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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. Norma Jean Fullen began teaching in at Enslow Junior High School. She gives us detailed information about her family throughout the interview, including her parents, her children, and her husband. Her childhood is another topic, including high school social events and dating during high school, and also her growing awareness of segregation. Her education is also a large topic, and she attended Douglass High School and West Virginia State College. She tells us of her time at both schools, including teachers she has known and a brief section about playing on the high school basketball team. Getting her first job and her teaching career is discussed in detail, and this includes race relations at Enslow Junior High and white and black interactions in West Virginia education, her teaching philosophy and methods, and problems she saw in education, such as grade inflation. There is also more discussion on race relations, such as interracial marriage, discrimination in the modern world, black-white relationships, discrimination in pay, and she recalls the desegregation of schools and businesses, including violence her daughter faced. The issue of women's rights is also discussed. There are numerous other topics in the interview, such as church and religion in her life, a brief section on movie theaters, her retirement, her current life, regrets she has, problems she sees in her current community, life-changing decisions, her self-perceptions, working at Barnett Child Care Center, her current activities and organizations she participates in, and many other subjects. She ends with more thoughts about her family.

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Library of Congress Subjects

Fullen, Norma Jean Polley, -- Autobiography.
West Virginia State College (Institute, W. Va.) -- Oral histories.
Barnett Child Care Center -- Oral histories.
Enslow Junior High School -- Oral histories.
Education -- Oral histories.


Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-796.


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Oral History Interview: Norma Jean Polley Fullen