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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Venton Bell, January 30, 1991. Interview M-0018. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Professional contacts trump race in determining who holds leadership positions

Bell thinks that professional contacts are more important than race in determining who holds leadership positions.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Venton Bell, January 30, 1991. Interview M-0018. 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

GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Do you think that a Black person needs a sponsor to become a high school principal?
VENTON BELL:
Explain to me what you mean?
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I mean a person of the other culture that says that person is able to do it.
VENTON BELL:
That is a tough question. Here at Charlotte-Mecklenburg the procedure is when they make that type of subjective type of stuff as far as race is--
GOLDIE F. WELLS:
I mean just from experience and from what we have observed and what we know. Does that seem to be the case?
VENTON BELL:
I don't know. I wouldn't say that. I would say the more exposure you have gotten by being in workshops, being around and doing things, helping with other types of activities, just not sitting back on your rump but getting involved in committees, getting exposure and letting them know who you are--that helps and when people get to know you--Black and White. So I don't think it is anything related to "race" as such. I'm sure that all in one community that wouldn't help you. The more diverse you are as far as having people know you the better your chances are of getting a principalship.