Cathia Darling C/"
I: ....student at the University of Florida. Where are you from? ~~5
I: How long have you been here?
S: Two years.
I: Did you come here from high school?
S: No. From Dade, I transferred.
I: How long were you at Dade?
S: Two years.
I: So, you're a senior?
I: In what?
I: What field?
I: What did you think when you got the questionnaire?
S: It was just another questionnaire.
I: Have you gotten many before?
don't usually fill
S: Yeah. I\mxixm iyxthrxw them out.
I: Why not?
S: I don't know. I just get sick of answering questions, you know, about this,
that and you know, the usual things. But this was a Saturday morning, and I
was feeling pretty good, so I say, OK, I'll just write something down.
I: Just because the way you felt at the time?
S: Yes, because I usually throw them away.
I: Without looking at them? Why is that? Don't you think you ought to look at
them at least?
S: No. I know how I feel, so I figure that's all important.
I: Did you think it's every important to let anybody else know how you feel?
S: Sometimes, I guess.
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I: Then how do you distinguish when that is?
S: When I feel like it's going to benefit me, and I feel like, you know, filling
out the questionnaires and sending them back, they don't do nothing, probably
nothing but another study of some kind with a whole bunch of numbers. I'm
nobody really when they throw them all in together, so why bother? I say,
they won't miss mine anyway.
I: Did anybody call you about the questionnaire?
S: No. You mean before I got it? No.
I: After you got it?
S: You did, somebody called me to make the appointment for the interview.
I: Yeah, right, well, that was me. When you graduated from high school, had you
thought of going anywhere besides Dade?
S: Not really. Well, yeah, but see, like, my mother told me, yeah, if I were to
stay home, you know, it meant a car or at least some kind of transportation to
get, you know, back and forth from Dade, and right away, I was hooked. Yeah,
I preferred the car. And the majority of my friends went to Dade too, so the
clique I ran with, we were all out there, so it wasn't too bad.
I: Aside from the car, would you have considered going anywhere else?
S: Oh, yeah. Well, I was thinking about A & M, but I don't know, when I thought
about A & M, and you know, Dade for two years and then transferring to some-
place else, I wondered, well you know, A & M is an all-black school, so right
away I knew, like if I went to Dade probably and made up all right there, I
could transfer probably to a white school and then, you know, my chances of
getting a better job as well as a better education would be better, much better
than going to A & M or to a black school.
I: Did you have any reservations as far as coming to a predominantly white school?
S: No, because I had a friend here, and you know, there weren't many blacks here,
and she said, you know, they had a pretty good time. It wasn't the best, but
they had a pretty good time. She was really, she really lured me into coming
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here, really, as far as a couple other things
I: Did you consider going anywhere else after Dade though?
S: No, I was kind of set on Florida, you know, after talking. She gets excited
sometimes. I'll get some tissue and get it up before we leave. Oh, no, what
was your question?
I: Had you considered going anywhere else?
S: No, no, not after I got out there, and she began writing me and telling me
that it was pretty nice up here, and then the education was much better than
going to A & M. There was no doubt in that, you know, so I really centered on
coming here, put my mind on trying to get in. Only the Florida State, yeah,
it was Florida State, you see, Florida State wanted to make me a sophomore.
But Florida wanted to make me a junior. Because I had to have a science and
a lab, and I took a geology course with a lab, but I got a D out of it, I got
a D out of the lab which meant I would have to take the whole thing over again,
and I refuse to take a science with the lab, now I'm sorry. So I told them,
well, they said, Ok, well don't worry about it. I'll just go to Florida, and
then I got the ( ) money too, you know. Like Florida was just like this,
(snap of fingers), you know, in replying, anytime I, you know, wrote and
asked about the money and then with the exceptions and all, they were, you know,
right on time, so I figured, you know, maybe they want me. So I'll go there.
I: How has it been since you've gotten here?
S: It's been all right. I would imagine things would probably be better elsewhere.
I: Like what?
