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North Carolina - Greensboro: Alma S. Adams Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Alma S. Adams at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Adams talks about coming to Greensboro in 1964 to attend North Carolina A&T State University. She was drawn to the area after learning about the Sit-In Movement in the area when she was living in Newark, NJ. Her mother, a domestic laborer, had stressed the importance of and education to her. She had always been interested in art and drawing, and wanted to become a good teacher. All three of her degrees were in art. At A&T she studied European artists. She wanted to focus on African American artists. She taught at Palmer Memorial Institute. Adams reflects on the impact of Charlotte Hawkins Brown. She remembers the night of the fire at Palmer. She talks about traditions at Palmer, such as singing the grace in the dining hall. She gives her impressions of Greensboro. She coordinated Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign, which is how she learned to organize and became involved in subsequent campaigns. There were many opportunities at A&T for her to emerge as a leader. She had not been encouraged to attend college in school. She completed her PhD at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where she was the only female and only Black person in the department for two of the three years she spent there. She returned to turmoil regarding African American education in Greensboro in 1981. The proposed school closures woke the community up. Adams spoke at a school board meeting at Dudley High School. She was well received and two years later won a spot on the Greensboro Board of Education (1984-1986). She was later ousted. She explains the areas where desegregation fell short for the students. Though she lost reelection in 1986, she won every precinct in her district. She talks about elections in the area.
African AmericansArtCivil rightsDesegregationEducationRace relationsWomen
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 146, Item 1, 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.