African American teachers

= Audio Available Online
Susan Minor is a 78-year-old black woman and a long-time resident of the Parkland area. She is 1919 graduate of Central High School and a 1921 graduate of the Louisville Normal School. She worked many years as a teacher in black schools in the Jefferson County system. She discusses her life, as well as her years in the Parkland area.
Mrs. Barbara Sutherland started teaching in the Louisville city/county school system in 1964. Her teaching certificate enabled her to teach elementary school and middle school. Her subject area was language arts. Mrs. Sutherland taught first through fourth grades in Abraham Lincoln, Wellington, and Norton Elementary schools. The latter fifteen years of her career she taught grades 6 and 7 at Kammerer Middle School. During the 1970s Mrs. Sutherland felt that the changes in the schools brought on by court ordered desegregation and the city/county merger were handled poorly. She is critical of the systems implemented by the school system to solve school climate and discipline problems. Sutherland did not like the new programs of the 1970s and willingly transferred to a school nearer her home. She felt that she was forced to teach the "regular" students, primarily black students, and complains that they are not being prepared with life skills. In her classroom, Sutherland tried to have talk sessions with her students about their problems and concerns. She holds that no one is listening to those students and that they are falling through the cracks. She expresses a sense that integration let black studetns fall behind.