S: Socially, I mean, you know. It's aeal drag.
I: Do you like off campus?
S: Yes. I don't know if that's better or worse, 'cause my first quarter here, I
was in Graham Hall, and my first roommate moved out which, you know, upset me
very much. I had a whole room to myself, and this really made me feel very
bad, and after that, after she moved out, it was real crowded that first quarter
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here, so the RA from the floor asked if I would move in with her 'cause she
was a senior, and I was a junior and because she didn't want to get any under-
classmen, and I was going to get another roommate eventually, but, you know,
since she asked me, I told her OK. She was alright, but, you know, she was
a senior, and she was engaged, and she spent all her time at her boy friend's,
and I was usually in the room alone anyway, so it wasn't too bad, and there
were a few girls I spoke to on the floor, I talked to.
I: What's wrong with social life on this campus?
S There's not enough black men.
I: Do you date often?
S: Not here. There isn't anybody to date.
I: What do you do?
S: Well, since we're off-campus, every once in a while, you know, we'll have a
party, and you know, invite the kids from over here, you know, the majority
of them are freshmen and underclassmen, you know, ( ) people, and I can't
make it with them.
I: Do you date off campus? Go ahead. I didn't mean to interrupt you.
S: Yeah, well, sort of, like I'm interning now at Duval, and I date occasionally.
I: Mainly black guys off campus.
S: Yeah, off campus black guys.
I: Why would you rather go out with them than back guys on campus?
S: Because there aren't any matured black guys on campus. You see, there're all
freshmen, you know. The majority of them are freshmen really. They're all
freshmen, and the ones that are sophomores might as well be freshmen.
I: Well, that's not true. I've seen the breakdown of...
S: You don't know these people like I know them.
I: Oh, no. I'm talking about there are quite a few juniors and seniors.
S: They're not my type. I know a few of them, but you know, they're not what
I'm looking for. They're not off my stick.
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I: Your stick? I've never heard that expression. What does that mean?
S: You know, your type, somebody that you want to be bothered with.
I: What kind of guys do you date off campus?
S: Well, let's see, people, men that are twenty-one and they can go to a lounge
or someplace, you know, not all this bom-bom-bom, you know, all the time.
I mean, it's nice, but go someplace and just talk, and you know and have a
drink or just come over and have a drink, not a whole bunch of people all
the time. But, then again, there's no place to go in Gainesville.
I: Where you from? Miami?
I: Yeah, the comparison is not very fair.
S: A couple of the lounges are all right, but the clubs here, they're really
I: Like which places are you talking about?
S: Well, there's Sarah's on Fifth Avenue. Now, we went there, I went there my
first quarter which was my first and last time going there.
I: Why is that?
S: 'Cause it's too small, and you know, it doesn't have anything going for it,
really. It looks like a caboose, you know, the end of a caboose, of a train.
Only it would be nice if she could expand, you know, make it larger 'cause the
band there was really good but other than that, no. It's just too small and
too crapped in. There's no dance space or anything. And then the Billy
Skater's all right, but that's cruddy too 'cause they don't ever have a good
band, you know. In any of the times I've been out there, they didn't have one.
And then, there's Cunningham's which is in the woods, one way in and one way
out. I can't fight that.
I: One way in and one way out?
S: Well, there's one way to get in and one way to come out. See, it sits way back
in the woods, you know, and it's really bad, and it's too crowded, and there's too
many rowdy, rowdy people. I mean, they really get carried away when they
start drinking. And it can be pretty bad. You could just be an innocent
bystander, and you know, get knocked in the head. And I can't stand the
sight of blood, especially my own.
I: Are you ever serious? You're always...
S: I am.
I: What about the guys that you have been dating off campus, like, what do
S: Oh, he's sick. Well....
S: The fellow that I date, he's sick. He's slightly touched in the head, but
he's all right 'cause he's a lot of fun, and he likes to spend his money,
and he likes to drink, so, you know, we usually go to a lounge, you know,
and sit around and mess around or either go over to the apartment and just,
you know, listen to some records and mess around. That's all. And, you
know, go to a movie.
