Partial Transcript: HT: I'd like to start the interview by asking you something about your background, such as when you were born and where, that sort of thing.
Segment Synopsis: Horton describes her background and family life. Horton describes her hometown of Lenoir during segregation. Freedman School was also discussed.
Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what do you recall about the rules and regulations of that time; such as lights-out, and having to sign in and out of the dorms, and that sort of thing?
Segment Synopsis: Horton describes some of the rules and regulations at UNCG, and not having to follow many of them because she started out living in the upperclassman dorm.
Partial Transcript: HT: So, during your college life, did you go back and forth home quite a bit?
Segment Synopsis: Horton recalls the academic work at Women's College being challenging. She specifically remembers several professors, such as Dr. Randall Jarrell (noted poet), Dr. Amy Charles (her advisor), and a cold dormitory advisor.
Keywords: MH: Yes, yes, I did, and the reception was always grand.
Partial Transcript: HT: What about administrators? Do you have any recollections of people like the chancellor or Katherine Graham, I'm sorry, Katherine Taylor?
Segment Synopsis: Horton describes her and her boyfriend's interactions with the Sit-In movement. Horton recalls her boyfriend being particularly active, and even arrested.
Partial Transcript: MH: When my husband had to get a medical discharge [ from Naval Aviation Officer Training in Pensacola], we knew that there were no opportunities for jobs for him in microbiology in the South so we went to Columbus, Ohio.
Segment Synopsis: Horton describes difficulty finding a teaching job in Ohio due to a system of discrimination that kept black teachers out of long time work. She then describes her later successful educational career.
HT: Today is Wednesday, July 18, 2012. My name is Hermann Trojanowski. I'm inthe Alumni House with Margaret Patterson Horton of the Class of 1961 and we're here to do an oral history interview for the African American Institutional Memory project, which is part of the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection. Margaret, thank you so much for coming all the way from Georgia to be interviewed.
MH: It's my pleasure. I've looked forward to this.
HT: I'd like to start the interview by asking you something about yourbackground, such as when you were born and where, and that sort of thing.
MH: I was born May 23, 1939 in Lenoir, North Carolina, which is a small citythat is at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina.
HT: Well, tell me something about your family life.
MH: Alright, I had two siblings, a brother and a sister. My parents were1:00Margaret and Spencer Patterson, [who provided us] a very wholesome life there in Lenoir. I suppose our family would be considered middle class in just our community, the African American or, at that time it was called colored community. My sister was the middle sibling, my brother was the oldest, and I'm the youngest of the three. I lived there all my life [until after I graduated from college.] That city was a furniture capital, one of the prominent furniture 2:00cities of the South. My father worked for the Broyhill Furniture Company there in Lenoir, and my mother was first a domestic worker and later a Printing Company employee. With one of her jobs where she was a part of a family in terms of their cooking and other domestic work, [her duties changed]. They owned a printing company/gift shop, and they had my mother to come there and work. This 3:00was '55, '56 and it was a very unusual thing to happen, [even in larger cities], for a black person to clerk in a "downtown" store.
HT: And where did you go to high school?
MH: I went to high school at the same place that I went to elementary and middleschool because it was just in one large building. The community that I lived in was called Freedman, F-R-E-E-D-M-A-N. That was the colored section or community in Lenoir, and the school was called Freedman School, and it covered first 4:00through twelfth grades. [Before I was school age], I lived for a year with my grandmother, who lived in a very rural area. I attended a one-room school there, and that was a great experience. I was there because my grandmother had a farm, but her husband had died, and the last of her children had gone on to college. Her children were concerned about my grandmother being alone, so that one year I 5:00stayed with her, and she took me to the one-room school in that area. At the end of the year, I was promoted to third grade, but when I came to Lenoir back home, my sister was going to be in third grade. They had me start at first grade, which is a good thing. An interesting thing about my mother's family is that most, in a family of eight children, all of them attended college except two. My mother was scheduled to go to a nursing school in Winston-Salem, [North Carolina] when she graduated from high school, but instead she chose to marry. 6:00So she was one of the eight who did not attend college. As, I said, she later on became a clerk in the gift shop. My grandparents had high values and wanted the best for their children, and [my parents had high expectations for their children, as well]. It was just a known fact from the very beginning that we would go on to college.
HT: I was going to ask you, when you were in high school, were you encouraged togo on to college by your parents-?
MH: Oh, yes.
HT: -the school principal, and that sort of thing.
MH: Oh, yes, it was just a foregone conclusion that I would go to college. At my7:00school, three of the educators were two of my aunts and an uncle, so I was in a very educational environment. I was a strong student, and it was expected that I would go, and I had even chosen two other schools. I was making my decision as to which school I would attend before I made the choice of Woman's College [of the University of North Carolina].
HT: Where else did you think about going?
MH: Well, Bennett. At that time, Bennett College was the school where AfricanAmerican young ladies-if they were strong students-were expected to go or they aspired to that. But that was just something that my family wanted. Two of my 8:00aunts were Bennett graduates, and my mother wanted me to go there because my sister chose not to go to Bennett. My sister said, "Oh, no, I'm not going to Bennett." She went to Winston-Salem Teachers College [Winston-Salem, North Carolina]. Now that was a strong school in our family also because my uncle had been a football legend there; my brother was there, and he was a baseball player; and my sister had attended there so-and there were two others-so that was one that I just knew I did not want to go there to Winston-Salem, nor Bennett. But Boston University [Boston, Massachusetts] was a college that one of my other aunts encouraged me to attend. She was, at that time, in Boston, and she was in early education there, and she encouraged me to come there, so that was a consideration as well.
