T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
The diference between teaching at Mossville and Westwood Elementary, where she was moved during integration
Mildred Calvin Guidry by Chelsea Arseneault, 2015.
MILDRED CALVIN GUIDRY: At the time I was at Mossville, that was my first teaching experience. I enjoyed going to school every day because the parents, they was real, real knowledgeable, they was concerned about their children. Later in life, I could see they must . . . Mossville must have been built up and they had good teachers and all, because for one, the parents was very knowledgeable, and you know, they looked like they had gone to school and be there. And the community still . . . It looked like it was still kind of like a closed community, you know. It wasn’t integrated there before. They were all black back there, you know.

But when they closed Mossville, they was closing down when . . . law it was changing about integration, they sent me to Westwood [Elementary]. That’s when the blacks had to go to the white school and the white came to the black school, and the white went to the white . . . the black went to the white school. And they sent me to Westwood. And I’m telling you, when I went to Westwood that was the most . . . I would hate to get up to go to work the next morning, because the way they treat . . . they didn’t respect you.

When I went to Westwood, I was doing the same thing with these children, hugging them like I did my little black children over there. And the day come . . . Oh, a little girl came to me. Every time I think about it, I just feel so sad. I wonder if that child is still living somewhere. Her daddy . . . I think she came, and the next morning she said, “My daddy said, ‘Don’t you put your nigger hands on me.’” And here I’m crying, running with tears in my eyes to Mr. Burns. He was nice, though. But he was the principal. He say, “Mrs. Guidry, I’m sorry. Don’t feel like that.” I said, “Just the idea, this child going to tell me her daddy say, ‘Don’t put his . . .her nigger hands on her.’ And that was it.”
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