these people, or if you are actually in them.  We are not sure exactly when the actual dates are, um, but just take a look at those and see if you recognize anybody, or if not…

C:  The only person I recognize here is Dr. Andrew Best.

L:  Okay, and who was that?

C:  Dr. Best was the um…really at that time was the practicing physician for one of the uh…one of the African American black physicians here in Pitt County and he went to the schools, uh, working with Pitt County Schools in the area of I would say um public health.

L:  Okay, I think we can get this…(scrolling through pictures on computer)…

C:  and he was my family doctor at the time.

L:  Okay so he was the fa…kind of like a physician for the school? Is that right?

C:  Yes, exactly, exactly.

L:  Okay, and these are kind of hard to tell. (more pictures) They’re kind of blurry.

C:  Yeah, right.

L:  Is there anybody you recognize?  Is that the school behind ya’ll?

C:  Yes, that is part of the school there behind…uhh…I don’t think that I was in the picture…I probably had long left.

B &L: (Laughter)

L: But that is the school behind it?

C: Yes, that is the school.

L: okay.

B:  Is that the current school?

C:  That is.  I think that is part of the gym and what is now the uh I would say the library.

B &L: Okay.

L: I think this is probably the same one, just a different class (pictures.)

C:  Okay, yeah.  That’s another class.  They are in front of the…I would say the auditorium/gym area.

L:  Okay so there’s obviously been stuff built around this.

B:  Yeah.

L:  There might be…now do you recognize anyone in this picture? (2:40)

C:  No because that was, I had long gone, that was the fall of 1966 and I had left ten years prior to that…umm…

B: Okay.

L:  Okay, so you left in ’56?

C: Umm…I really don’t recognize any of these.

L:  Okay, that’s fine.  I think that’s all.  So just to clarify, what years did you attend Robinson?

C:  I attended Robinson, I would say from the early 1940s through 1956, I graduated in 1956.

L: Okay, so what grades were in that building? Was it kindergarten through high school, twelfth grade?

C:  Yeah, they had kindergarten through high school.

L: okay.

C: Taught in the same facility um…you know you just had various rooms in the building for different classrooms, different grades.

L: Okay.

C:  But they all was in the Robinson Union school.

L:  Okay and that was the name of the school when you attended?  Robinson Union?

C:  Yep, when I attended it was Robinson Union, right.

L:  Okay and um were multiple grades taught in the same classroom or did each grade have their own class?

C:  Each grade had their own class, yes.

L:  Alright, and um do you remember what it was like in the day of a student? Type? Do you remember how your day went?

C:  Well um yes, we usually uh at Robinson school was usually started devotion and with prayer.

L:  Was it religious, was it a religious school or?

C:  No, it was just the setting of that day and that time there was always a devotion time and after the devotion we always pledged allegiance to the flag and then we would go into the class then there would be a time for recess.  We would go out and then afterward there would be a time for lunch. During the time I was there there was no cafeteria and we brought our own lunch.

L: Where did ya’ll…did you have to eat in the classroom?

C:Yes, more or less, more or less in the classroom. Either go outside or something like that.

L: Right. So you had a set time for lunch?

C: Yea, but your lunch was always prepared by your parents and you brought it to school and there was a place they allowed you to store it in the uh in one of the closets or under your desk or something like that.

L: Okay, and um was the bus system available to students at that time?

C: We only had one bus.

L: Okay, did it pick up from a certain location or…

C: Um bus number 88.  When I first started there was no bus. The parents got together and they raised money to purchase a bus. The bus was purchased and at that time the bus would go out and make multiple loads. It would go out, come in, go out, come back in, pick up.

L: So they would come back and get you?

C: Yes, that’s right.

L: Okay and um did only residents from Winterville attend W.H. Robinson?

C: No, residents from the Winterville area, and when I say Winterville, not just within the corporate town of Winterville but in the country because the way it was many of the areas, like what we would call the Haddocks cross roads area, that was out at County home road.

