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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Josephine Turner, June 7, 1976. Interview H-0235-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The value of education

Although Turner's mother did not make it past the third grade, she emphasized education to her children. Turner remembers how disappointed her mother was when she left school early to earn money. Despite this decision, Turner herself values education.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Josephine Turner, June 7, 1976. Interview H-0235-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KAREN SINDELAR:
It was important that you go and that you get your homework done, it sounds like to me.
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
Oh yes.
KAREN SINDELAR:
How about your mother's schooling? Had she had much schooling?
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
No, my mother didn't have any. I think she didn't get past the third grade, because she was raised on a farm and she didn't pass that.
KAREN SINDELAR:
But she still thought it was important?
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
She was the oldest of seventeen, so she couldn't do too much. She had to help raise them, I think.
KAREN SINDELAR:
But it's interesting that she thought it was that important for you all, then.
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
Yes, it was a must.
KAREN SINDELAR:
How did she feel when you dropped out of school?
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
Well, she was very disappointed. But I knew that it was a strain on her, you know. And I was one of those little hard-headed young people like they are today. I wanted to marry a soldier, so I had to get married, you know. So I just quit school—and mostly to work, to help her because I knew she was having a hard time. There wasn't need of my staying there putting a strain on her. Right now I'd put my education with some of the college graduates I know; I would. I maybe don't have the diploma; but the wisdom and knowledge that God give me, I would be willing to stand with them, as I do do now.
KAREN SINDELAR:
From teaching highschoolers, I would say you're right [laughter] . Unfortunately a lot of the people in high school these days, they haven't learned as much as
JOSEPHINE TURNER:
They're not interested in it, you know. But, see, it was a must with us. Now I have a twelve year old, and I don't have to pressure her. I say, "Kit, why don't you get out of the house?" She says, "I've got to get my homework." I'm grateful for that.