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. Anna McCright began teaching in 1942 at a one-room school and later become principal of a school in Monongah, West Virginia. She gives us detailed information about her family and her childhood throughout the interview, including information on her sister Catherine's children, discrimination she faced as a child at integrated schools, an anecdote about another student who gave her trouble at a segregated school, and a brief section on Christmas during her childhood. She also tells us detailed information about her education, which included Dunbar School, West Virginia State, and Columbia University. She describes activities at school, a minister who helped her get into college (Reverend C. M. F. Wylie), teachers she knew, and the Delta (Delta Sigma Theta?) sorority. Her career is a very important subject, and she describes: detailed information about the schools she taught at; her first job at a one-room school; teaching in Dunbar, Barracksville, and Fairmont; a brief section about working on the Hunt Honor Scholarship Board from the Fairmont State College; students she knew; race- relation incidents at school; the desegregation of schools and what things were like before and after; how she became school principal; parental complaints and teachers' fears of lawsuits from parents; how technology has affected learning; child- discipline at home and at school; differences she sees between black children and white children; and also special education. She also started the McCright Library and Learning Center and provides us with detailed information about it and how she handles children at her library. Race relations are also discussed, such as her living in a white neighborhood, prejudices (including prejudices among African-Americans); African-Americans trying to get jobs, and the double burden black women face from racism and sexism--she also discusses women's rights. There are numerous other discussion points as well, such as: church and religion; her achievements in life; organizations she belonged to; an award she won from the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); her self-perceptions; things in her life she's proud of; her thoughts on her life in general; her house; her social life; letters, and many other topics. The interview ends with more awards she has won and a brief note about her master's degree from West Virginia University. She also reads us a poem she wrote.
Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-801.
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Marshall University Special Collections, OH64-801, Huntington, WV.