L: Right

C: They had a school there that mainly went from…to the eighth grade, something like that.  Then they would come to Robinson Union to continue high school.

L: Okay.

C: and most of these schools at that time were on the church campus. The warren Chapel area which is our_(7:07) farm road.  There was um let’s see here…There was an Ellis school which was off county home road also at county home road and Laurie Ellis intersection.  There was a little school there and the kids from there, they usually, once they would go there, those that didn’t drop out, they would come to Robinson.

L: Okay, so other schools fed into Robinson to finish out high school.

C: Right. Exactly.

L: Okay, and who was the principal when you were a student there?

C:  The principal that I can remember at Robinson Union was Mr. …uh…John Maye.  I did bring a picture of him and I also remember, I remember the founder of the school, uh Mr. Robinson, who the school was named after.

L:  Right.

C: Uh, this is a calendar and this is the founder Mr. Robinson, W.H. Robinson.

L:  and that’s the picture hanging up at the school today.

B:  Okay, Right.

C: Yeah.

C:  Here’s Mr. Maye,  J.W. Maye and he’s the one that I can really remember because I was much younger when Mr. Robinson was there.

L: Okay.

C:  and so those are the two principals.  These are some other teachers that…this is Mrs. Beatrice Maye.  You’ve probably heard of her.

L:  We have.  I think that was actually in a resource that we found.

C: mhm, she’s still one of the only few survivors.  She’s about 92-93 years old now. But the rest of those that are in this picture have all passed.  They’re deceased. This is a picture of some teachers.  This is Mrs. Ellison, Mr. Dickens, Mrs. Rizzel, who taught at…who was the book keeper at D.H. Conley until last year I think.

L&B: oh, okay.

C: and Mr. Harrel our industrial arts teacher, Mrs. Vines I think was our history teacher.  Mr. Ward was our Chemistry teacher, and Mrs. Anderson was a home economics teacher.  These are all deceased 1,2,3,4,5…they are all deceased.

B: Okay, do you keep in touch with any of the other ones orr…

C: ummm… really the only one that I keep in touch with is Mrs. Maye.

B: Okay.

C: Beatrice Maye, she was our English and French teacher.

B: okay.

C:  She still survives and you know, every so often we do touch bases with her to share fond memories and she wants to know how everyone’s doing..

B:  Right.

C: What are your children doing, she has always been very concerned.  These are some students-the graduating class.

L: Okay.

C:  Some of the classes…

L:  Now what were some of the events? Did you have a prom or home coming?  What were some of the events at W.H. Robinson?

C:  Well, we would have, we would have like um, we did have prom, junior-senior prom we had um….we had..celebrated what we called then “Negro History Week.”  Where we recognized African Americans that made contributions, like we do now but it was just called something different.  We had what we would call a “May Day” celebration. We would have flagpole wrapping and things like that.

B: Okay.

C:  We would have different events but at that time it was called a May Day….A May Day event.

L: Okay.

C:  We would have, during the Easter time, we would have Easter egg hunts and stuff like that.  But it was so much different then because the black school then did not have any of the basic facilities.  When I went to school at Robinson Union there was not even indoor facilities for a bathroom.

L:  So yall had to go outdoors?
C:  We had the outdoor toilet.

L:  Okay, was that for boys and girls?

C:  Boys and girls, yes.  It was for boys and girls.  Very unsanitary, but you know, you had to do with what you had.

L: Right, now who helped, I guess, raise the money to help build the facilities for the students?

C:  I guess well, parents contributed some but then like it is now, the state and the county would contribute some but they would contribute a very limited small amount for the black schools.  Because all our books was hand-me-down from the white schools.  It was already scratched over, names in them, you know just all kinds a stuff.  What they would now call graffitis were in the books.  The desks were the same way.  The desks that we got were sent down from the white schools, most the time from one of the high schools-white schools.  And we would get them.  They would send a truck load and dump them off.

L: Right.