HT: Now there's a Boston College as well.9:00
MH: Boston University.
HT: Two different institutions?
MH: Yes, it's Boston University, not Boston College because I later did agraduate course at Boston University after I graduated from here, immediately after-the year right after I graduated from here.
HT: What attracted you to come to Woman's College?
MH: Well, the thing that attracted me was meeting JoAnne Smart [Class of 1960,who was one of the first two African American students who entered the college in fall, 1956]. I worked at a summer resort in the home of [a wealthy family from Lenoir.]
HT: That's fine.
MH: Furniture magnates. I was a chambermaid or maid. I was with an older personwho worked for them who was friend of our family so, therefore, my parents allowed me to go there and work in [a private home] at Blowing Rock. You are 10:00familiar with-
HT: I grew up in Watauga County.
MH: Oh, okay, yes. So JoAnne and her mother were there with a family fromRaleigh, [North Carolina] and there was a recreational place where workers-African American workers-would go for fun, music, or refreshments, and so on. So I met her. I had read about and I was aware of the fact that two black girls had been admitted to Woman's College, and I was very impressed with that-the fact that they had. So, therefore, I met her, and I would ask her about 11:00it. In fact, she had been admitted, but she was getting ready to enter her freshman year, and just with my going through this decision-making process for schools, that was it. That sounded like what I wanted to do. It was a challenge; it was a fine school; I wanted to attend there. So my mother, when I made her aware of the fact that that's where I wanted to go to school, asked "What? Why would you want to go there?" [My parents lived in Lenoir]; they worked in that community and many of the people by whom they were employed had attended Woman's College, and my mother just thought, "Why would you want to do that?" I'm sure 12:00that her first thought was the type of problems that I might encounter; the type of reception that I would have-just all of the variables that would go along with my going to that school. So in spite of that, I was determined. I made my teachers aware when I went to school in September that that's where I wanted to go. All that I was aware of was that they were supportive. I understand that some doubted that this was the thing for me to do. I later learned that many felt that I would do well in a school such as Bennett or other places where I 13:00would be nurtured more, but they just weren't sure that I was prepared for this setting; however, I was. They did not make me aware of [how they felt]. They were very supportive. My English teacher, especially, because he knew that English and journalism were actually what I thought that I wanted to major in at that time. With my interest in this field being strong, I always had a close relationship with my English teacher. I had written an [entry] for an oratorical contest and had won local, region, state, and had gone to the national competition for [the finals], so they knew that I had some creative abilities. Also, there was a newspaper called the Carolina Times that was published in 14:00Durham, and I was the reporter from Lenoir to the Carolina Times. This was a black, African American paper, the Carolina Times. I had [always] had leadership roles in the school, [so my teachers] were supportive. I made the application and was accepted, and all that year, my senior year, they were aware of [my special needs], such as the fact that I had not had typing, so they made a place for me in the typing class. I had known from the beginning of my senior year where I wanted to [attend college]. It was so funny, in retrospect, that I 15:00didn't have any doubts that I was going to go. I went to take the test and just felt that it's natural. I had that attitude.
HT: How did you find out that you'd been accepted to come here?
MH: It was in the newspaper; I think that I received a letter, probably aboutthe time that the announcement was made, but it was made in our local paper. It was in Greensboro, the paper there, and I know I received a letter saying that I-
HT: I think only three-Was it three African Americans who were accepted thatsecond year?
MH: Yes. I was the third African American student [after Betty and JoAnne], andat the time that I was accepted, no one else had been, but in the article Mrs. Blackwell-what was her name? Katherine- 16:00
HT: The chancellor's wife?
MH: No, Katherine.
HT: Oh, Katherine Taylor.
MH: Yes. In the article that she wrote, she said that the third black [studenthad applied]-I'm not sure what term we used during the sixties; there have been so many-had been accepted and that others had applied at this time.
HT: And then, of course, Zelma [Amey Holmes, Class of 1961] and Claudette[Graves Burroughs-White, Class of 1961]; there were just the three.
MH: Zelma and Claudette, yes, just the three of us. HT: And of course Claudettewas from Greensboro. Was she-I can't remember-was she a day student?
MH: A day student, yes. Zelma was from Durham, [North Carolina].
HT: I assume she was your roommate.
MH: Oh yes, but not until my sophomore year. Now is that enough about my high school?17:00
HT: Oh, that's great, yes. Well, what do you recall about your first day on campus?
MH: First day on campus. Well, first of all I recall that my parents had someoneelse to come with them to drive me down. My parents and Mr. [Bryson Witherspoon]-this person was familiar with the campus because he worked for families, white families, and he had driven their daughters down, so he would be familiar. He was a friend of our family, so I think it was assuring to my parents that he'd come with us, and I recall when we got here, we went to Mendenhall. See, I was in Mendenhall Dormitory my freshman year and my parents were a bit afraid, even though I didn't know it back then. They were being very 18:00brave and I was, too; it was a new experience. I can't recall [exactly how I felt, but] I think I was a little afraid when I realized that they were going to be leaving. Now I had been down during JoAnne's freshman year. I came to visit her, so this was not my first time, and when I came to visit JoAnne, I was impressed with what I saw. JoAnne was in a freshman dormitory, and you know that they were in a wing, but I didn't know that it was just them in that wing because other students were over there. I just enjoyed being here and I was more so determined that this was where I wanted to come. So when I came to school; 19:00however, the other freshmen-There were no other people in my dormitory because it was an upper classman dormitory, so of the people in the building, there were some young ladies and their tendency, I recall, was to almost dismiss us; not be rude or anything, but just not coming forward [with] "Hello, welcome." Not that type of thing; that was not at all what the reception [was]. They must have been student advisors or whatever you are when you're an upper classman and you come early on campus, so I think they might have thought that I was a worker or something until they saw other people on the hall. 20:00
HT: How did you end up in an upper class dorm?
