Interview with Edythe J. Hayes, March 14th, 1987

Accession Number:
1987OH080 KH 411
Edythe J. Hayes
Emily Parker
Interview Date: 
Saturday, March 14th, 1987

The Departmental Superintendent for Academic Affairs in the Fayette County school system, Mrs. Hayes was raised by her grandparents who were well liked and well respected by their community. They owned their own farm and operated a grist mill and country store and all the children attended private and/or parochial segregated schools in Selma, Alabama. Her grandparents possessed high standards to which they expected all the children to adhere, and Mrs. Hayes reminisces about her upbringing in the African American community and recounts how it has changed.

Mrs. Hayes discusses the three years she spent with her parents in West Virginia; the differences between the Baptist and Methodist churches; and, how the quality of education in West Virginia differed from that of Selma. By the age of 18, Mrs. Hayes had graduated from both high school and college. She received her master's degree from the University of Kentucky; and, beginning in 1953, taught at Carver Elementary School. She was hired at the Central Office (Fayette County) when the school systems were merged and integrated.

Mrs. Hayes examines the impact of the civil rights movement upon the school system, including the quality of education offered, different teaching methods, and lack of teacher involvement. She comments upon how the civil rights movement has done nothing for the poor African Americans; the lack of self motivation and declining moral standards within the community; the presence of social stratification and the "owe me" attitudes of some African American citizens. She talks about her abhorrence of present day practices and leadership within the African American churches, and her respect for the Reverend Homer Nutter.


Interview Restricted: 
No Restrictions