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Interview with Evelyn Howard, 1984

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Creator:Howard, Evelyn
Creator:Hamrick, Peggy
Title:Interview with Evelyn Howard, 1984

Evelyn Howard began teaching at Lincoln School in 1937, at the age of 18. In this interview, she recounts the challenges faced by black schools in the South and describes her teaching philosophy. Howard also discusses the Civil Rights Movement throughout the interview. Howard explains that schools were not involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s because they were afraid to be. They let the children know that the only way to get ahead was to learn and try to get better jobs for themselves. Howard recalls Martin Luther King, Jr., coming to Birmingham to march: "The gates had been locked to keep children in. Someone with a truck broke [the] gate down and children went running out and joined the march to city hall. Some teachers tried to keep the students in but . . . others were happy to see them go. Stood at the window smiling, clapping and crying to see the children do what she hadn't had nerve to do years earlier." Of King, Jr., she says, "if there is such a thing as a person being sent to deliver us or help us, I do believe he was our Moses . . . . I believe God sent him and God allowed him to be killed because that was just the way it has to be." Howard grew up in the Payne Chapel AME Church. She can remember looking forward to revivals and consider them a sort of a gala event. The revivals were highly emotional, a needed release for participants. She adds that her religious faith has been a stabilizing influence on her life, something to hold on to; she says that a person has to have something to believe in.

Interviewed by Peggy Hamrick in 1984.

Types:Oral histories | Transcripts | Sound recordings | Sound | Text
Subjects:Howard, Evelyn | King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968 | African American teachers--Alabama--Birmingham | Birmingham (Ala.)--Race relations | Segregation in education--Alabama--Birmingham | Discrimination in education--Alabama--Birmingham | Civil rights movements--Alabama--Birmingham | African Americans--Alabama--Birmingham--Religion | United States, Alabama, Jefferson County, Birmingham, 33.5206608, -86.80249
Collection:Working Lives Oral History Project
Institution:William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library
Contributors:William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library (University of Alabama)
Original Material:

Archive of American Minority Cultures

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To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library.

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Forms part of the online collection: Working Lives Oral History Project.

Persistent Link to Item:http://acumen.lib.ua.edu/u0008_0000003_0000031