I: What does he do?
S: He teaches.
I: Yeah, I've heard that a lot of the black guys on this campus say the black
girls won't go out with them. Why is that?
S: Well, I don't want to be bothered with 'em now. They're too childish. Well,
maybe, the fellows that you talk to are the freshmen and sophomores, you know,
and some of them are juniors that, you know, are trying to, you know, (
the freshmen girls, you know, and the sophomore girls that don't want to be
bothered with them 'cause probably the girls feel like they thinknthe fellows
think, you know, they're too cool, you know, that type of thing. But this is,
you know, they're probably talking about them. OK, what else? This is who
they're probably talking about, you know, the freshmen girls.
I: They don't want to go out with those guys. They said that the girls were really
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S: Some of them are. You know, I'm nice to everybody. Even if I don't want to
be bothered with them, I jive around with them, but as far as going out, you
know, no. But a lot of te girls, you know, just turn them off completely and
probably won't even speak to 'em, you know, like take time out to socialize
with them, but like, you know, I jive and clown with all of them. But a lot
of girls, black girls won't, you know, like they have to keep their head up
I: Well, one of the alternativess is that it seems like quite a few black guys are
dating white girls.
S: Yeah, that's their stick, more power to 'em.
I: You don't think there's resentment among black girls about that?
S: Some of them may feel that way, but I don't.
I: It doesn't bother you.
S: 'Cause I don't care. 'Cause if I wanted to date a white fellow, I'd date
one, 'cause like what I want to do is my business, and you know, if they want
to date some white girl, fine. But, see, the problem comes is that, when
maybe you have, you know, the so-called, the black leaders dating the white
girls, we had a little bit of internal strife in our BSU because of this.
I: Well, what happened?
S: Well, you know, ou leaders, you know, axe messing around, you know, dating
white girls a lot, had a white girl friend. And it was said, that they re-
marked that they didn't want to be bothered, you know, with any of the black
girls. Like I could care less, but this upset, you know, a couple of the
girls. Well, the majority of them, or a lot of them frowned on these fellows
that talked all this black ( ) and then, you know, date a white girl.
I: What do the girls say about that?
S: They don't want to be bothered with the fellows. And see, this is probably why
the fellows say a lot of the black girls, you know, won't go out with them be-
cause this is sort of, you know, THE thing now, to try to hit on a white chick,
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you know, you reallkith it now, and a lot of the fellows are doing this, you
know, and a lot of the girls don't want to be bothered with 'em because of this.
Or, you know, they make remarks about, you know, they can always get a white
chick ( ) the black girl, you know, a derrogatory statement. So, this is
I: Would you date a white person?
S: Uh, huh. I've dated a white fellow.
I: AMB anything happen?
I: Did you get any static from any of your friends?
S: No. See, because like,phy Cathy does is Cathy's business, and I don't have
anything to say about what, you know, another person does. So, if I wanted to
go out with Jesus Christ himself and he was white, nobody can give me any kind
of static about my own personal life. But, you know, it's OK.
I: Where did you go?
S: Ah, let me see. It was like, first it was a party that we went to and after
that, we went over to ( ), the doughnut place. It was rather late, and
that was all. ( ). We went to a party over at Gatortown.
I: What kind of things would you have on campus that would be a better social life
for black students?
S: On campus?
I: Uh um.
S: Oh, more black entertainers. And they shouldn't charge so much. Like $5.50 is
ridiculous to see Sly and the Family Stones and all the other...
I: Is that apiece?
S: Uh, huh. $5.50.
I: You mean it sort of costs you $11.00 if you want...
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S: So you know what that means. A lot okeople will be without a date. I
know I will 'cause I'm not going. Not for $5.50.
I: Well, get a guy to take you.
