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Mississippi - Carthage: Winson Hudson Interviewee [Part 1]
Dent, Thomas C.
Tom Dent interviews Winson Hudson in Harmony, Mississippi. Winson explains that they are in Harmony community, outside Carthage, in Mississippi. Dent asks about school desegregation in Carthage and Hudson explains that there are four high schools. The mostly Black students of Harmony community are split primarily between Walnut Grove and Carthage High Schools. The Whites nearby go to a separate, private academy. Therefore, Hudson explains that Walnut Grove is predominantly Black while Carthage is a majority White. She explains that there are two schools run by Whites and two schools run by Blacks as well as a few private schools. Hudson explains that the students of the mostly Black schools are behind where they should be. Hudson tells Dent that the local NAACP almost brought a lawsuit against the school system for not integrating thoroughly. There is a program called Chapter One, she explains, that is a vocational level for the "slow learners." It does not have an academic curriculum and it has mostly Black students. She explains that the students in these classes graduate with a different degree which hinders their ability to find employment. Hudson explains that many Black male students drop out and very few of them go to college. She says they are targeted and held back by the education system. Hudson says, although she fought actively for Civil Rights, she does not want her grandsons to do the same. She cautions them to stay safe, avoid talking to White girls, and focus on their education. They discuss the failure of the education system to teach the history of Civil Rights in school. Hudson says that the inclusion of the parents in the modern school system is a great improvement since segregation. Hudson says the education has failed Black students and Dent wonders if perhaps they pushed desegregation too fast, without considering the best ways to avoid some of the problems they now face. Hudson explains the effect of agricultural cycles on school schedules. They discuss the particular history of Harmony Vocational School. Hudson explains that the Black community was denied credit at the bank after the lawsuit, which devastated the local farms, leading to foreclosures. Hudson explains that the Whites still control everything in the area and that she is skeptical that her grandchildren will be able to accomplish their goals. They discuss the common occurrence of Black children to join the military rather than pursue further education.
African AmericansCivil rightsEducationMilitary lifeSegregationRace relations
Harmony (Ms.)Carthage (Ms.)Neshoba County (Ms.)
Tulane University Digital Library
Box 153, 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.