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. Verona Clarke's daughter Bobbi Jean Clarke participated in this interview. Verona A. Clarke began teaching at Genoa Elementary School in Genoa, West Virginia. She gives us detailed information about her family throughout the interview, including family life, a relative who was a slave, much information about her husband and medical organizations her husband belonged to (he was a dentist), as well as her daughter Bobbi Jean Clarke. Her childhood is another topic, and she discusses childhood social activities. Education is a large topic as well, and she discusses it in depth. She attended Liberty High School, Bluefield State College, and Ohio State University. She was also a part of the Delta sorority (Delta Sigma Theta?), and also tells the interviewers about her friends during school and after. She discusses her employment history, including work outside of teaching (such as a school cafeteria and a tobacco field). She taught home economics at the Appalachian Power Company (for the Department of Agriculture?) and also at Williamson High School, both of which she discusses. Race relations is another big topic, and she gives us information about segregation in businesses and schools, the desegregation of schools, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement. Some other topics include: church and religion in her life; organizations she belonged to; her views on education in general; thoughts on her life in general; as well as other subjects. She ends with more information about her family.

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Library of Congress Subjects

Clarke, Verona A., 1910- -- Autobiography.
Bluefield State College -- Oral histories.
Liberty High School -- Oral histories.
Genoa Elementary School -- Oral histories.
Burke-Wheeler Family Reunion -- Oral histories.


Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-791.


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Oral History Interview: Verona A. Clarke