C:  The books…but uh and the only thing we had as far as technical was special for young boys at that time was industrial arts.  You learned to do wood work and stuff like that with Mr. Harrel, who I just showed you in there (points to photo in calendar.)  He was the industrial arts teacher and he was the coach(?) (13:33).  Our parents, even back in the day, our parents had a strong vision for education, a very strong vision.  There was a no-nonsense policy when it come to education even though the majority of them did not have an education higher than 7th or 8th grade. Some never went to school, but they had a vision for their children to get an education.  My brothers and I, I can’t recall during my entire school time that we ever had absentees or tardiness.

L:  So you were always there and your parents strongly enforced education?
C: Strongly enforced.  There were some parents, because they were sharecroppers, they had to keep their children out of school to work for the sharecropper on the farm, but we were fortunate enough that my father worked at one of the lumber mills and we did work on the farm, but my daddy and momma never kept us out of school.

L:  So would you say that your parents wanted better for you than what they had?

C: Oh, absolutely!  That was the vision of all back parents back then.  From the time that I can remember, from the 40s up until the time I graduated, and continued to be so…that they wanted their children to have better than what they did.  Many of them went through very hard times.  My daddy was the president of the PTA for Robinson Union School.

B &L: Okay

C:  and PTA meetings during segregation was strongly attended by black parents, strongly.  That’s why today I wonder what has happened to blacks and PTA meetings.  And school…parents back then communicated with the teachers.  There was a strong bond between the school, the home, the church.

L: Okay.

C:  There was a strong strong bond in the community and uh that bond I can remember.  It was one that the preacher always in church, we grew up in church in Winterville, he always would recognize the principal in church.  He would always go to church, Mr. Maye, and Sam Hemby, our pastor would always recognize him.  And everybody that visited that church gave a lot of respect and they expected us to think the same thing.

L: Yeah, they expected the same in return?

C:  Right, the same in return.  There was no exception when the teacher told our parents that maybe we had not come up to our full potential. There was no exception.  The teachers word was it, no exceptions, and I received maybe one or two whippings as a result…by not doing what my parents expected.  I didn’t come up to their expectations with As and Bs.  There was no such thing as Cs and Ds.

L:Right

C:  and they would beat you well, and one that you remembered.  You didn’t forget them.

L: Right.

C: and at PTA meetings, you would always hope your teachers gave your parents a good report.

B: Yeah.

L: Okay.

C: You couldn’t sleep well until they got back home…find out you know…

L: and since you said your father was the leader of the PTA, what was his name?

C: My father’s name was David Henderson.

L: David Henderson. Okay.  And umm since you were there and now you’ve seen the school kind of change and progress, were you a part of the integration process?

C: No, when I left integration had not happened yet.

L:  It had not happened yet.

C: No. totally segregated.

L: and umm… are you from Winterville?

C: I am.

L: Okay, you are.

C:  We lived in…we lived really in the backyard of the school.

L: Okay. Umm..

B: What was the school like?  I know you said you didn’t have facilities, bathrooms…

C: Right, when I was there we didn’t even have an indoor gym.

B: Okay.

C:  We played…our basketball games were played outside.

L:  and did ya’ll have a court outside?

C: We had a court, but it wasn’t paved.

L: Okay was it kind of like a dirt…

C:  It was a dirt court.  It wasn’t paved.  We played all our games outside, but it was an exciting time because everybody would crowd around the court and support the team and there was no inside facility for any sport.

L:  So would you say you still enjoyed your experience at Robinson even though you didn’t have the facilities of the white schools?

C: I enjoyed it really beyond what words could say.

L: Okay.

C:  It was, It was the highlight of my life because I feel that we had the best teachers, I feel that we had teachers that cared about us and they instilled values in us.  Teachers didn’t have to sorry about disciplining you at school because the parents took care of that at home, unlike what we have today.

B: Yeah.

