Rita Wicks- Nelson and Ancella Radford Bickley



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This interview is one of series conducted concerning Oral Histories of African-American women who taught in West Virginia public schools. Florence Walker Casey began teaching in 1960 at Lincoln Heights in Cincinnati, Ohio. She discusses her family in detail throughout the interview, including family life during childhood, her marriage and divorce, raising her son as a single mother and her relationship with her son, as well as her thoughts on single parents in general. She also gives us detailed information about her education (which includes Garnett High School and West Virginia State College) and she tells us about her sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha), which gave Florence a scholarship in college. She includes detailed information about her childhood, including activities, entertainment, social affairs, and dating. Her employment history is a large topic, and this includes her jobs outside of teaching. Her first job was at Lincoln Heights, and she had problems finding subsequent work. She also had to stop work because of her pregnancy, but later taught at Loundendale Elementary and Fruth Elementary School. In addition to general information about her teaching career, she also discusses more specific topics in education, such as her students, medication use in students, discipline problems she sees in children, problems faced by black students, struggles she has had with parents, changes she sees in modern students, as well as her decision to become a teacher in the first place. Racism, race relations, and sexism are other topics, including her growing awareness of prejudices and personal experiences with it, as well as prejudices she sees among African-Americans. Some other topics she discusses are: church and religion in her life (she was a Baptist); her sex education; organizations she belonged to; her life in Cincinnati; her friends; thoughts on her life in general; loses in her life (such as her divorce and losing a family member named Cybil); her thoughts on the modern world; life-changing events; her current life and her current activities; her self-perceptions; religion in her life; her thoughts on her American and West Virginian identity; and numerous other subjects. The interview concludes with one of the interviewers (Ancella Bickley) discussing modern African- American women.

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Library of Congress Subjects

Florence Walker Casey -- Autobiography.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority -- Oral histories.
Fruth Elementary School -- Oral histories.
Garnett High School -- Oral histories.
Bluefield Junior High School -- Oral histories.


Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-788.


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Oral History Interview: Florence Walker Casey