First black students recall first days of integration

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

He said the worst part was that no student wanted to be paired with him for class projects.

“There was one white little girl who wasn’t very attractive and was kind of heavyset and people tried to avoid her too, and a couple of times we got stuck together and the kids would laugh at her and stuff like that and I didn’t understand it,” he said. “One day, me and her got paired off and we had to do a project together and apparently I guess she got tired of being paired with me and we were sitting beside each other and she took a pencil and she jabbed it into the center of my hand and I looked at my hand and the lead was still stuck in my hand.”

Recess didn’t offer any relief, Roland Scott said.

“I found out I couldn’t go outside and play unless I was getting beat up,” he said. “I would stand in the doorway at recess every day, because the first day I was out there I must have been surrounded by about 20 kids, mostly boys, that wanted to beat me up and I didn’t understand why. I was just saved by the bell on that particular day.

“I spent all of my recesses just standing in the doorway. They were waiting for me to come out into the open, so I would just stay up there by the doorway for all my recesses. Then I began to understand it was a black thing, because I didn’t have that problem at the Catholic school.”

He said he did manage to have one white friend.

“I believe his father was also in the Marines, but him and his sisters were very good friends of ours,” he said. “They were good people. No prejudice at all. Me and him played daily even though his friends would try to turn him against me. I believe his name was Tony. He was my only friend, but he was a good friend.”

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