James Bryant headshot

James Bryant

Jefferson Elementary School, McGuffey Elementary School, Walker Elementary School, Lane High School

We had a meeting that Monday after they shut the schools down.  But the auditorium piece was, we were protesting.  We had certain demands that we wanted them to meet, and we were not going to leave that auditorium — there was another incident — we were not going to leave that auditorium until our demands were met, and they were like more Black teachers, more Black administrators, more courses, more challenging courses for students of color.  And as a result — that was my senior year, that’s when the NAACP intervened and told us, “You know, you all are seniors, and you don’t want to fail.  You’re going to college.  And we will step in, and we will work this out.”  And of course, all of us went off to school, and we didn’t hear any more about it.  But the incident that happened with the Black History program, that caused the schools to shut down because of the racial tensions.