Byrd Leavell headshot

Byrd Leavell

Venable School, Lane High School

Well, I think high school is high school.  You go to school and there’s the big hallway.  Lane High School has a huge hallway.  And between classes, before school, you’d be there and you’d be with your friends, there’d be sports people, and there’d be the crazy guys with motorcycles with chains as belts, and then, the Black community would be separate, but all in the same hallway.  And so, I think people — and clearly, there was friction in the school.  When Burley closed, I was a junior, that was, to me, it helped the football team, but clearly, when the Black students came over, you could feel there was no history.  To come into another school, there was no class presidents, there was no secretaries of this, all those positions evaporated and they had to start over again.  And that was a very difficult time for integration.  You could see that.  And so, us who were already at the schools, we tried to make things come along in a positive way.  And sure, there were some negative parts all around, but if you don’t look for it, you don’t really see it.  And so, I didn’t see a lot of the negative parts, or I forgot them.  But clearly, it was a difficult time.