The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Samuel Proctor Oral History Program College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program Director : Dr. Paul Ortiz 241 Pugh Hall Technology Coordinator : Deborah Hendrix PO Box 115215 Gainesville, FL 32611 352 392 7168 352 846 1983 Fax The Samuel Proctor O ral History Program (SPOHP) was founded by Dr. Samuel Proctor at the University of Florida in 1967. Its original projects were collections centered around Florida history with the purpose of preserving eyewitness accounts of economic, social, political, re ligious and intellectual life in Florida and the South. In the 45 years since its inception, SPOHP has collected over 5,000 interviews in its archives. Transcribed interviews are available through SPOHP for use by research scholars, students, journalists and other interested groups. Material is frequently used for theses, dissertations, articles, books, documentaries, museum displays, and a variety of other public uses. As standard oral history practice dictates, SPOHP recommends that researchers refer t o both the transcript and audio of an interview when conducting their work. A selection of interviews are available online here through the UF Digital Collections and the UF Smathers Library system. Oral history interview t ranscripts available on the UF D igital Collections may be in draft or final format. SPOHP transcribers create interview transcripts by listen ing to the ori ginal oral history interview recording and typing a verbatim d ocument of it. The transcript is written with careful attention to refl ect original grammar and word choice of each interviewee; s ubjective or editorial changes are not made to their speech. The draft trans cript can also later undergo a later final edit to ensure accuracy in spelling and format I nterviewees can also provide their own spelli ng corrections SPOHP transcribers refer to the Merriam program specific transcribing style guide, accessible For more information about SPOHP, visit http://oral.histor y.ufl.edu or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. October 2013
MFP 081 Interviewee: Jakylla Williams Interviewer: Caroline Vickers and Nailah Summers Date: September 22, 2011 V: This is Nailah Summers and Caroline Vickers and we are at the Freedom Project School in Sunflower County, Mississippi. It is Septem ber 22, and we are interviewing . W: Jakylla Williams. V: Jakylla Williams. Hi Jakylla. W: Hi. V: Alrighty, so, how old are you? W: Thirteen. V: W: Seventh V: Seventh? How long have you been a part of is this your first year in the Freedom Project? W: Ye s V: W: V: [Laughter W: I learned about getting ready for college and school, and about the Civil Rights. V: omise. S o where are you from in Mississippi? W: Sunflower. V: W: Yes
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 2 V: Yeah and how many times a week do you come here to the center? How many times a week do you come to the center? W: Every week. V: Every week? Every day or a couple times a day? W: Every day. V: Every day? Good. So what are they teaching you about getting re ady for college? W: L ike reading, writing. V: [Laughter] All right. W: Like interviewing people. V: first nervous than you are. So do you know what you want to do? W: Yes. V: What you want to do? W: A teacher. V: Yeah, you want to come back here in Sunflower and teach? W: Yes. V: What do you want to teach? W: Reading. V: Reading? Reading is very important. You like reading? W: Yes. V:
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 3 W: My favorite thing? V: Uh huh. W: Junie B. Jones and . V: Say it again? W: Junie B. Jones V: Junie B. Jones and . W: V: Yeah? Want to run and grab it? Do you know where it is? All right, go. [ Pause ] All Coming of Age in Mississippi book. I just bought that boo k and I was going to read it to come here and I t finished it yet. You like that book? W: Yes. S: Why do you like that book? W: to her when she was a little girl. V: Mm hm S: Who was it? V: Anne Moody. And where did she do you remember where she grew up in Mississippi? W: In the United States? V: No, no, yeah, in Mississippi, do you remember where she grew up? Neither do I. [Laughter] But what does that book mean t o you? What does that tim e in history
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 4 mean to you, with c ivil r ights and s egregation? What does it . what do you think about it? W: What I think about it is, it was disturbing, because they had to pick who they wanted to marry, and how many kids they h appen to have. And . V: And what do you think, for you, what were the differences between back then and what it was like then S: Why are things different today? V: Right. What do you think makes it different today? W: Name some differences? V: Mm hm. W: B lacks can go to school with whites. People can marry who they want to marry, have any place they want to have. V: Mm hm right, right. W: V: Mm hm Do you think that? Do you agr W: Not really. V: Not really? Why not? Because some people people gets. V: Right, right. What do you think needs to be done to change that? W: L V: nervous, think about it. W: Who gets to change things?