C: Where teachers have to spend so much time disciplining.  Teachers did have to worry about that so they spent more time uh…teaching you and seeing that you got your education, and I feel like we today, at my age, I’m 73 years old.  I feel like today that in many instances compared to what, mentally, kids are coming out of school with today, I’m more prepared.

B: Right.

C:  I’m much more.  You would think that they would be much farther ahead of me, but today I feel like I am much farther ahead today than these kids who are coming out of these school systems.  Because They’re not getting what I got.

L: Right.

C:  I got a very good education and in the segregations…in the segregated system we got a good education.  Many of us went on to be very successful, many of us went on to college, many of us went on to own our own business, many of us went on get jobs in government, many of us went on to the Air force and the Army, and uh where we serve our country.  Um uh even in school, and the reason I said that, even in school..my mother and my father and many other parents during that era, their children was involved in Boy Scouts.  4H club was the number oneclub.

L: The 4H club?
C: Oh yes, the 4-H club.  I was a member and my brothers and I, I had five brothers, we all was in the 4-H club.  The 4-H club, today I still have a love for the 4-H club in my heart.  Back in the 50s, my brother and I was probably two of the first black to go on channel 9.  On a demonstration…umm a swine demonstration. And it was only black and white tvs and I mean there was nothing like…there was color television.

L: Right.

C: That was back in the 50s.  I can remember the man named (21:54?) I can remember his name but 4-H club and Boy scout, I went and my brothers and I were boy scouts.  And even then, even being scouts, we got what you called hand-me-downs, scout uniform.  We did not…we were not uuhhh…we didn’t have the advancement, the advancement like they have in scouts.

L: Okay.

C:  In the white community they had Eagle scouts and all the merit badges, but we went out..we went out and the Boy Scouts was segregated.  We had the black troops, we had the white troops, we did not go to scouting together and until recent years did it become, like in east Carolina council of Boy Scouts of America.

L: Okay.

C: It was…ours was called the sunrise district or something like that.  But we went most of the time out in the woods.  We did have a set site that was donated to us for camping so we had to kinda create our own.

B: Yeah.

L: Right.

C: But we still enjoy.  It still played a great role in our lives because it was something that was a value.  It was…made you..instilled in you important contributions to society.

L: Right.

C: and uh, I don’t think that anywhere the students that went through the segregation school system can rightfully say that they did not get a good education.  We got a good education, in spite of, in spite of all the disadvantages.

L: Right.

C: In spite of the things that we didn’t have.  In spite of technology, in spite of used books, in spite of used chairs, in spite of the buildings that many times lacked heat.

Calvin- We got, I got a picture right, right here this will show you the teachers sitting around the cold heaters.

Blythe-Yeah

Calvin-… and there’s Mrs. Maye sitting right ther, that picture goes to like 1957 so inspite of all that they instilled with in us a good education.

Blythe- Mhm

Louanne-So you felt like you got a good quality of education?

Calvin-Without a doubt

Louanne-… from W.H. Robinson

Calvin-without a doubt

Louanne- okay

Calvin- no doubt about it, I feel that we had the best teachers, very well qualified and they wanted us to have it.

Louanne-okay

Calvin- and they gave it to us

Blythe-yeah

Calvin-they and one, one thing that I admire about the segregated schools is that they are always built on a foundation. They made sure you had the basics to start off with, that was reading, writing, and arithmetic

Louanne- okay

Calvin-respect also

Blythe-yeah

Louanne- And morals also?

Calvin-oh highly, very, high morals and I still value that today. You know, I still find myself saying yes ma’am, yes sir to people regardless of who they are. Color doesn’t matter it was instilled in you.

Louanne- Right and did teachers influence the moral aspect or was that more at home that was brought to school from parents?

Calvin-teachers did discipline you now

Louanne-They did?

Calvin- They didn’t wait until you go home because they would do it and then you get home and you would get it again.

Louanne-okay (laughter)

Calvin-So it was teachers, oh yes, I mean they didn’t hold back. They were strong disciplinarians. They many many times and ever our principal, he had a paddle in his office. And you didn’t ever want a teacher to have to send you to the principal’s office cause that I mean that was a no no and Mr. Maye was an All American football player from ANT*(?)

