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. Edris H. Miller began teaching at Lawson Street School during her education at Bluefield State College. She gives us detailed information about her family and childhood throughout the interview, including family reunions, her childhood home and family life, family members who were slaves, childhood activities, seeing the Silas Green Variety Show, and information about her husband, marriage, and children. Her father was a minister and she tells the interviewers about church and religion. She also talks about her education and attending a one-room school (named Coopers Grade School) and Bluefield State College, as well as teachers she knew and her sorority (Delta Sigma Theta?). She provides detailed information about her employment history, and race relations is another important topic. She describes the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation, the desegregation of schools, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), interracial dating, racial divisions in Bramwell, and the burdens black men and women face and the different ways each group deals with it. There are numerous other discussion points as well, such as: her students; serving on the city council; organizations she belonged to; people she knew or heard of (such as the poet Ann Spencer); gender roles; negative changes she sees in families and American culture; welfare; her self-perceptions; people who influenced her life; life-changing decisions; her feelings on her life in general; music (mainly Blues); regrets she has about her life; what she wants for her future; and many other subjects.
Interview is included in the Marshall University Oral History Collection. The index number is OH64-803.
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Marshall University Special Collections, OH64-803, Huntington, WV.