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 5 V: Mm hm What would you do in Sunflower to make things better? W; V: You? Or for everybody? W: For everybody. V: Want to find more jobs for people? W: Yes. Like help the community. V: Are there a lot of people W: Yeah. V: Yeah. Anything else? No? So h ow would you help the community? Y ou said ou do? What would you do for the kids, what would you do for the older folks? W: What I would do is, like do community service. Clean up around, and help to change and learn. V: W: Yes. Teach them more a V: Yes? W: Yes. [Laughter] V: So what, when somebody talks about civil ri ghts or when somebody mentions c ivil r ights, what do you think about, when somebody talks about the Civil Rights? What comes to mind? W: Why do they . V: Look, my eyes; talk.
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 6 W: Okay. [Laughter] S: W: Oh, what come to my min d is that when they talk about c ivil r s a t eacher or a lawy er, what happen back then. And they teach us and want to ask people more questions about the c ivil r ights and ask m ore questions. And I think V: All right. V: [Laughter ] Y for us, us college students? You want to know anything about college life? W: Yeah. V: Like what? W: W hat do you do in college? V: In college, we can make our own schedules. We choose the classes that we want to take, they tell us what we need to take, but we get to choose when to take those classes. So you can take a class you really need to take and then you really need to take math, b ut you want to learn about c ivil r ights and you want to take that class. You can take them both at the same time. W: Right. S: growing up and you You will
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 7 you go to college, it will be so much better. All right? I wish somebody would have told me, I wish somebody would have told me that about high school. I t was hard. V: oh study. Always make it your priority to talk to your teacher or your professor, to that teacher and more freedom in college to do that. In high school to say, hey can you go back and do that? Or, I really want to learn more a bout this. What do you want to talk about? W: V: You want to ask us anything? S: You want to turn the tables on us, you could interview us. W: [ Laughter ] S: All right. S o tell me what you would do when you were little, when you were small here in Sunflower? to do in Sunflower? What are the kids like? What are your friends like? W: My friends are mean. S: Mean? Why are they mean?
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 8 W: Because they like to keep a mess, and instigate and go back and tell people what the other person said. S: V: E ven in college. [Laughter] Yes, trust me. S: do you like to do? W: What I like to do? Dan ce. S: You like to dance? Yeah? W: I like to sing a little. S: Yeah? W V: We know the y have those in college as well. T hey have dance teams, they have choirs. D in college. And actually the more things you do in high school, and study, makes it look better for you. Like all types of colleges will be asking you to come there keep dancing. V: Right. S: A nd study hard too! Okay? [Laughter] V: can do it. S: Yeah. S o tell me what you like about here, about this place, about the Freedom Project School
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 9 W: The Freedom Project? Oh, I like more about the Freedom Project because you can do fun stuff, get awa y from your parents and come here and lea rn new stuff. [Laughter] S: And do you have any more friends that are W: Here? S: Yes, from your school? W: No. S: And how do you get into the Freedom Project? W: S: Did your parents put you in W: Yes S: Or did your schools suggest you W: Yep, parents put you in. S: So your parents must really like you to come here. W: Oh S: Stick with it, because . we need more places like this. So you need to become a teacher and come back and h elp the kids in your community and help places like this out. So that we can all, everybody can be equal. Education is one thing that puts people on the same level. Education helps the people be on the same level. A nything else you want to talk about? Anything else you want to talk about c ivil r ights, or no? Maybe? Yes you do! W: Oh, for college, do they have teachers on monitors, like on TV so they can teach you guys?