Louanne- Don’t wanna mess with him?

Calvin- uhh no, no, no, he was very.. he would smile sometimes, but he very seldom smiled, just like you see him here he was very stern. Right there…

Blythe-right

Calvin-… in his office right there. I went in to talk to him a many times cause sometimes by me living right with in the backyard of the school, sometimes after school, we would get home, we would run back out to the school and would go into his office to maybe clean it up or something like that. But, he was always very professional level on a very professional level, you know and uh there was times we had activities. Boxing and wrestling and stuff like that, that he would referee it you know.

Blythe-He was pretty involved, he wasn’t just like in his office doing work, you actually saw him?

Calvin-oh yeh and then see he lived in the neighborhood for years with Mrs. Maye. The principal and his wife lived across the street from us.

Blythe-oh okay

Louanne-okay

Calvin-Across the street they rented from a lady named Mrs. Annie Evans. And her and

Mr. Evans. Her husband was a minister, Reveron Evans. And when they moved into Winterville to take over principal of Robinson School. That’s who they rented from. They lived with them.

Louanne- okay, and did Mr. Maye take over after W. H. Robinson?

Calvin- Yes he did

Louanne- Okay and um… how long, I know we saw in somewhere that the name changed in 1948 to W. H. Robinson, um… was he was, was actual Robinson principal before that date? So was W.H. Robinson principal about that time or about what time would you say?

Calvin- I would say, he uh… I, I know, I remember when I remember, we called him Professor Robinson

Louanne- okay

Calvin- Now I remember Professor Robinson, he was teaching at another school. He had left Robinson school and he had gone to um, a little country school called Zine hill.

Louanne-okay

Calvin-That’s out on 903 like your going to Greene County

Louanne-okay

Blythe-right

Calvin-There was a little intersection back by McLawhorn farm. There’s Zine hill church, the school was right there on the church campus.

Louanne-okay

Blythe-okay

Calvin-And he use to walk from Winterville to there.

Louanne-Wow

Blythe-oh wow

Calvin-And I remember that because um, there was a we um, had a paper route, my brother and I. There’s a black paper out of Norfolk called the Journaling Guide (?). And they came into the community maybe once or twice, maybe a month, or something like that. And we were the circulators, we circulated that paper.

Louanne-okay

Calvin-He was on of our subscribers

Louanne- okay

Blythe- okay

Calvin- for our route, but I, I don’t remember… I don’t really actually remember the year he left there, but I know that Mr. Maye came in early because I… I think Mr. Maye came in the early 40’s

Louanne- okay

Calvin- I would say 40 cause… 56, 55, 54, 53, 52, 51, 50, 49, 48.. I would say that Mr.

Maye probably perhaps came into Robinson around 48, 49.

Louanne-okay

Blythe-okay

Calvin-and I could be wrong

Louanne- When the name kinda changed Robinson to

Blythe- yeah

Calvin-Yeah, but I certainly believe somewhere in that time period that he was there because I know through al of my high school I remember him, he was my principal.

Louanne-okay

Calvin- I don’t remember, really to be honest, I don’t remember another principal really

Louanne-Mhm

Blythe-okay

Calvin- So that’s the reason I say I know that he was there early on… you know?

Louanne- Right, he was early…

Blythe-okay

Calvin- There might have been one there before I got into high school

Blythe-uh huh

Calvin-… because, uh, even though I went to school in Winterville, part of Robinson, part of the school was on one side of the railroad tracks and part of the school was on the other side of the railroad tracks.

Louanne-okay

Calvin-They gradually moved it all over

Louanne-okay

Blythe-okay

Calvin-… on to one side and I don’t remember a whole lot during that time.

Louanne-right

Calvin- I do remember the school somewhat

Blythe-mhm

Louanne- So part of the school was built on the oppostite side of where the school is located now?

