A lack of commitment to diversity in the 1980s
Logan believes that the presidency of Ronald Reagan did a lot to erode the position of minority administrators. Immediately after desegregation, there was a commitment to keeping black administrators in increasingly diverse schools; by the 1980s, that commitment had evaporated. To illustrate his point, Logan describes a job opportunity he lost because, he thinks, of this lack of interest in minority administrators.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Robert Logan, December 28, 1990. Interview M-0027. 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
One other point about being a minority administrator that I want to work
in. I really feel that there was once a time shortly after desegregation
when a certain number of minority administrators were either kept on
board or sought after to try to keep balance in our county and in our
state. To have a certain number of minority administrators to deal with
the political backlash of the minority public citizenry that would say,
that school has 50% that school has 40% Black population and you
don't have a minority administrator in the school or even in
the system. Our county is made up of 48- 45-40 %
Black population and we don't have but one or two Black
school administrators. Where is the role model for our children? I
really feel that that was a cry right after desegregation and that
helped the minority administrator. Now, after Ronald did his thing to us
and what the country went through in the eight years under his
administration, I really feel now there is more or less an attitude we
don't have to keep anything balanced. We are going to hire
who we want for what position we want. To show you a prime example of
that, I'm going to call the school, I'm not going
to call anyone's name, I'm going to name the
school. I was interviewed two years and verbally told my name was being
recommended to the Board of Education for Atherdrive High School in
Raleigh. Athersdrive is a predominantly White, more or less middle,
upper-middle class high school and on one of the better sides of town.
The interviewing committee wanted me, the parental committee that
interviewed wanted me; when they took it to the Board of Education, when
the Superintendent presented it to the Board, the Board kicked it
- GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Was there any explanation?
- ROBERT LOGAN:
The Board doesn't have to give one. See that is the problem.
Then they turn around two years later, in this past year, they offer me
Enloe. Are you familiar with Enloe?
- GOLDIE F. WELLS:
Yes, that is the high school.
- ROBERT LOGAN:
One of the largest high schools in the state, if not the largest and it
has the problems to go with it. Now why not give--my whole point
now--what I'm getting at--we're going to find
fewer and fewer minority administrators. Look at our cities and our
Black mayors. We're not going to give a minority an
opportunity to become the mayor of a city like Las Vegas or San Diego
that's got something on the ball and is doing well,
we're going to stick them in Detroit, New York, Philadelphia
where they are already broke, they got more problems than they can even
imagine solutions to. They are already on the verge of failure--they are
failing when they put the man in there and then they…