MH: Well, so that I could be in a staff room. There were two freshmen. [Earlier]in the article, Katherine Taylor said, "Margaret has not been assigned to a dormitory," and I'm thinking later on how significant that was because now they had given JoAnne [Smart] and Bettye [Tillman, Class of 1960] a wing [of Shaw Residence Hall], so the next year JoAnne and Bettye were assigned to Mendenhall and Ragsdale. JoAnne was at Mendenhall in a staff room on the second floor. Bettye was in a staff room in Ragsdale on the second floor. I was assigned to be JoAnne's roommate and Zelma was assigned to be Bettye's. So the one thing that I 21:00think that Zelma and I missed was the experience of being freshmen [in a freshman dormitory]. I have noticed that that was one of the most rewarding experiences that Woman's College students had; that of being in that Quad, and the more I would hear about that, [the more exciting it sounded]. So while they were doing all those things, we didn't know what was going on in the other dormitories. For instance, that first day I recall being in my room and the knock on the door and it was Zelma. I had never met Zelma, but I knew that another student-By then I knew another student had been assigned. That was the happiest moment. I've often said that was the most beautiful face [I saw when I opened that door]. I mean, she is very pretty girl, but oh, I was just so happy 22:00to see her, and she was happy to see me. She had come down-Ragsdale was at the other end and it was during lunchtime. I guess she was told where my room was. It may have been suggested that we go to lunch, so she had come down and that [is how] we met each other. And that was a great experience.
HT: Do you have any idea why they had you room with an upper class person?
HT: For mentoring purposes maybe?
MH: No, how else could [they maintain their separate bathing facilitieseffectively]? JoAnne and Bettye were in the wing [of Shaw Residence Hall] because they did not have to use the bathroom with the others. There was a private bath in the staff room, and I suppose rather than putting Zelma and me in the same room, they felt that we would receive support from upperclassmen, 23:00but that was not a good idea. I was a young, freshman child coming from a small town, accustomed to going to bed at a regular time, [and lights out and other type of orientation was beneficial and helpful for freshmen]. A sophomore no longer has to do all that and-
HT: They've had that one year of experience already.
MH: They had that, yes. JoAnne had her style and [routine as an upperclassmanthat she had earned]. Anyway, it was not good. We had a wonderful relationship, but I got insomnia because she studied at night. I went to the library and then I came back I was ready to go to bed, but I couldn't sleep with lights. 24:00[Ironically, that was one of my most difficult adjustments to freshman life at WC. We were damaged by not having the normal experience].
HT: That freshman experience.
MH: That freshman experience, so therefore, we didn't really get to know ourclassmates. That's how you really get to know them. Of course we were in the classes with them and gradually, as I came into my major, I began to know some of the English majors, but those first years and maybe as freshmen, we were in many of the same classes. If I were in a French class, maybe freshmen were, and that type of thing. But other than that, those were the only relationships that we had with other freshmen. However, one thing that happened with me-and I found out later that it was very unusual-is that I formed a very close friendship with 25:00a white student who was an English major. It just evolved that we were in-I guess, our sophomore year. It is sophomore or junior year when you start being in the same classes. So then we started studying together some. I usually studied with Zelma-We would go to the stacks or to the library-but then when I got to know this other student, and with our having so many classes in common, we started studying together. It was just a very natural friendship that evolved and it lasted, oh, through many years afterwards. We exchanged our children's pictures and it went on for a long while. So it was a really true friendship 26:00that happened there. When she would go on dates-for instance, if they went to McDonald's [restaurant], knowing that we couldn't go into McDonald's, she would bring out a McDonald's for me and for Zelma. We studied but we didn't socialize together other than that, not social with dates or anything, but as for other aspects of our campus life-
HT: Speaking of social life, what kind of social life did you have on campus? Doyou recall?
MH: On campus, not very much. Okay, first of all, my-I had a friend from A&T[North Carolina Agriculture and Technical College, Greensboro, North Carolina]. He was my boyfriend, from my hometown. Actually, he had a scholarship to Fayetteville [State College, Fayetteville, North Carolina], but he decided to go to A&T. So anyway, he was able to come over and visit me. He would either walk 27:00or ride the bus. Then my sister was a student at Winston-Salem Teachers College. She was a very popular student, and she came over and she would [introduce us to her friends in Greensboro]. We had many activities at A&T. Our social life was on the other side of town.
HT: I've heard many students say that.
MH: Yes, that was it. The only thing that I did socially here was when Harold[Horton], my boyfriend who later became my husband, would come to visit sometimes. We used the parlor where you had your guests, and we would sometimes walk over to Elliott Hall, just walk there [to listen to records], but we did not get involved in social life in terms of coming to the dances. My dances were at A&T where he was in ROTC [Reserve Officers' Training Corps] and I would go to 28:00the ROTC ball. That was my big dance every year. The students here would have dances at Elliott Hall, but we never went to those.
HT: And you say your husband was from your hometown.
HT: So you had met him prior to coming here.
MH: I had met him prior, but my husband and I both also dated other people. Idated others, just as he dated others at Bennett and at A&T, but, yet our friendship remained strong and I'm glad that we did have other friends.
HT: Now freshman year you lived in Mendenhall. What about sophomore?
MH: Sophomore, junior, senior; all in the same room, but-
HT: Same room?
MH: Same room for four years, but the second year, Zelma became my roommate. So29:00Zelma was my roommate sophomore, junior, and senior years.
