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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Stella Nickerson, January 20, 2001. Interview K-0554. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Maintaining discipline at Lincoln

Nickerson again describes the strict rules of conduct at Lincoln High School. Teachers managed to enforce rules without lecturing students, by creating an atmosphere that encouraged good behavior.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Stella Nickerson, January 20, 2001. Interview K-0554. 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

BG: Let’s talk about the high school and what the high school meant to the black community. Maybe we should talk about your experience in high school first, in Lincoln High School. You went to Lincoln High School from what, seventh to eleventh grade. And what are your memories of Lincoln High School? BG: Oh, other than the classes? The fun time when we had breaks, we called them recess. Watching the band practice, or the football team practice. Everybody was there in the same place. Everybody was outside at the same time. The classes and the teachers and their expectations—I think about it sort of comparing it—there was no question. I mean, you didn’t get away with anything. Not that you would try. BG: So it was pretty strict. SN: Yeah. Quiet in the halls, quiet in the classrooms. You see scenes now on the news or in movies where students walk in to the classroom making all this noise—yelling and screaming and throwing things. No, that didn’t happen. I don’t think anyone even thought of doing anything like that. That was not the type of atmosphere. BG: So discipline stands out in your mind, and the togetherness of your friends. SN: Yes. And when I say discipline, I don’t mean that someone was always shouting the rules at us. You knew it. You knew how you were expected to behave and you did. It wasn’t as if someone was always preaching it to you or whatever. You just knew.