T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
The importance of education
Della Dotson by Rebecca Cooper, 2015.
DELLA DOTSON: So Mossville was just [snaps] up there! You name it, we had it. We had a great school, we had a great community, we had good public relations, we had a good . . . We was getting a good education. And the education was . . . It wasn't second-class, but we got hand-me-down books. But we learned. You learned. I mean you learned, because the teachers were so instrumental on us learning. When it first started out in Mossville we only had three teachers. One was Ms. Washington, one was Ms. [Billups?], and one was Ms. Mitchell. And you learned what you had to learn. I don't care if you didn't have good books, you wasn't going to be a dummy because that was important to them. And all they had to was tell your parents you weren't acting right, or you didn't act like you wanted to learn. Next day you went to school, you were no problem. Because I think education back then was so important because they didn't have a lot of education. Because my mom . . . I think my dad went to third grade, and he could write his name. He could read. He could write. He could drive. He could do it all. And my mom . . . I don't know what grade she stopped in, but they were so rural and in Texas that they worked in the fields all the time. So they didn't have too much education because it was ten girls and no boys and so they were . . . They worked hard in the fields.
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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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