HT: That worked out better, I bet.
MH: It did work out better in that we were in the same class. We all had veryclose relationships-JoAnne, Bettye, Zelma, Claudette, and I, just naturally we did-especially the four of us more so than Bettye. Bettye was the other student who was admitted the first year and who died young, and even then she was married, and she had lots of social life off the campus, so she wasn't as much-
HT: Was she originally from Greensboro?
HT: Waynesboro. Oh, that's right and I think she had a child, too.
MH: She did; she had a child at that time, yes, and her husband was in the Armyat that time.
HT: So she was probably quite mature compared to some of the other students.
MH: Yes. Her age was not that much of a difference, I don't think, but just30:00maturity in life in general. And she had activities off the campus.
HT: Well, speaking of her, people have often asked me-We know she died young,but no one seems to know what happened? Do you, by any chance, know what happened?
MH No, but I know that there was an aneurysm because a cousin of mine who wasrelated to her husband [told me]. It was from an aneurysm that she died at her home.
HT: I think it was in the early eighties-I think I've heard that-the early 1980s.
MH: She was thirty and I think that she really was the normal college age; maybea year over, but not that much.
HT: I think she was eighteen or nineteen when she first came.
HT: As opposed to sixteen or seventeen.
MH: Yes, or either seventeen or eighteen, as is the case with many freshmen. We31:00had a full social life because, as I said, my sister [visited us often and we went out with her, especially Zelma and me]. She was very popular [and knew] basketball players and [VIPs on campus].
HT: Did you ever go to Claudette's home here?
MH: That's another place [that provided social life]. It was such a resource,such a resort or sanctuary, in a way; a place for us to just socialize. And her aunt and uncle with whom she lived were so welcoming. [Their home] was an area of much recreation for us.
HT: Well, what do you recall about the rules and regulations of that time; suchas lights-out, and having to sign in and out of the dorms, and that sort of thing? 32:00
MH: Well, [we did not have to adhere to the freshmen's] lights out rules. Sincewe were in the upper classmen dormitory, we did not have the same restrictions. I think many of the restrictions were applied when you were a freshman and they were lifted when you became upper classmen; however, there were times that you'd have to be back in the dormitories. But the thing is, compared to African American colleges such as to my sister's school or Bennett and A&T, the rules were much more lenient here than there. There was more leniency for going away for the weekends, for the [WC] girls could go to [the University of North Carolina at] Chapel Hill or wherever. The dress code was very relaxed; it was 33:00much more informal than on the campus of A&T and Bennett. I was kind of glad of that with the informality of loafers, flat shoes and so on. I mean they wore a lot of heels and that type of thing at the other schools. I enjoyed the jackets, the class jackets.
HT: Did you get a class jacket?
MH: Yes, navy blue and white.
HT: Do you still have it?
MH: I still have mine, yes.
HT: You'll have to donate it sometime in the future.
MH: Oh, really.
HT: Yes, we'd love to have it.
MH: Oh yes, I can still wear mine. [laughter] Well, yes it was navy blue andwhite. I certainly will donate it.
HT: That would be wonderful.
MH: That was such a great experience. It was a time of feeling a part-more apart of it all. I found that as years progressed, I became more confident; I 34:00became more involved to a degree. For instance, especially when I got into my major, I recall a time when after class we might-several students from that class might walk somewhere, such as down to The Corner. [Once there], someone said, "Let's go in and get some kind of dessert," or something they wanted. I went back to campus, so one student-she told me this afterwards-asked, "Why did Margaret leave?" They said, "Don't you know? She can't come in with us." They asked her why she was so unknowing and then she went on to tell about how, in her life, she had not been exposed, and so on. Then they showed her the balcony 35:00in the back-how I would have to go to the back of the theater if I had wanted to. So that was one of the circumstances. Another time, there was an area on the campus where people would relax and lay out in the sun and supposedly-now this is something that a friend told me that I did. I said, "Did I lie out in the sun?" She said, "Yes, you did. I remember the conversation that we had." It is amazing the things that I remember and don't remember. I remember so much more of the life that I shared in the African American community, the social life, because in college those things are really important. I remember going to classes and so on, but I suppose because you know other aspects of the college what the circumstances are, you become immune to them after a while. You know 36:00that you recognize those expressions, those attitudes and so on. For instance, when we came into the dormitories and the girls didn't speak that much, you recognized that, and that's why it was so surprising when I came back to the forty-fifth reunion and the girls were wondering why I hadn't come back and I said, "I really had no reason to come back. I was in contact always with those persons who were a part of my college life." That's why you come back to colleges, because you're so bonded to those you became so friendly with and you want to see them. I really didn't have anything to come back to. Zelma and I were great friends, remained friends always. I was in contact with Claudette, 37:00JoAnne, and even Margaret-that's the friend's name-with whom I corresponded for a long time after college. So those were the things with which I had bonded and so on so I had no real reason to return. When they said, "We didn't know," I noticed the difference in the expressions of some. I remember people, specifically, who were warm and welcoming. I will always remember a student named Sudie Duncan [Class of 1961]. The Duncans, you might even have heard of the Duncans. That was a strong family here. I noticed that her sister, Peggy Duncan, has created a scholarship. They were from Ohio. But I'll always remember her being such a warm person. Not that she befriended me in the way that the other person did, but just-you just felt like they were welcoming. Then you know the ones who-and I'm speaking of leadership, because she was in leadership-you 38:00were aware of the ones who dismissed you. You just really were there, but not a part of it all.
HT: Did it get better as you went through freshman, sophomore, junior, senior years?
