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Oral history interview with John Jessup, January 11, 1991

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Creator:Jessup, John
Creator:Wells, Goldie F. (Goldie Frinks)
Creator:Southern Oral History Program
Title:Oral history interview with John Jessup, January 11, 1991
Date:1991 Jan. 11

John Jessup recalls his experiences as a black principal and public school administrator. He entered the teaching profession in 1964 as a high school English teacher in Virginia, became a principal of a North Carolina high school in the late 1970s, and moved into the Winston-Salem public schools personnel department by 1991. Diversity within courses became a major goal in the mid-1980s public school system. As a black administrator, Jessup discovered that discipline played a large role in his relationship to students and teachers. He had to demand the students' obedience to school policy, and likewise he had to make sure teachers applied school policy fairly. Some teachers resented Jessup's encroachment on their previous authority over students. Black students, on the other hand, appreciated Jessup's attempts to establish trust between students and the administration. Jessup also describes the advancements that occurred during his academic tenure as principal. He discusses his role in introducing walkie-talkies to the administrative staff as well as hiring an athletic director. Jessup explains that school desegregation posed problems for black teachers and students. The students felt ostracized from extracurricular activities in integrated settings, while the teachers lost prestige (and some lost their jobs) during the desegregation process. Jessup contends that black students require more attention because of their minority status within the school.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.

Types:Transcripts | Sound recordings | Oral histories (document genres) | Text | Sound
Subjects:Jessup, John | African American school principals--North Carolina--Winston-Salem | High schools--North Carolina--Winston-Salem--Administration | African Americans--Education (Secondary)--North Carolina--Winston-Salem | Race relations in school management--North Carolina--Winston-Salem | Teacher-principal relationships--North Carolina--Winston-Salem | Student-administrator relationships--North Carolina--Winston-Salem | United States, North Carolina, Forsyth County, Winston-Salem, 36.0998596, -80.244216
Collection:Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
Institution:Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Contributors:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)
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Forms part of Oral histories of the American South collection.

Persistent Link to Item:http://docsouth.unc.edu/sohp/M-0024/menu.html