S: Well, see, there's another thing too. If I were to approach one of those,
you know, a black fellow, come on, take your girl to the dance, you know,
I mean, to the thing and I'll be your date. He'd ask me, was I losing my
mind for $11.00. This is the way it goes. So, you see, I know I won't be
going unless I come out of my pocket with $5.50 which is, I don't see it.
Not for them. And personally, the mly people I would be going to see, you
know, is Sly and all that other foolishness I don't want to hear. So I figure
I'd lose out. Now, if I could jump the fence...sneak in for free whichAixwi
try to do very hard.
I: If they had a black sorority on campus, would you join it?
S: Oh, yes, definitely.
S: 'Cause I could be with my own kind. They could, you know, appreciate the
things that we like to do, the things I like to do. They could understand
some of the things I say and do and the way I act 'cause a lot of the white
kids don't catch on, you know, especially in talking.
I: White kids don't understand you when you talk?
S: I mean, you know, like when we, you know, just sitting around jiving and
talking, you know, different expressions we use, you know, to mean different
things like that, not that they should. A black sorority would be nice.
I: Do you think it would be pretty popular?
I: You should have thought of that a while ago, except now that's making as much
noise. ('IC A f"W ^
S: If you bite....
I: I hadn't known that blacks would be that interested in joining a sorority or a
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fraternity. What advantages do you think would exist?
S: Well, you wouldn't be, like most of this quarter up here, I was real dis-
illusioned. I was ready to go back home. See, I was ready to goAhome
because like there was nobody to talk to or anything and I was just plain
I: Wait one second. All right, go ahead. You were talking about the
S: Oh yes. I think it would provide, you know, some sort of contact, you know,
with blacks the first time you get up here 'cause like when I got up here,
i was really bad, you know. Only people I saw were white. No blacks at all.
And I didn't really have anybody to talk to from the beginning, and it's
really bad. I must have gained about ten or twenty pounds 'cause I was just,
I would just stay, you know, in the room and just eat and tell myself, you
know, things are going to get better and the black kids I did know, well,
Gwen, a friend of mine, my roommate now, she lived over in Weaver, that's like
right across from Graham, but I didn't know Gwen and I didn't know anybody,
and you know, it's really bad on your nerves, especially if you're used to,
you know, talking to people all the time, and like, you know, I knew half of
them white girls on that floor, you know, didn't want to talk to me, and I
didn't want to talk to them either.
I: Why didn't you want to talk to them?
S: I mean, you could tell...
I: No, you're saying, wait, you're saying they didn't want to talk to you. But
now, I mean, would you have liked them topAh different?
S: I don't know, well, when you say different...
I: Well, in other words, in the sense of wanting to talk to you, wanting to be
your friend also.
S: Probably, but then, if they would have, I would have felt that they were just
trying to get rid of their guilt complex, like take a black to lunch, take a
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nigger to lunch, you know. I probably would have felt that way. I really
I: So, in other words, you're saying if a white person is friendly, he couldn't
really be naturally friendly or something. He'd always have to be trying to
S: Some of them.
I: No doubt, some, but you're making that seem...
S: Well, maybe, I think I would be able to tell if it was an all out effort, if
they were really trying because you can tell when people try too hard but, you
know, if I would have felt that they, you know, really wanted to talk or be
friends, I probably could have sensed that. It wasn't, you know, this great
put on for my benefit. I mean, 'cause there were a few girls that were
really nice, you know, there was one, Natalie, she's from Miami, and you
know, we talked all the time. Now, Natalie, I could go with and Dena, Dena,
both of them were from Miami. And I could go with them. Those are about
the only two people...
I: Were they Jewish?
I: The reason I asked is because it seems like blacks ( ), they get along
a lot better with white Jewish students than they do with other white ones.
Have you found that?
S: Ah, let me see. No, 'cause Lindy, my roommate, she wasn't Jewish, and she was
nice. She was an all right girl.
I: Do you think that keeping all black students, say in a black fraternity or
black sorority, would inhibit the chances of blacks and whites learning how
to get along together?
