Bernadette Whitsett Hammond

Phyllis Leffler:  What do you mean when you said there were some not so kind teachers?

Bernadette Whitsett Hammond: Well, teachers kind of --

Phyllis Leffler:  Do you remember any particular experiences that made you feel they were not kind?

BWH: I would say maybe you asking to go to the restroom and they ignore you.  And then, a white student asks, and, ”Oh, yeah, So-and-so.”  It was as if you could not be trusted, and the white child could be trusted.  Or even looking at grades, things that you felt you did well on, and you didn’t get a good grade, and you would talk to other people and find out, well, I got a similar answer there, and you got a higher grade.  So, there was just a sense of difference that you would experience.

Phyllis Leffler:  Did you ever challenge any of those grades that you were concerned about, or --?

Bernadette Whitsett Hammond: Well, I may not have challenged it.  I would talk to my mother, and she would have looked into it.  Yes.

Phyllis Leffler:  So, she would have gone up to the school or --

Bernadette Whitsett Hammond: She would have talked to the teacher first.  In fact, I’m from a long history of that happening.  I have older cousins where my relatives had to be very active in pursuing what they felt was right and looking at possible injustice or discrimination against children.  So, I’m from a long background of that.  So, we didn’t sit back.