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 10 V: Some classes do. You can have an online class, or classes that you may not feel going every day at the same your responsibility to actually watch the lecture is the only thing. S: Yeah, so that do es happen. A lot of teachers take attendance, let me see . V : college, right? And you make 100 on everything, right? But you never come to class and that teacher take s attendance. Guess what probably the for attendance. So V: S: Yeah, t V: they make you they treat you like a grown up. So, t S: Do you have uniforms at your school? W: Yes. S: V: Never had top wear a uniform. What colors are your uniforms? W: Burgundy and blue. S: Burgundy and blue. V: So you like those colors? W: No. [Laughter]
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 11 V: You can wear any color you want in college, a ny color. S: I had red and black in elementary schoo l. V: just start? W: S : When, what grade do you serve in school here? W : Middle school start at seventh. S : Okay, yeah. Me too. Some schools start in like sixth, or fifth. V : Yeah, mine started at fifth. S : Right. A ll right. Oh, tell me about the . anymore? Were you here when they taught karate? W: r. S : W: Yes S : And do you do, t he boys that gave the tour said you guys do plays. Have you been a part of a play yet? W: No. S : No. Do you want to? W: No. S : [Laughter] Why not? W: to get on the stage. S: Me too. Let me tell you, when I was ... I did chorus and I was on the dance team in high school and in middle school and in elementary. I did dancing and I did
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 12 thing by was so nervous I almost threw up. So really nervous. Really nervous. V: So W: At the Freedom School? Karate. S : Yeah. So you like the karate? [Laughter] So you miss the karate? W: Yeah. S : What kinds of things do they teach you in karate? W: L ike they teach us kicks, punches and how to block when a person coming at you. S : yet, right? [Laug hter]. go ahead S: W: P laying hot lava. S: W: gotta run off the mat and you gotta pick, keep going til you get it right, til you finished them. S: W: Yes. S: And do yo u play that a lot?
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 13 W: No. S: happen all the time? W: Some times we play Frisbee. S: Oh W: Seven. S: An d your parents come pick you up? W: Yes. S: Or they take you back in a van? W: Or, yes. S: On a van? Okay. And I was going to ask you something. V: You know what college you want to go to? S: I was just about to ask that. W: I would say Delta Valley. S: S W: Williams. S: Miss Williams. Teacher . V: S: Actually my second do you know what grade you want to teach? W: First. S: First grade? W: Mm hm
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 14 S: My grade teacher was Miss Jones. And my second grade teacher was Miss Williams. So I had a Miss Williams. She was really really nice. I have faith in V: What do you think you can do as a teacher to help kids? W: W hat I can do is teach? V: Would you encourage them to do some things or come to places like this? W: Encourage them and come to a place like this to help them learn more. V: Yeah? W: Yeah. S : W: Uh huh. S : We need more teachers like you. So good job. I see backpacks . room for? Do you come in this room or do you stay in the yellow room? W: This room. S : W: Education. S : Education. And the yellow one is for what? W: Action. S : Action. Okay, very go od. So what are you, what kind of homework are you working on now? W: Math. S : Do you like math? W: No! [Laughter]
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 15 V : S : V : something that S: So what kind of math are you working on? W: Diminutive or associative properties. S: Ooh V: I remember that. W: Yes. S: grades so far? W: Yes. S: Yes? Good. Keep it up. V: Do you have any brothers and sisters? W: Yes. V: How many? W: Five sisters and one brother. V: What are their names? W: aria, Margret, Jamille, and Keziah. V: Keziah. And your brother? W: Yes. V: W: Keziah! V:
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 16 W: No. V: called him, how old is your brother? How old are your brothers and sisters? Do you know? W: ten. [Laughter] V: W: No. V: No? Why not? W: V: nervous. We were your age too. We remember S: I used to be really nervous, speaking in front of people. I was like, oh. But eventually I would come around. V: S: Yes. V: you are we can let you go now if want. Go back to your friends and do your homework. Let us know if you need, or if d o you have tutors here to help you with the homework? W: Yes. V: To help you do the math?
MFP 0 81 ; Williams ; Page 17 W: Yes. V: Okay. Alrighty, well, thank you. W: S: All right, bye. [End of interview] Transcribed by: Jana Ronan, October 2013 Audit e dited by: Sarah Blanc, October 23, 2013 Final edited by: Diana Dombrowski, January 2014