Calvin- Well it was started in a church. See most, most black schools was started in a church yard, in a church campus.

Blythe-okay

Louanne-okay

Calvin- uh, Robinson part of it was in Mount Shiloh church where the old Mount Shiloh church was there, but there Zine Hill. Zine Hill Church, Warren Chapel, Warren Chapel Church, Haddox, Haddox Free Will Baptist Church and on and on. So, the black church played a very important part in the establishing of the schools for blacks.

Louanne-okay

Blythe-So that’s where Robinson started, in that church?

Calvin- yeah

Blythe- okay

Calvin- Yeah, right, that church was part of the school at one time.

Louanne-okay

Blythe-okay

Calvin- Right, Mount Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church was part of the school, yeah and uh there, there, there’s some people that has a little, that are little older than I am, that has a little more knowledge..

Blythe-right

Calvin-… of you know.

Blythe-mhm

Calvin-… and I don’t know whether they gave you any of their names or not to interview in Winterville.

Louanne- No, we haven’t, they would have to contact us.

Calvin- oh okay

Louanne- But they haven’t contacted us

Calvin-right, right, but I do know that it was back in the 40’s when Mr. Maybe, uh started then

Louanne-okay

Blythe-okay

Calvin- There oh yeah know there’s uh, there’s uh very very very rich history, of um the education system during the segregation, segregation era. Um, um, I mean the the the, the accomplishments of black students during segregation was uh I mean it’s just amazing, because how we took so less

Blythe-Mhm

Calvin- we were able to do so much

Louanne- Right

Blythe-yeah

Calvin- but they took, the community, the took the parents and the teachers, the church and the community all working together and having a… vision. There are many families in Winterville that, that the community felt that many of the children, wouldn’t ever go to college and some of them today are professors, doctors…

Louanne- right

Calvin-… went on to be officers in the military and on and on I mean, that came out of uh Robinson Union School

Blythe-yeah

Louanne- So you let nothing hold you back?

Calvin-no

Louanne-okay

Calvin- no they were just determined and it took that strong home family…

Louanne- it took deteremination?

Calvin-… behind you to push you.

Louanne-yeah

Blythe-yeah

Calvin-… and to build upon. You couldn’t have done it without them. And it took strong discipline. I will tell anybody. It took some strong discipline to instill in children, you .. in the segregation era, that you can, you know, even though that the historical black colleges today, who I have uh, I have the highest amount of respect for… Played a very very important role in the education in the um, for kids black kids in furthering their education and their formal education, going higher, it played a significant role.

Blythe-yeah

Calvin-uh uh. My brothers and I we all um had uh went through college, all of us experienced college, all of us experienced the military, five of us.

Louanne-Wow that is an accomplishment

Blythe-mhmm

Calvin-… and I credit it all to my mother and my father

Louanne- So you had a very, like, strong home background?

Calvin- Very, very strong home background, my father was a strong disciplinarian

Louanne-okay

Calvin-My mother was a musician, she played a… for the churches in the community and uh and uh, my father later became a minister, so and very strong religious values.

Blythe-mhm

Louanne-right

Calvin-very strong

Louanne-okay

Calvin-and uh, so and uh

Blythe-Do you remember about how many students were at Robinson?

Calvin-During my graduating class…

Blythe-mhm, yes sir

Louanne- Or do you remember your graduating class?

Calvin- My graduating class, my graduating class, was probably less than 20.

Blythe-okay, pretty small.

Calvin-yeah, yeah, I can um, lets see. Hamilton, Lewis, Lucy Knox, Sadie Woolard, Ruby Pollard, uh, Claudet, uh probably one other girl, probably seven or eight girls, lets say eight. Then there was JD Worthington, Charles Jones, JD Worthington, Charles Jones, William Morning, JD Worthington, Charles Jones, my brother Charles and I cause I had a brother that graduated with me.

