“Learn About” Questions
- Who was Horace Mann?
- How were all-black high schools different from other high schools at this time?
- What were most communities in the south like for African Americans during the 1950’s and 1960’s?
“Learn From” Questions
- What is/was the community of my childhood like? Who were my neighbors?
- How has my neighborhood or community influenced the person I am today?
- What are my best memories of growing up in my neighborhood? What was hardest about growing up in my neighborhood?
Well I grew up in a two-family household, a sister who won’t admit it but she’s a few years older than I am, and a brother who’s a few years younger than I am. I’m the middle child and I thought we had a great family. My mother was a school teacher. My dad was the janitor at the post office and we lived on this block in Little Rock that I thought it was waiting for (Leave it to…) Beaver or something. It was a great corner. We had a fairly large backyard compared to some of my neighbors and so my brother and I were sort of the gathering spot for basketball and touch football and other things that we could conjure up. So the neighborhood that I grew up in was probably, I thought ideal. I mean, on one corner was Mr. Brunson and his wife and his grandson Waldo was one of my close friends. He was a letter carrier. And the next corner was Mr. Jackson. He was the brick mason and a contractor. The other side, the neighbor was a nurse. So I mean, you had everything you needed right in that neighborhood that I lived in. There was a grocery store, which was a block away from the house and that’s where you got all your essentials. My aunt, my mother’s sister, was the guidance counselor at Horace Mann, which was the all-black high school and having all of these educators around you, you were expected to do well in school. I said I grew up in a family that if you got a B, you had to explain why you received that and not an A. But that was always, my mother didn’t drive. My aunt was the one with the car and so we had to schedule things around when my aunt was available to either take us to go shopping or whatever. But it all worked out. They had a relationship between them, the two sisters. My grandfather was very much a part of my raising up. My brother and I had the task of cutting grass so we had to cut our grass, my aunt’s grass and my grandfather’s grass. That was a lot of lawn mowering. And this was before mechanical lawn mowers, gasoline-driven or electric. This was when you still had the push mowers.