- Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement
- Oral history interview with J. W. Mask, February 15, 1991
- Mask, J. W.
- Contributor to Resource:
- Wells, Goldie F. (Goldie Frinks)
Southern Oral History Program
- Date of Original:
- African American school principals--North Carolina--Hamlet
School principals--North Carolina
African American schools--North Carolina--Hamlet
High schools--North Carolina--Hamlet--Administration
African Americans--Segregation--North Carolina--Hamlet
- Mask, J. W.
- United States, North Carolina, Richmond County, 35.00594, -79.74783
United States, North Carolina, Richmond County, Hamlet, 34.88488, -79.69422
oral histories (literary works)
- J. W. Mask was principal of Monroe Avenue High School before desegregation. In this interview, he answers questions from the interviewer's checklist about the challenges of his position, his management style, and the details of his job. Mask does not talk explicitly about race and education a great deal, but his experiences as an educator in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s were marked by segregation. Among the most difficult challenges he faced was a lack of resources, and he was forced to find ways to fund basic services without help from the county. With help from the PTA and parents, he managed to create a cafeteria in the school's basement, supply the school with books and desks, and form a band and a basketball team. Desegregation brought more resources to the school, but also a new set of challenges, including heightened tensions with a segregationist superintendent. This interview provides a useful look at one black principal's efforts to provide for a school neglected by a racist policy.
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.
- Metadata URL:
- Title from menu page (viewed on November 18, 2008).
Interview participants: J.W. Mask, interviewee; Goldie F. Wells, interviewer.
This electronic edition is part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South. It is a part of the collection Oral histories of the American South.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner. Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers.
- Contributing Institution:
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Documenting the American South (Project)