MH: It got better because people became more accustomed. For instance, theEnglish majors, the people with whom I was in contact. I guess the saying is that constancy breeds familiarity. But yes, it did get better to that degree. Also, you become insulated, you know, after awhile. Also, I was born in the South, and we had come from and were raised in communities where black people go in the back door. I was raised in a community where Freedman High School books 39:00came from Lenoir High School after they had discarded them. Lenoir High School was this beautiful campus, downtown. They had beautiful landscaping and an [ideal setting] and we got their chairs, desks, books, and so on, after they had used them. Whereas, we had Freedman High, Elementary, and Junior High [all in one building], they had several junior highs, and in every community, there was an elementary school. After awhile you become accustomed-not lethargic, not accepting-but [you do as you must] in order to survive. Also your parents-I just really think so highly of parents who are in that generation in the black family who were able to make you feel so secure and confident in spite of the life that 40:00you were living; protecting you from it all, but still making you aware that you can do anything you want to do. Even though they had to be aware [of their actions and behavior] because they were working [and had to protect their jobs and livelihood]. I recall [with pride many wonderful things about] my mother. As I told you, she was a domestic at first and there was one person for whom she worked [who was a graduate of WC many years before. When she heard] the news that I was going to go to the school, she said, "Margaret, why is Margaret Ann going to Woman's College. That is not a school for nigras." My mother said [with 41:00firm conviction], "That's a school for anyone who is accepted, and yes, she is going." After that, my mother, who had been so concerned [about my going to WC], was just so much more supportive. That really inflamed her, and, in spite of the fact that this is a person who was one of her employers, [she was uninhibited in her answer]. The reactions to my plans to attend Woman's College would vary from community to community. I think that most in the black community were proud, but some said, "Why does she want to go there?" or they were critical.
HT: So, during your college life, did you go back and forth home quite often.
MH: Yes, yes, I did, and the reception was always grand. The one thing that Iwas so happy about is that I had always been an A student, but I was in a very 42:00small school-I was valedictorian of my class and had held leadership roles. But when I came here, I was so glad that my parents did not expect the [impossible of me]. They expected me to do my very best, but they weren't disappointed when I could not maintain those straight As. In fact, it was an uphill battle for me. I mean, I rose to the B and B- level and, after awhile I was able to maintain that. But I was playing catch-up in so many ways. Even though I had fine, wonderful teachers [at Freedman], the resources were not as great, and my experiences, and so many other things were lacking in comparison. I think that my parents were more concerned with my emotional state, the fact that I was 43:00happy, and that type of thing. But I did [my best]-I was so proud when I got B's; it was just like A's before.
HT: Well, speaking of academics, did you ever have any problems with any of theinstructors, academically?
MH: Academically, no. I just recall that the first day of my class, Dr. [LeonardB.] Hurley's class, English-he was the head of the department-he gave a pop quiz on the first day, and it was punctuation, and I got a D. I was devastated; I had never gotten a D and I vowed that I would never ever get a D again. And I didn't. But no, I studied; I was well-disciplined in terms of my assignments-and I studied hard. Each night, we'd go to the stacks; I kept up with my work. As to 44:00whether or not the teachers [regarded me differently]-there were some who seemed to look through me and over me, rather than at me, but I wasn't aware of any specific differences. One professor [was an exception]-I guess everybody who had him just adored him. That was Dr. Randall Jarrell [English faculty]. Oh, my. He just made everybody feel so special, and that was such a great, great class. I was happy to learn afterwards that you had to be handpicked. Well, he approved every student that went into his class and I took two of his classes, so I was really [happy to know that he thought that highly of me].
HT: Do you recall which classes they were?
MH: They were-He was a writer, so it was poetry; two of his writing classes. Idon't recall specifically which two. My advisor was Dr. Amy Charles [English 45:00faculty] and I was comfortable with her. I feel that she gave me guidance. I don't recall feeling intimidated by her at all, but I do recall that she said once, "Don't try to be a radical" or some term like that. She said, "Now don't you try to be a radical, rebel." I'm not so sure which or [what she meant], but I recall that.
HT: Do you have any recollections of any other instructors that you had, or professors?
MH: No, I recall those three: Dr. Jarrell, Dr. Hurley, Dr. Amy Charles, and aFrench teacher, but I can't recall her name. Those were the main ones and I recall Dr. Bardolph.
HT: Dr. Bardolph, a history professor.
MH: Yes, yes.46:00
HT: Richard Bardolph.
MT: Yes, yes, I do recall him. Oh, and Dr. [Kathryn] England; she was a speechteacher. Dr. England-had a voice mechanism. I really enjoyed her class.
HT: I think-it seems like she was involved in drama as well, maybe.
MH: She may have been.
HT: I've heard that name somewhere.
MH: Yes, yes. Those were primarily the ones. I recall that the dormitory advisorwas a cold person. I never felt comfortable. I remember when my parents were getting ready to leave, I guess they wanted to get some type of assurance, and I don't think they got very much from her. I think that that might have made them feel uncomfortable leaving me. That probably made them even more despondent 47:00knowing that the adult who was going to be in my life didn't seem to have any warmth at all toward me. Years afterwards, my mother said to me, "That was the hardest thing that I've ever done in my life, to leave you on that campus. We felt like turning around and coming to get you several times before we got out of the city. HT: Well, what about extra-curricular activities? How were you involved in that on campus?
MH: I decided that I was going to participate in whatever I could, but becauseof not being with the freshmen, [this was not easy]. That's how you get involved-friends do this and that and the other together. I started to go to Wesleyan, since I was Methodist, but I didn't feel that comfortable when I went 48:00to that meeting so I didn't stay, but I did join the newspaper staff.