S: No, 'cause they would get together, if they wanted to, eventually.
I: But less even than they do now.
S: Living in an all black...? No, well, it might, in a sense, 'cause like when
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you're all together, especially in a white university, I would imagine that
we would tend, you know, to be even more together. But, there might be a
breakthrough, you know, for some coalition or some, you know, interaction
between the two groups, but it wouldn't be very much 'cause, you know, if we
had a place, you know, to have a good time and to party and to have different
bands and things there, no we wouldn't 'cause I know I wouldn't.
I: You'd stay mainly with blacks?
S: I would.
I: Well, do you think it's important?
S: For what? To what?
I: That whites and blacks get together.
S: I'm beginning to wonder.
I: Well, explain that.
S: I don't know like to get together, well, maybe it is. Is it important for me
to have a white friend? I don't know. Say that again.
I: Blacks for a long time have complained about not being accepted and not being
able to do what they want to do where they've been black people rather than
just people. Now, people are coming about overcoming those kinds of differences
and black people say, we don't want to be with white people. Well, doesn't it
seem very much the way white people talked for a long time?
S: I guess. I don't know. Well, you know, you say getting together, I mean, coming
together. I guess it's important. I guess it would be if people are ever going
to accept people for what they are and get along. I guess you have to know some-
body before you can really judge them. So I would imagine that an understanding
between the two groups probably would be better, you know, make it better for
both sides, you know, no great love but an understanding, you know, rHsxxan if
you can understand somebody, you don't have to love them but you can go along
with themAif you understand them. Like coming up here, I guess.
I: Do you want to teach at a black school?
S: It doesn't matter 'cause I worked over at P. K. Yonge and it was really
beautiful. You know, children are children. I found that out. Kids that,
I had, you know, some reservations about going over there. I don't know
why but I felt like it wouldn't be like I wanted to do and that I wouldn't
like it at all but it was all together different, and it was really nice. I
had a real nice time with them, and I enjoyed them. And like, I'm at Duval
now with, you know, an all-black class with the exception of one. It's the
same things, you know, really nice. They're all miniature heathens.
I: What do you mean by that?
S: Wild. Always hitting people, all the time and pencils and skipping. But
it's all right.
I: How are you doingkn school?
S: Fine. I'm in an experimental program under Dr.(
That thing of his, the new elementary program, and I like it now. I didn't at
first 'cause I wanted to get out, but he psyched me into not getting out so
I: How did he do that?
S: Well, see like, it's the type of program where everything is supposedly self-
motivlated. Our classes nly meet, you know, once a week, and they give you a
list of ( ) which you have to complete in any way you want to, and I mean
it's all left up to you. If you going to go out and teach a reading lesson or
go to the library and read about something and write a paper and discuss it
with your teacher, and ItAn found that so hard to do my first quarter and I
was really disgusted so I told him I wanted to get out of it 'cause I wasn't
making any headway and I just felt like I was doing nothing. So he says, OK
you come and talk to me about it. So I went and talked to him and he shot me
this line, I knew it was a line. I just ate it up, and that's why I'm here.
I: What did he say?
S: Well, he'd tell me about, you know, like it's important to you because you're
black and 'cause like I was the only black one in there at that time, and
it's really going to help you so you can help others, the regular. And I
fell for it.
I: You think that is ( ).
S: Now, now when I think back, no. "Cause like the things that we're exposed to
in this experimental program, the kids in the regular education block don't
get it. It's altogether different, and I'm really glad I stayed in. I'm
really glad I did. 'Cause like even our first quarter in the program, we'd
go out into schools, you know, it's not all class work all the time, and you'd
sort of like work up to your internship, like this lady I have now who I'm
doing my internship under, I was her teacher's aide so that when it was time
for my internship, you know, we can tell them if we want to go back to a
teacher we've had before which is ice 'cause then when you do that you know
the teacher and you know the children and, you know, you're not as afti(d as
you would be like going, if they sent you to Jacksonville or to Micanopy so
you have a whole new bunch of people to work with and I imagine that would be
kind of, you know, frightening. I know for me it would.
