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Alabama - Selma: Alston Fitts Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Alston Fitts in Selma, Alabama. Fitts says he is a native of Tuscaloosa and has lived in Selma for thirteen years. Fitts recalls that his mother, who grew up in Mississippi, often spoke out to her children about segregation. She did not challenge it in public or intellectually, but emotionally she knew it was wrong and made sure her children did too. He says that he had hoped the issues of racism would be solved in his life time but now he sees he will be passing these problems down to his children and possibly his grandchildren. He says watching the schools system re-segregate was "disheartening." Growing up, he could not help but feel he was being distorted by the warped White culture around him. He grew up believing in equality and feared he would lose that belief. Dent says the most important part of the struggle right now is improving education. Dent talks about his personal conviction that Afro-Centrism should be taught in schools. He also questions the ways they should be counting educational success and excellence. They discuss the process through which the Selma schools integrated and then became segregated again. They discuss the percentages that are considered integrated and segregated. Fitts says his children, who are in the Selma public school system, are learning Black history and culture in school. They discuss the issue over leveling and Roussell's efforts to make education more equal. They discuss Rose Saunders' role in the controversy. Fitts points out that the percentages followed more "class lines" which line up with, but are not the same as, race lines. They talk about the role of AP classes, which require a 50 dollar fee, in the leveling program. . Fitts says the public percentages used in that suite might not have been accurate. His children, who were in the system, said that their classes were fairly mixed. They discuss how segregation might be a positive because it enables children to be taught their respective cultures.
African AmericansCivil RightsEducationRace relationsSegregation
Dent, Thomas C.Fitts, Alston, III
Tuscaloosa (Al.)Selma (Al.)Mississippi
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 151, Item 4, 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.