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Alabama - Selma: James Anderson Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews James Anderson in Selma, Alabama. He was adopted and knows nothing about his biological family's history in the area. He is in touch with his biological half-sister. Anderson discusses how the education system makes Black students feel inferior, describing the "level" system. As a Black student, he was taught that there was "only so far he could go," and he became depressed. They discuss why Black students and teachers may not have challenged the system. Anderson says that with more encouragement from teachers, fewer Black students would drop out of school. Dent talks about the positive encouragement he and others received as a student in New Orleans. Anderson has overcome these feelings, and now realizes that he is intelligent and capable of accomplishment, but we worries that it may be too late. He knows that he has to motivate himself, because he cannot count on that motivation to come from anyone else. Anderson became involved in a Black Belt theater group while he was still in school. He introduced to the cultural group while visiting the center as a choir member, and decided he wanted to become part of it. Rose Sanders recognized his potential when he shared ideas he had for a play. Her praise of his singing ability made him realize he could sing solo. She gave him the opportunity to act on stage and travel. The theater gave him an outlet for his feelings. He made lifelong friends in the group. They discuss the refusal to renew school superintendent Norward Roussell's contract when he made changes to the system to promote equality.
High recording level.
Civil rights demonstration
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 150, Item 16, Side 1, Tom Dent collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Physical rights are retained by the Amistad Research Center. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.