By David W. Beckwith
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Extra resources for A New Day in the Delta: Inventing School Desegregation As You Go
They start in July and continue through Labor Day. During these days the temperature readings in Mississippi often approach or exceed one hundred degrees, and humidity readings are equally elevated. I felt the heat and humidity even more than usual on August 28; I was nervous at being en route to my first faculty meeting of the teaching staffs of every public school in Leland. The meeting was held in the auditorium of Leland’s all-white high school, called Dean. I’d been warned to be on time.
I been in the seventh grade before, but when the teacher wrote on my report card that I should repeat seventh grade, I dropped out. Just couldn’t see no point to the whole thing— all that history, science, and stuff—it wasn’t gonna help me make any money. And,” he examined his hands on the desk top, “I wasn’t good at readin’. ” I waited, not wanting to interrupt. “My momma tried to make me go back, but I didn’t listen to her. Made no sense to me to sit here all day just to get a free lunch. ” He shifted in his seat; slumped a little lower.
I felt the heat and humidity even more than usual on August 28; I was nervous at being en route to my first faculty meeting of the teaching staffs of every public school in Leland. The meeting was held in the auditorium of Leland’s all-white high school, called Dean. I’d been warned to be on time. Mr. Bigham always started his meetings on time, and it was said that he remembered who was late. I stood at the door a moment to look around. It was a large room with a red carpeted floor and rows of blue plush fold-down seats facing a stage.
A New Day in the Delta: Inventing School Desegregation As You Go by David W. Beckwith