Bernadette Whitsett Hammond

My mother was a lifelong educator.  She started teaching in the segregated schools, Jefferson.  And then, when the schools integrated, she was assigned to Clark Elementary School, and I think I told you that story because the Belmont area had a reputation at that time of not being very open to African American people.  They were considered somewhat discriminatory, so, when my mother was assigned to a school right in that neighborhood, my brother, sister, and I were frantic.  We cried, and cried, and cried because we were fearful.  We didn’t know how she would be received at that school.  And, to make that long story short, she went there.  She had a wonderful career there.  Children ended up just treating her very lovely.  It was an example of having to get to know a person before you judge them.  You don’t look at the skin or color.  Get to know the person.  And her students just really loved her.  So, she had a very positive experience there.