Louanne- okay

Calvin-… five boys, so I would even say, much less than 20

Blythe-yeah

Louanne-right

Calvin- I would even say like 15 maybe…

Blythe-okay

Calvin-… in our graduating class

Louanne- and did um, some of them kind of drop out before they made it, did a lot of them drop out or…

Calvin- Well you find, you found that a lot of the students that was uh well um from the rural the farm in the farming area they…

Louanne-… right you said about sharecropping.

Calvin-…right, right, they were they were they would gradually drop out

Calvin- excuse me…

Blythe-Thank you so much

Calvin-Oh and you quite welcome, your quite welcome and I, I’m glad that I

Blythe-yeah

Calvin-… in the position to help

Blythe- it really helped a lot

Louanne- It really did, it is amazing that you knew some of the people in those pictures, that we can record their names and any of this information you have youre welcome to share with Joyner Library. That they can make copies of

Calvin- okay

Louanne-… and can be um a source for future students

Calvin- right, right

Louanne-So that would help tremendously

Blythe-So thank you

Calvin-You’re quite welcome, you have a good day

Blythe-you too

Calvin-okay

Louanne- Is there anything else in the history you would like to share um that, you have a vivid memory of the school or favorite teacher by chance? … just a lot?

Calvin- well… I would say, oh um… one of my favorite teachers was um oh and that’s right we have a teacher Mr. Grimes that lives in Winterville but he is in the nursing home

Louanne-okay

Calvin- yes he is…

Louanne- Is he at the Winterville, um… the rest home in Winterville?

Calvin- yes, Winterville Manor

Louanne- okay

Calvin-… an on Jones Street, behind Robinson School, really it’s over behind Robinson school

Louanne- yeah it’s right behind it

Calvin-right, but uh he was uh, Mr. Grimes was  uh and was one of my favorite teachers.

Louanne-okay

Calvin-… and also I would say naturally our Principal… excuse me

Louanne-It’s okay

Calvin-I have just fond memories of all of them because of the role and the impact that they had on my life.

Louanne-right

Calvin-… and what was instilled within us

Louanne-right

Calvin-… and how they, they wanted so much for us to be successful

Louanne-They wanted you to have that education?

Calvin-They wanted us to have, they just and even today, even today by me being head of the NAACP of Pitt County, a national organization would, nation’s largest organization. My English teacher Mrs. Maye who is 90 some years old, continues to let me know when I have done well

Louanne-right

Calvin-… and when she felt I could have done better

Louanne- She still had that teacher…

Calvin-oh yeah

Louanne-…role?

Calvin-oh yeah, oh yes, I was um I did an article in the paper not to long ago and my phone rang and it was her. And it just made me feel so good and felt like I had done well because she told me that I am very proud of you, uh… I thought it was you know, your article was well…

Louanne- right

Calvin-… well worded and that’s one thing she, that she’d thrive on. That she looks for are you using the proper English , your words, and nouns, and your verbs.

Louanne-So, not only the education, but the actual good quality of education?

Calvin-oh yeah, a good quality education. And she still has that mentality, she still you know

Louanne-right

Calvin-yeah, it hasn’t left her, she writes for the Daily Reflector sometimes she does an article there, then she writes for the invoice newspaper. So she, she continues to remain active you know

Louanne-Active for the school

Calvin-right

Louanne- And are you active at the school now? Or have you been?

Calvin-Yes, I remain active at the school for quite sometime, I haven’t been for the last, I would say 2 or 3 years… since um Mrs. Uh Alfia (?) retired, the principal.

Louanne-okay

Calvin- but during her that… been during the last 3 or 4 years since she retired, but during her time as principal there, Mrs. McNairy

Louanne- that was my principal

Calvin-oh it was

Louanne-Yes, I went to W.H. Robinson

Calvin-oh you did?

