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Edna Coleman


I grew up in the South, small town in Louisiana, Crowley, Louisiana. My great grandmother, everyone in the small town called her Aunt Molly. She was very smart, she told us about Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad and the struggles of Blacks. My great grandmother taught us the importance of education, owning property, land, and the importance of family.

In the small town of Crowley, Louisiana, the schools were segregated. All the African-Americans went to all blacks schools, taught by all black teachers, second-hand books were given to us from white schools. There were names written in them, one of my books the name were Heather Goldberg, I never forget that name because I said I didn’t know anyone name Heather, my friends names were Lucy, Mary Lou, Betty, etc. But our African-American teachers cared about all black students.

Before it was known as Black History Week, we were taught about Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglas, The Underground Railroad, The first Black Governor of Louisiana (Governor Pinchback). There were many high official African Americans in politics, holding office during Reconstruction. At the school in Crowley, Louisiana, Rev. Ross started the school for blacks, the school was named in honored of him. Rev. Ross was a graduate of Morehouse. His daughter Ms. Jeanette Ross married Mr. David May. Mr. May was also a graduate of Morehouse. Every year Mr. & Mrs. May had the Fisk University Jubilee Choir come to perform at Morning Star.

At church, Rev. Wilson daughter’s Nellie Rose was an opera singer. The arts and culture were introduced to the black community in Crowley. I moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. My father was active in politics, every month we got the magazine, The Crisis, which gave information about blacks, what happened in the past, their accomplishments, and future plans among African Americans.

I graduated from Booker T. Washington in New Orleans. The students were taught by all black caring teachers, who taught us black history, Carter G. Woodson, and many more great leaders. There were many books in our library about African Americans, historians, inventors, scientists, explorers (Perry). This was in high school and attending which I graduated from a HBC, Black University during the Civil Rights Movement, and during my teaching years , took students on tours to Black Universities. As a history teacher I had to do research, bring in extra supplement materials about African ¬†Americans to the classroom, because in-depth material about African Americans aren’t in the text books.

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