HT: The Carolinian?
MH: Yes, The Carolinian, and my responsibilities must not have been that greatbecause I only recalled this when I saw a picture in a yearbook where I was on the staff. Before seeing it, I had forgotten that I had even been on the staff.
HT: Were you a reporter perhaps?
MH: Probably something minimal. It's just like you're there, and but you'realmost dismissed. But by then I had gotten thick skinned. For instance, I was aware of what a big deal the Junior Show was, and I said, "Boy, I want to participate in that." Zelma said she was, too. She said, "Let's do it." We 49:00boosted each other. I knew that my talent couldn't land a big role, but I had played an instrument in high school. I did not bring it with me to school. I played the saxophone, but then, in order to participate, you had to have your own instrument. I sometimes feel so badly about what happened. I told my parents that I wanted to be in the Junior Show. Well, the instrument that I played in high school belonged to the school, so they bought a new Yamaha alto saxophone for me, and they drove round-trip down here that night to that Junior Show. They really could not afford it and it was surely hard to do the turn-around trip in one evening, but I realize now that it was probably a matter of pride. That was the only time that they had been here to see me involved in anything [at Woman's College]. Even though I was just one in a large band that they could hardly see, it was worth it to them because I was in the Junior Show. 50:00There were probably other things, but because they were so minimal, I don't really remember them that much. I do know that at a certain point we had decided we were going to do the things we wanted to. Like when Harold would come to visit me sometimes, I would walk over to Elliott Hall. There were rooms where we could listen to records or whatever. We took whatever advantage after a while, because as they say you became insubordinate.
HT: What about sports?
MH: Yes, intramural. Yes, I did because I played basketball in high school, so Idid participate the intramural sports.
HT: Did you enjoy it-playing basketball on campus?51:00
MH: Yes, I did, but I don't recall getting so involved that I had memories. Inorder to have memories of things, something had to happen to sort of make [it significant]. For instance, Zelma swam, and, as you know, there is a textural difference in the hair [of most black and white girls]. African Americans used straightening combs, so when Zelma would swim, sometimes she would have to use the comb on her hair. We would stuff the doors, underneath the doors, so that the smell of the straightening comb would not go out into the halls.
HT: Would it actually burn-?
MH: No, you just smell it. If you or anybody's working with a warm comb andthere is oil on the hair, it doesn't burn your hair, but there's just a slight 52:00smell like something frying. Jewish girls and many people with curly hair, use a straightening product. It's just to get curls out.
HT: Well, in Woman's College days, there were lots of traditions, whichdisappeared after the men came. Do you recall anything like the Daisy Chain? Of course, we've already talked about the class jacket and about May Day-May Day celebrations. Do you have any recollections of events like that.
MH: No, I don't, but I remember the Daisy Chain, but not until I was a senior.
MH: So I should have remembered it as a sophomore because sophomores were theones who formed the daisy chains, but we were not a part of any of that. So it was only as a senior that I learned of the Daisy Chain when we walked through 53:00it. In fact I have pictures [of my graduation] on that DVD and so in the book that we're writing, I'm going to try to extrapolate some of those pictures to put on the cover-the Daisy Chain.
HT: Well, did you ever feel like you were discriminated against while you wereon campus, overtly?
MH: Well, the mere fact that I was living in a staff room; that was the mostovert discrimination you could have.
HT: And you say that lasted all four years.
MH: All four years. Yes, all four years and that lasted until 1967. I found outthings later on and other forms of discrimination.
HT: I know, I talked to a couple of other people who said they were probably theonly African American student in a particular class, and the instructor would never call on them and things like that. 54:00
MH: I don't recall not being called on. Also, no, I don't recall. I would raisemy hand if I had something. I don't recall being dismissed. I recall some who, just as I said, looked through me, over me rather than eye contact. When you're looking at someone and you want to have eye contact-Well, there were some who didn't have the eye contact and those were the ones that I don't remember very well at all. I only remember the ones who made me feel like a student in the class.
HT: What about administrators? Do you have any recollections of people like thechancellor or Katherine Graham, I'm sorry-Katherine Taylor.
MH: Katherine Taylor, no. I just remember at the time of the [Greensboro]Sit-ins, that the chancellor did advise that we not be involved, and I recall 55:00that I got a day-by-day report because of my husband's being involved, you know, being at A&T. He was there the first day, but I did not get involved myself. One thing, I felt that we were doing quite a bit here in our own way as pioneers in integration
HT: How did you find out about the [Greensboro] Sit-ins?
MH: My husband told me, yes.
HT: So was he involved from the very beginning?
MH: He was involved on the first day that it happened. He was not one of theinitial planners; those initial planners kept it very close, and then they welcomed others to join in.
HT: The four original students?
MH: Yes, the four original students planned the Sit-ins. My husband (thenboyfriend) was involved from then on and he was arrested with a large number, but they did not have to remain in jail overnight.
HT: Your husband was arrested.
MH: Yes, he was taken-they would take you to the police station, but it was not56:00anything that extreme. Claudette says that she went by and took part because she could leave here and go back home.
HT: And do you recall reading in the newspaper about the event or seeing it on TV?
MH: Yes, those articles were in the newspaper and TV, and I heard about it frompeople on the phone and that type of thing. I don't recall the girls mentioning it-other white girls. That's the other thing that we just weren't in their little cliques, so we had our own little cliques. We just weren't [a part of the main steam]. So it was as if you were here on this campus, but it was still a segregated situation. You ate together, and sometimes by choice. Oh, I recall 57:00that during our first few days as freshmen only one cafeteria was open and that meant that all of the freshmen had to come to the same one, and there were times when it was full. Zelma and I might be at a table and there would be students who would come settle down at a section of the table, but it was almost as if we weren't there. That type of dismissiveness.
