First black students recall first days of integration

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 10:51 AM.

“All I remember was not wanting to change schools,” Roland Scott said. “They did say that it would be good, or something. I don’t remember what his exact words were. He didn’t tell us that we would have to go through a lot of changes and stuff like that.”

He said he remembers name-calling and insults, but no violence, on the walk to school. The newspaper reported that integration went smoothly.

“There were some people yelling some things but I wouldn’t understand what they were saying,” he said. “They weren’t very happy, I guess, that I was going there. That’s what I heard later on.”

Things weren’t much better inside the school, Alphonzo Scott said.

“I never felt welcome at the school,” he said. “It was a bad experience. I was glad to leave there. I never felt comfortable. I blocked a lot of that out. You heard a lot of the N word and stuff like that. I heard that a lot. When I went to the classroom, I just sat there and didn’t say anything at all. Nobody would talk to me anyway.”

Roland Scott said he felt isolated as well.

“None of the kids would every talk to me,” he said. “None wanted to play with me. They all pretty much wanted to stay to themselves. Whenever we would have contests and stuff in class, no matter how hard I tried, I never could get anything right. It was just stuff I had to deal with. I understood it after a while.”

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