T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Importance of education as her family’s land was stolen from them
Lenoria Ambrose by Chelsea Arseneault, 2015.
LENORIA AMBROSE: We had two distinct families. We had the Towner side who were all loving and down to earth and just loved everybody. They real huggy kissy type. Then we had the Perkins side who were a different type. They were very stanch and upright and everything had to be perfect. So I guess we had the best of both worlds.

And on my grandfather's side, the Towners, I had a great-great-grandfather who learned to read and write at seventy-eight years old. He had something happen to him. They lived up at Deridder in Sugartown and he bought, during the time when they had the . . . you could go homestead acreage. He homesteaded some acreage up there and he couldn't read or write so he depended on someone to take care of it for him. And the man ended up taking the land from him. And Grandpa, they said that he said he would never let that happen again. So he went to the school . . . At that time it was segregated, but he went to the black school there and he learned to read and write, so he could know what was going on. He didn't have to depend on somebody else.

My family, they were big, both sides, were big on education. Big on education. We thought that besides being a person of your word, if you shook hands that was just like signing your name in blood. That's the way they were. But they also realized that you had to have an education so that you could know what was going on. You couldn’t . . . You don't have to depend on anybody else to tell you. Because you can read, you can write. So they were sticklers on education.
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