HT: What about your memories of the Civil Rights Movement in general in the latefifties and the early sixties. Do you have any memories of that?
MH: I do remember that in the town there was much discussion of it, and as I58:00said, I was made aware through the telephone calls [and news, etc.] But actually, I wasn't involved and didn't even go down there during that time. [We were all the way over here] but we would always go to the other side for other reasons-what side is that? West?
HT: That's east [side of Greensboro].
MH: East, oh then we would go east to church, to other things like getting ourhair done, and so on. We'd go on dates and go to A&T sports events. Oftentimes there were times where discussions were being held, and if you'd come upon them,you know-they discontinued so I'm sure that all that was 59:00going on then.
HT: Do you recall what the political life was like-what the political atmospherewas like in the early sixties?
MH: Political atmosphere in terms of the student politics?
MH: I know the leaders were-For instance, Emily Herring [Class of 1961] was oneof the leaders, and they were always concerned with issues. I don't know of anything that they were strongly trying to rectify or change at that time. I know there were voting issues but because of not being involved with it, [I don't recall anything specific].
HT: That's fine. You were here right before the men came. Was there any inklingduring your period of time that men would be coming; that it would become a co-educational school? Was there any-?
MH: Well, we graduated in '61.
MH: Now there already was some exchange; I would see men coming over-
HT: They were graduate students?
MH: -to use the library and those were graduate students, yes.
HT: And those were graduate students.
MH: Yes, I had no indication; no one had said anything about the fact that theymight come. No. They had also an exchange student. A Hampton student, I remember, came down to our campus, and some student went there from our campus, went to the Hampton campus.
HT: Was it Hampton College?
MH: Hampton in Virginia, Hampton, Virginia, yes.
MH: When my husband had to get a medical discharge [from Naval Aviation60:00Officer Training in Pensacola], we knew that there were no opportunities for jobs for him in microbiology in the South so we went to Columbus, Ohio. Of course, I was of course was ready to apply for a job in teaching, having that great record that I had. I was told, "Oh, we only hire teachers who have double 61:00certification." That was what the board of education told me.
HT: What does double certification mean?
MH: It means I had to be certified to teach English and either history orFrench or something else. So that is what I was told at the board of education. [They asked,] "Do you have that?" [I said,] "No, I don't have it." [The board said,] "Well, we're sorry; we don't hire-" Okay, as you know by that time, in Columbus to some degree, the schools were supposedly integrated. Then I got a job in a public library. And oh my mother said "You weren't trained to be a librarian." And I said "Mom, I guess they don't hire without double certification." So, I got a job in a public library. The next year I went back to the board of education and said "I'd like to apply for teaching". I gave them my record and so on. He said "Well, you can 62:00teach Special Education." I said, "I don't have a degree in special education." He said, "That's fine, you have three years to get it." So I was hired as a teacher in special education at South High School in Columbus, Ohio. When I got into that building, not one teacher had taught anything but their subject area. I said to the English teacher, "Do you have double certification?" [She said,] "No." So that was very obvious [that that ruse was used to avoid hiring black teachers in major subject areas]. At that time, in the high schools, the only black teachers were physical ed, special ed, and I think there was one typing teacher. There were some in the elementary schools, but not the high schools. 63:00We had three years to get certification and it was free at Ohio State University. So I began taking the coursework. And I have to tell you that was such a rewarding experience. I had the same students tenth, eleventh, twelfth [grades], special education. I learned how to do it all by doing. Here they were going to go out into the world and this is all of the education they had. It was a rewarding experience.
HT: Tell me something about special education because I've heard the term,but I'm not exactly sure what that is.
MH: Those were, at that time slow learners. But now special education is alllevels of learners who learn in a different learning style, but then they were 64:00slow learners. By the third year, and we knew that it was all a ploy, that to keep teaching we were supposed to get the eighteen hours of certification that we were supposed to get. I slowed down a little maybe I had twelve hours or something; because I had a second daughter. I had one daughter, then another daughter came along and I slowed down a bit. So all of a sudden at the beginning of what had really been the fourth year, I was told that a mandate had come from the state or something political requiring that anyone who had not completed their certification had to be cut. I felt like it was the end of the world for me. Here [in] October I was unemployed. However, I was under a contract, and I hadn't figured this out with the powers that be, so I was to be a 65:00long-term sub. I went to another high school as a sub in English, and the person whose position I was in, decided not to come back. I completed the year teaching English, and even at mid-year the principals said, "We want you". I could have stayed on there, but that's when my husband got transferred to Syracuse, New York. Then in Syracuse, New York, they immediately snatched me up in English. But that was the most mortifying situation [in Columbus] when I had to work in a public library making minimal, 66:00and it was at the time we had a young family and my husband was beginning in his field. He was at Ohio State University in a laboratory. So discrimination and those types of racial injustices exist overtly or covertly, and that was a very covert way to say, "You have to have double certification." But it was so beautiful the way in which the other principals accepted me. I taught drama, English, and reading at that school, and since then I have had a very successful career in education. I have served as a classroom teacher, master teacher supervisor, and a workshop presenter and coordinator. I was the regional director of the Interscholastic Writing League, an assistant principal at 67:00a private school, and a teacher at a community college
HT: Was this in New York?
MH: No, most was after I came to Cincinnati, Ohio. I was in Syracuse, NewYork for eleven and a half years and there I was a workshop presenter, another person and I. We conducted workshop on Dr. Harold Herber's [famed Reading Guides]. He was this great reading teacher at Syracuse University. I got my master's at Syracuse University in urban education and certification as a reading specialist.