I: How is it for you as a black student on this campus? How *are you treated by
white students in general?
S: OK, pretty good. You know, liberalism is just pouring all out of some of them,
and then some of them, you know that they don't want to be bothered with you.
They let you know, you know, that they don't like you.
I: How do they let you know?
S: You know, you can, well, what is it? You know, like, I guess looks wouldn't be
good enough to say or maybe, you know, in class, well, you can sense it. I
can sense it, you know, like, you knows, remarks and things or mainly the way
people look at you, you know, like when you attend a function or something.
I: Can you remember any specific function that you're talking about?
S: What is it? Like maybe, that's not a function, like in the student union, like
when you go through the line to get something to eat. You know, they
really look at you strange when you emerge from the line and go and take
a seat at a chair. You know, a lot of people, they could care less, but
there's some that really stare you down. I mean, they just sit there and
stare constantly, you know, like, oh, what is she doing here? That's the
main thing, the staring. I don't know if it's my beauty that they're so
engrossed in or the fact that I'm black, but it's really funny.
I: Maybe it's a combination.
S: It's really funny, you know, to see how somebody can just sit and stare at
you, you know, while you're eating and of course, we give 'em a show.
I: You do?
S: I mean, it's only right. They're looking, so I figure why let them look
I: So what do you do?
S: Chew my food up and spit it out, you know.
I: Have you ever really done that?
S: Um, hum. I do. They'll get tired and then they'll turn their head real
quick and) then they'll come back for some more, and I'm ready for them.
I: Do you engage in this kind of activity very often?
S: Oh, when it's necessary, you know, when I see people are rea4tLy trying to
figure out what am I doing some place. I usually let them know, especially
when it's a lot of us together. You know, and you get the stares. It's
I: Do you remember any specific incidents that happened?
S: Not on campus.
I: Off campus?
I: Like what?
S: Well, we went to Pantry Pride. It was about three or four of us, and you know,
like as soon as we hit the door, I mean, big old Pantry Pride, OK, we come in
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this door and then, you know, we started walking, and you can tellAhde people
are watching you, you know. And the manager gets over the little intercom
system and hollers, all bag boys to the front. Now I mean, every aisle we
went down, there was a bag boy, that was at each aisle, you know, watching.
I mean, it was really disgusting so ( ), I mean, James is really
fed up with it...
I: James whn ( )?
I: So, you know, I thinked we checked the groceries and then decided we didn't
want them and told them, you know. And then the saleslady, she wants to get
so fly at the mouth so we told her a couple of words and said, you know, no-
body has to steal nothing from this second-hand store 'cause, you know, it
was really disgusting, I mean disgusting.
I: How many people were you with?
S: It was James, Gwen, myself. It had to be no more than three or four of us.
I guess they thought we were going to put the store in our pocket and walk
out with it. It's really sickening and even in cruddy Murphy's, you know,
G. C. Murphy, now what would I want out of there? I mean and they just
watch you, you know, with an eye in eye (?) like you really want to take
something. Now if I was going to take something, I'd make like I'd come out
better, not even Maas Brothers, there's no where in Gainesville I've seen, as
far as stealing something from somebody. They are really sickening.
I: They aren't any stores in Gainesville nice enough to steal from?
S: No, not for, you got to think about going to jail behind. Now if I really
wanted to get thrown in jail, I think I'd prefer doing it from off the beach
on Surfside or somewhere over there if I just had to go, but from this cruddy
I: What about faculty?
S: All my professors are pretty nice. I haven't had any, you know, real bitches.
But, like some people have, you know, I've heard them talk about, like
there was a friend of mine Cheryl, this girl in education....
I: Cheryl Brown?
