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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Richard Hicks, February 1, 1991. Interview M-0023. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Teacher's race does not matter

Hicks does not think that the race of a teacher matters to a black student as long as that teacher is sensitive to the students' needs.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Richard Hicks, February 1, 1991. Interview M-0023. 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

Well, it's kind of getting off of it a little bit but do you think that your having such a large number of blacks, do you think having the 70% of black teachers has anything to do with the success of the children?
RICHARD HICKS:
I'm going to give you an answer to that question about the 70% black teachers probably being a strong force toward realizing what we need to. I'm going to have to say that it is good to have that kind of ratio in the situation that we have but it is not necessary for that to exist in order for success to occur. The reason that I have got to say that is that you must remember that I have been principal of two fully integrated schools. When I left Parker Junior High School down in Rocky Mount I had a staff that was about 65% white and 45% black and we were at or above the state level in terms of scores every year that I was there. I left there and went to a junior high school in Hillsboro where it was 77% white and 23% black in terms of teaching and we had the same kind of thing occurring. We were a center for English Teacher of Excellence and that kind of thing. I think the key however, is having people who are sensitive to the needs of students and if you have any kind of combination regardless of the color of the skin who will be sensitive to the needs of that child, you can get the job done. It just means that we are in a situation here where we are 70% black and I think we are in a position to get the job done with that kind of a ratio.