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Atavis Minton and Ryan Thomas Interview 2011 ( MP3 )
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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 0 8 8 Interviewee: Atavis Minton and Ryan Thomas Interviewer: Cand i ce Ellis Date: September 2 2 2011 E: This is Candi ce Ellis on September 22, 2011 and I am here with T: Ryan Thomas M: Atavis Minton E: And we are at the Sunflower County Freedom School and talking about kind of what it's like here, what you guys do S o why don't we start out with, w hat is kind of a standard day like here, from beginning to end? T: Well how we start a Freedom Friends day, well we come here and we first start out with S tudy S esh. And S tudy S esh is for an hour. And we stay and we do our homework, Freedom P roject work, and projects for school. T : We do literary art and P.E. on Mondays E: Fun. T : We do rap playing on when raps? M: Today is Thursday. E: Today is what? T : Thursday. Rap class. E: Rap class, what is that like? T : Well we just get a song and we like do lyrics to it, and have fun. Jump around. E: Cool. T : We still be learning at the same time. E: Yeah, definitely. So you guys have teachers here? T : They are our teachers. E: The two
MFP 08 8 ; Minton and Thomas ; Page 2 T : Leaders here. E: Okay, the two le aders, and what kind of stuff do they lecture about? T : College, and like a lot of other stuff they gonna get us to do like M: Leadership T: Yeah yeah. How to be a real good leader. E: Mh mm. Do they use books to teach, or just kind of lecture style? M: Lecture. E: And do they separate you guys based on your ? T: Age group. E: Age group, right. So what age group are you guys in? T: The third or the third and fourth years. The older kids room. E: Okay, so how what's the youngest and what's the oldest? How many levels M: Seventh grade Y eah seventh to twelfth grade. So like a first year to a sixth year. E: Okay, first year to sixth year. Okay, and the n you graduate from the program. D o they have a graduation ceremony? M: Kind of E: Oh that's fun. S o what kind of stuff do you guys do, compared to maybe what somebody younger would do? Harder books? More intensive stuff? T: More privacy. We have our own room to where we jus t sit and do our work without no one bothering us. E: Yeah, I saw you guys hang ing out in there. T: But we w ere actually are doing our work at the same time.
MFP 08 8 ; Minton and Thomas ; Page 3 E: And you do like your homework from school? M: Yeah. Homework from school and Saturday school. E: Yeah, because you guys have they have homework for you too, right? What kind of stuff do you do for them? T: Read a book, we have to read a book, or like maybe some math problems or like a logic problem. M: Vocabulary. E: Mm h m. So after you finish your high school homework, you have to do their work, that's a lot of work in one day. Do you come every day? T: Kind of M: Yeah, me. T: Yeah, me too. M: Not on certain days though. T: He don't come on Saturdays, but I do. E: So every day after school. How do you guys get here? T: The van. M: Bus. E: And the two of them what are the leaders' names? M: M s Moser and Mr. Allen. E: M s Moser and Mr. Allen, then they come to pick you up in the vans. How far do they drive? Do you know? T: Yeah, like five to seven miles, to any neighborhood come get us from E: Okay, okay. And then they drop everybody off at home?
MFP 08 8 ; Minton and Thomas ; Page 4 T: House. E: Do you know how many kids are enrolled, or do you have like a rough guess? T: It d epen d on kids, they come off and on. Y eah it all depends. E: Do parents drop off too? T: Yeah man, s ometimes. E: So what kind of stuff do they do to help you guys kind of maybe, prepare for college or something like that? T: ACT t est. We have a class on that. M: And public speaking. E: Okay. Yeah, cause I know they gave the tour. So I'm sorry, what grade exactly, seventh you said that you guys are in? M: I'm in t enth. E: Tenth grade. T: Ninth. E: And ninth grade. Okay, s o you have a couple of years to think about it and study for that test. Don't be nervous about that. You just have to it's a test that you just study for. And I'm sure that they'll really guide you and help you. Do you have any idea of where you'd like to go to school? Or what you'd like to do when you graduated high school? M: I haven't been really thinking about it, but I am starting to. E: Yeah, cause I guess th ey'd kind of start to guide you. T: I'd like to go to Mississippi State and be an engineer. E: An engineer?
MFP 08 8 ; Minton and Thomas ; Page 5 T: Mh mm. E: I have a friend who did engineering at UF and at an internship he was making way it was ridiculous. That's the best thing that you coul d do. I mean not the best, but at but in college, I mean, they're so good. So that's pretty cool that T: It's a good job. M: You can be an engineer. [ L aughter] E: That's gre at. I wish I was good at math. [L aughter] But I'm not. So I'm trying to think if there's anything else. How did you guys find out about this? T: Through some older students, like kids in your family and friends that have me here, and told us about it so we started coming. E: Do a lot of people from your high sch ool come? T: No. M: No. E: No. People don't know about it? Or they're just not T: People know about it, it's just that they're not into it. M: The Project isn't for everybody. T: Yeah. E: Why did you guys decide that you wanted to do it? How did you make that decision? T: I came to better myself like let me become a better student and achieve more in school. M: I ain't had nothing better else to do for my summer, s o I started coming. And they was like me.
MFP 08 8 ; Minton and Thomas ; Page 6 E: Ah well, it looks like a lot of fun. Did you gu ys help with the painting, or was that like ? T: Some of it. Some of the painting that we have here on the wall. E: The ceiling M: The ceiling ,, too. E: Yeah that looks like it would be fun to do. I'd like to paint. You could paint all this stuff and it'd be like crazy. Al l right, well, is there anything that you'd like to add? Any final closing thoughts? T: Everyone should come and visit the Freedom Project. E: I'm glad that we got to come. Al l right, well we can go. Do you guys ? J osh M oore: This is Jos h Moore, from the University of Florida, just for the record guys. Do you when you guys are at school, not here, when you're back at high school, do you guys talk to your friends about this and try to get them to come here as well? M: I try. I try all the time. T: It hard. We try real hard to get them to come, but some people they just just want to sit at home and watch T.V. all day. Typical teenagers, but we're not typical teenagers. JM: Do you feel like this has helped you substantially in school? T: Yea h. A lot. E: That's great. That's fantastic, that this is here and students can use it as a resource cause it's just all that extra time to study and practice and kind of plan, and see what you're gonna do. It's fantastic. It sounds like you guys really have a
MFP 08 8 ; Minton and Thomas ; Page 7 good idea about your futures. And that's difficult to plan and anticipate, but at least you're thinking about it. It's a good age to start. So I'm so glad that you guys sat down to speak with us. I hope we didn't encroach upon your study time or any thing. T: You're al l right. E: Gotta go back and hit the books, but I guess we'll go find your [End of interview] Transcribed by: Anna Armitage, January 28, 2014 Audit Edited by: Sarah Blanc, January 30, 2014 Final edited by: Diana Dombrowski, February 2 3, 2014