Oral History

Freda Andrews - On education, teaching, and the Freedom Movement

Interviewed by Beryl Bortey and Caroline Englert on October 10, 2018

Freda Andrews is a daughter of the Northside. Notably, her primary and secondary school education transformed her life immeasurably. Her teachers, especially at Northside Elementary, created a classroom setting that directed individual attention to each student. Fostered by these nurturing teachers, she attributes their dynamic pedagogical methods to her desire to pursue a career in education. She reflects on how her involvement in the Freedom Movement shed light on the potency of change. She references poems and freedom songs that echo this fervent desire to evoke change. She recounts how she incorporated these poems into her teaching curriculum. She expresses that this unconventional style of teaching black history countered the negative stereotypes that were ascribed to her African-American students. She shared that one of her ultimate goals was to instill self-worth in her students. Additionally, she discusses her diverse teaching experiences and her challenges catering to the needs of her students. She states that her resilience was inspired by her key figures in her life like Hilliard Caldwell, Floyd McKissick, and her grandfather. She reflects on their instrumental roles in shaping her character and values. In the interview’s conclusion, she circulates back to her insights on education. Her career exposed the flaws of the education system to her, and she shares her ideal vision for classrooms. She notes that a paradigm shift in how individuals approach teaching their students will reform the school system.

Freda Andrews - On education, teaching, and the Freedom Movement

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Oral history interview of Andrews, Freda conducted by Bortey, Beryl on October 10, 2018 at St. Joseph CME Church, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Bortey, Beryl.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Freda Andrews - On education, teaching, and the Freedom Movement,” From the Rock Wall, accessed April 18, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/freda-andrews-on-education-teaching-and-the-freedom-movement.

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