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Working Lives Oral History Project

Interview with Evelyn Howard

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Evelyn Howard began teaching at Lincoln School in 1937, at the age of 18. In this interview, she recounts the challenges faced by black schools in the South and describes her teaching philosophy. Howard also discusses the Civil Rights Movement throughout the interview. Howard explains that schools were not involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s because they were afraid to be. They let the children know that the only way to get ahead was to learn and try to get better jobs for themselves. Howard recalls Martin Luther King, Jr., coming to Birmingham to march: The gates had been locked to keep children in. Someone with a truck broke [the] gate down and children went running out and joined the march to city hall. Some teachers tried to keep the students in but... others were happy to see them go. Stood at the window smiling, clapping and crying to see the children do what she hadn't had nerve to do years earlier. Of King, Jr., she says, if there is such a thing as a person being sent to deliver us or help us, I do believe he was our Moses... I believe God sent him and God allowed him to be killed because that was just the way it has to be. Howard grew up in the Payne Chapel AME Church. She can remember looking forward to revivals and consider them a sort of a gala event. The revivals were highly emotional, a needed release for participants. She adds that her religious faith has been a stabilizing influence on her life, something to hold on to; she says that a person has to have something to believe in.
Howard, Evelyn
Hamrick, Peggy
Date Created
ca. 1984
Physical Description
2 audio cassettes
Physical Description
2 transcripts
United States--Alabama--Jefferson County--Birmingham
Howard, Evelyn -- Interviews
Document Types
sound recording-nonmusical


William Stanley Hoole Special Collections Library
Repository Collection
Archive of American Minority Cultures

Part of

Online Repository
The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
Digital Collection
Working Lives Oral History Project

Additional Information

Digitization Funding
The digitization of this collection was funded by a gift from EBSCO Industries.
Access Conditions
  • Collection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law.
  • To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library.
EBSCO Industries
The University of Alabama Libraries (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)