Diane Pledger - On her education and school experiencesInterviewed by Bob Gilgor on March 15, 2001
“Education is the key to having more and representing your people and making it to the next level. So, in the whole realm of education, we had to make sure that within the school system, we were getting ours. That we were afforded the opportunity to get ours.”
- Diane Pledger
Diane Pledger recalls her childhood growing up in integrated schools and communities within Chapel Hill. During her youth, she was very active in her school and community. At a very young age, Pledger was exposed to white people due to Girl Scouts. Her childhood was very integrated because of her involvement in not only the Girl Scouts, but many other clubs and advanced classes in school. Pledger’s parents were both educators loved and respected by the community. They provided her and her siblings with numerous opportunities to explore their knowledge and become well-rounded adults. Her parents pushed them to take on leadership roles to ensure the quality of their education and educational experiences. Pledger stresses the importance of education and how it can give Black children the power to be whatever they want to be. She also expresses the importance of teachers and what qualifies as a great educator, such as love, kindness, and patience.
This interview is part of an oral history project called Southern Communities: Listening for a Change: Mighty Tigers--Oral HIstories of Chapel Hill's Lincoln High School. The interviewes were conducted from 2000-2001, by Bob Gilgor, with former teachers, staff, and students from Chapel Hill, N.C.'s Lincoln High School, the historically black secondary school that closed in 1962 when a school desegregation plan was implemented. Interviewees discuss African American life and race relations in Chapel Hill, as well as education, discipline, extracurricular activities, and high school social life before and after integration.
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