HT: So how long were you in an education field?
MH: Forty years.
HT: That's quite impressive.
MH: Yes, that was a long time because I retired three times. I retired oncefrom a school district where, by then, I had become the regional director of the Ohio Interscholastic Writing League. In addition, I helped create an Honors 68:00English program that I taught. Then I retired. Well, I was not ready to retire, but I did because all with twenty-five years in the district were given the "Golden Apple" [for budgetary reasons]. I was asked that very year to become an assistant principal at a private Christian school. I told them that I did not have a degree in administration, but they said that I had what they needed. I was there for seven years, and then I retired again. There was a community college, and there was a program where they brought in students who, at eighteen, you taught them reading and English so they could finish their degree 69:00on a college campus I retired the last time before we relocated to Atlanta.
HT: Okay, so that's how that happened.
MH: Yes, yes.
HT: Came back South to be nice and warm.
MH: And for my husband's health, too. .
HT So are you enjoying living in Georgia now?
MH: Very much.
HT: Because Alpharetta is just outside of Atlanta.
MH: Yes. Just outside of Atlanta. So now I don't know whether I've given you anything-
HT: Well, this is wonderful-I just have a couple more questions. What is yourstrongest memory of college life?
MH: My strongest memory, okay, I remember always walking across the campuses,going to class. There was something about-I liked just the aura of being on this campus, going to my classes, especially after I got acclimated after I realized 70:00what my position was after I had friends. Then there was that great relationship with my-I don't know whether I should say her name for this interview, but the friend who-
HT: If you want to, that's fine.
MH: Well, Margaret Jones. We were called "Little Margaret" and "Big Margaret"because she was short. She was from Winston-Salem and I was taller and so that would be "Little Margaret" and "Big Margaret".
HT: How did attending Woman's College change your life?
MH: Okay, first of all, it gave me a strong sense of self. Most [professionalblacks], African Americans are all in settings where they are the only one or 71:00two [of their race]. That has never, ever made me uncomfortable, and I've been in many settings of that nature. When you grow up in a segregated community all your life, there is something that internally happens, even though you say, "No, I know I'm as good as anyone else". However, after my Woman's College experience, no longer have I had that feeling at all. Also, it was to my advantage when I first graduated from college. Had I remained in the South I feel that I would have been able to more quickly have success in 72:00education. I would have done this more quickly. Because the South still was growing in terms of the integration process. I look at Joanne and Claudette, they made great strides. I feel that I had a strong, very strong, education. I was very well prepared. I was always proud to have been a graduate of Woman's College. Those are the major advantages
HT: Well, have you been involved with the university since you graduated, at all.
MH: No, I haven't. I haven't been involved. As I told you, I came back to theforty-fifth and then the fiftieth Class Reunions 73:00
HT: Of course, you were quite a distance away and that makes such a difference.
MH: Oh, yes, it does. We brought our daughters, as they were growing up, to thecollege campuses when we would come to the South. We toured the WC campus and the A&T campuses with them
HT: And where did they go to school?
MH: Two went to undergraduate at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Theoldest and the youngest-both went to Wharton School and then to the University of Michigan for their MBAs. The middle daughter went to Northwestern University undergraduate [and to Wright State University for Medicine]. She is an oncologist/hematologist, and she went to Lombardi Cancer Center [at Georgetown University] for her specialty. She is a physician in Washington. She lives in Silver Spring, [Maryland] and her practice was in Annapolis for awhile, but now 74:00she is the chief of oncology and hematology at Howard University [Washington, DC] Hospital.
HT: So you have three daughters.
MH: Three daughters.
HT: No sons.
MH: No sons. Also-my education here affected the way we raised our daughters,too. I was determined that we exposed them to everything that we possibly could. We made sure that they had an opportunity to try every area where they might possibly find their niche. When we were in Syracuse, they shadowed at Syracuse University at the Upstate Hospital when they were in high school, and one attended a private school in Syracuse. She had a scholarship at Manlius Pebble Hill [DeWitt, New York] which is one of the finest private schools. 75:00
HT: How do you spell that?
MH: Manlius, M-A-N-L-I-U-S. Pebble Hill. That's when she was in high school-Imean, when she went from the sixth grade to the tenth. We transferred from-my husband transferred from Syracuse to Cincinnati when one was in the tenth grade, one was in the eleventh, and my youngest one was just in the third-going into the fourth-so she had most of her education in Cincinnati. The other two had most of theirs in Syracuse and it was excellent. Our second daughter would have had that same scholarship, but she did not want to go to the private school. However, she went to (MS) 2 [math and science program] at Phillips Academy. She 76:00did that for three summers in a science/math program a Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
HT: She's the one who's a doctor.
MH: She's the doctor. She was always strong in math and science.
HT: I'm sure you are very proud of all three.
MH: I'm proud of them, yes. She was the one who was going to come down with meat this time because her husband is a lawyer-he has a PhD and a law degree-and he is here for some program that he is leading this week. However, she had responsibility for their daughter that prevented her coming.
HT: Well, Margaret, I don't have any more questions. Do you have anything you'dlike to add about your time here at what is now UNCG? 77:00
HT: Anything you'd like future researchers to know about your college days thatwe haven't covered.
MH: No, except that I have emphasized strongly how not being in the freshmendormitory was detrimental in the whole experience. Also, I would like to say, I am happy to see such a difference in the life of a black student on this campus, and to witness the great progress that has been made.
HT: Alright. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate your coming all theway from Georgia.