Louanne-yes sir

Calvin- I was very active at the school then

Louanne-okay

Calvin-I visited, I did um we uh would uh help support programs that she had, she always was calling on us

Louanne-right

Calvin-… to um help then, I thought the world of her, she heard I still call her every once in a while

Louanne-right

Calvin-yeah, but uh I enjoyed working with her but uh and we planned to get back on I think… two years ago we did some mentoring in the school, we did the after school mentoring to help…

Louanne-right

Calvin-… with some of the disciplinary problems they was having and so we, we we are looking forward to doing that again and much to come…

Louanne-okay

Calvin-…in the beginning of the year

Louanne-So, you still try to stay active at the school?

Calvin-oh yes, yes… I have some fond memories of that school

Louanne-right

Calvin-I still love that school… yeah I still love that school, yeah and uh I have been around it all my life

Louanne-right, lived right behind it…

Calvin- that’s right

Louanne-… and everything

Calvin-Right, right, in the neighborhood so I just… it just seems that a part of me is always

Louanne-gonna be there

Calvin-always gonna be at that school and um and uh theres, this was one of the reunion that we continue to have

Louanne-okay

Calvin- we are building our Robinson… W.H. Robinson reunion now and um so we uh we have it now annually every year

Louanne-okay

Calvin- … and we have, we are looking, we have had different ones who have gone away to make sizable donations towards our scholarship programs that we got now…

Louanne-right

Calvin-…we sponsor and scholarship for some outstanding student that is moving to higher education and so we just um we just try not to let the dream of Robinson die

Louanne- right

Calvin- you know

Louanne- you try to keep it alive

Calvin-… keep it alive keep it alive and um like I said there are only Mrs. Maye, Mr. Grimes, Mrs. Maye, Mr. Grimes, Mrs. Carney(?),…. Mrs.Carney lives in, and that’s just about it. No more, there might be one that I haven’t named during the total segregation time that still survive…

Louanne-right

Calvin-…they’re they only people that…

Louanne-okay

Calvin-… but um it’s, it’s you know, it was um… it was a grand, grand, experience. And if I had to do it all over again… I would do it.

Louanne- You think you’d do it again?

Calvin- oh yeah, I would do it because…

Louanne- Even without all the extras that the white schools had, you were still proud of what you had?

Calvin- …we were proud of what we had because…

Louanne-okay

Calvin-… because you know I have been able to, I have been able to accomplish things in my lifetime that I know I couldn’t have done had it not been for my parents…

Louanne- and for some of the teachers?

Calvin-… the teachers and the school, Robinson School and the teachers

Louanne- right

Calvin- I know I couldn’t have, I’m involved today in many areas I sit at many tables. I meet at many boards, board of trustees for the hospital, university, social service board, al boards…

Louanne-very active

Calvin-… I sit at tables to discuss issues… I I I, I went on, I didn’t complete college not as far as a degree, but I did move into a technical area

Louanne-okay

Calvin-… and I became, I became a contractor

Louanne-okay

Calvin-… and I was the first black in this area to ever be licensed by the North Carolina State board of plumbing and heating contractors…

Louanne-okay

Calvin-…and I went to business, and I worked for myself for over 29 years

Louanne-right

Calvin-… all over the state of North Carolina, residential, commercial industry, uh and I have a little bit of contract at the new hospital out there

Louanne- okay

Calvin-I worked at (….?) places like that, I did many, I had many, I could ride by and see many subdivisions that I had a hand in…

Louanne-had a part of…

Calvin- yeah

Louanne- okay

Calvin-… and installing the mechanical and I couldn’t have done that, if I had not had the

proper basic education

Louanne-… that you received from W.H. Robinson?

Calvin-Oh yes oh yes.. yes.. from military, my military and all. So I am very proud I am very proud of what the segregated Robinson Union School did for me

Louanne- So you still talk good about Robinson

Calvin-oh yeah

Louanne- You wouldn’t talk bad about it?

Calvin-I love Robinson, yes I love Robinson School

Louanne-Well I thank you for letting us interview you, we have gotten a lot of good information um I guess that’s about it for right now.

Calvin- okay, well look if you, you know. Need anything I can help you with farther, please feel free

Louanne-okay