S: No, not like Rat Brown, that clown. There's a girl, Shirley, she's in
education and she said, you know, that she knew that her paper, her work
was better than C in some course, I think it was English, and she said
they only gave her a C, regardless of anything she did, she always graded
her down, and then there was another fellow Wilbert, he said he had a pro-
fessor who told him straight out in front that he knew he couldn't get any-
thing better than a C out of his course.
I: Why is that?
S: Because he was black. Wilbert said that's the only thing he coulsee. 'Cause,
you know, he said if they had a test, Wilbert ifi said he felt like he de-
served a better grade than what he did get, and he went and talked to the
man, and the man told him, you know, that's just the way it was. And then
there was another fellow, Ernest, he said he had a speech course and he said
he knew his speeches were better...
I: Is this Ernest Johnson?
S: Yes. ...his speeches were better than whatever he got but all the speeches
were concerning, you know, black and all this militant stuff and he felt
like the professor slighted him too. I mean, well, this is the student against
the professor but, you know, I don't see why he had any reason to lie. I mean
you can feel when you've done pretty good work and you know when you've really
goofed off or when you've applied yourself so it may be in some cases, the
I: Can you think of any other incidents that you've heard or experienced yourself?
S: I'm trying to think. I think James, something, I'm not sure so I won't even
say. James did say something but I can't remember what he told me. It's been
a good long while now.
I: Have you had any contact with the administration?
I: Like what?
S: Oh no, not really. Doug Turner over in Financial Aid.
I: Who's that?
S: Doug Turner. That's the administration? No?
I: OK, yeah.
S: Yeah then, Doug Turner.
I: Has that been OK?
S: Oh yea, he's real nice. He's really a nice person. That's about all. I
guess, there'a another counselor down there, Bill Wall in Financial Aid.
He's nice. Oh, Mrs. Steckmiller. They're all nice because theynthink
I'm poor. That's why they're nice. Poor black girl.
I: But you're not?
S: Yes, I am. Oh, come on. But they're nice. Mr. Turner's really so nice.
He's very nice. And Mrs. Steckle is very nice.
I: ( ) you think you got a pretty fair shake from the administrators?
S: Yeah, the ones I've come in contact with.
I: Do you know Roy Mitchell?
I: What's your opinion of the job he's doing?
S: He's doing an all right job. He's trying to get more black people into
thisAuniversity, you know, and he's all right. He's coming along fine.
I: Are you active in the BSU?
S: Semi. I think 'cause like, who's going to hear this tape?
I: Just me.
S: Well, the BSU was allight, but see, there's a lot of people in there just
want to, you know, bull shit all the time and some of the meetings I don't
even go to, because it always turns out to be the same bunch of shit, you
know, like OK, your great white father's keeping you down. Well damn. I
know this already, and from where I sit, they're not really doing as much
as other black, you know, BSUs are doing on other campuses?
I: Like what? What would you like to see them doing?
S: As far as you know, getting more black professors and things, if you going
to threaten these people, you know, carry through with your threat. Like
the little sit-ins and shits. I mean, they don't amount to anything. We
don't get anything from them. I mean, so hell, I could stay home. I don't
want to sit in the hot sun for no reason at all. I mean, maybe if we had
more forceful leaders, well....
I: Who do you consider black leaders on campus?
S: Nobody, really.
I: Well, let me ask you differently then. We'll get back to that question.
Who is it that most black students feel are the black leaders?
S: I would say Mitch. Well, Mitch is all right. I guess I can go with Mitch.
He's OK, but see, when, I don't know. Yeah, Mitch is pretty OK, Mitch is
all right. I think I could go with Mitch before I could go with a lot of
them that you know, these pseudo-super-duper blacks.
I: Like what?
S: (Like there are a few people in the BSU, you know, the ministers, the ministers
of this and the ministers of that and everybody, all of a sudden, is so damn
black and, you know, they're sickening with it. You can see it's a front,
and half the time, they don't know what the hell they're doing, and it's
funny to me 'cause I just laugh at them.
I: Like what? I think I have a feeling for what you're saying, but I mean...
S: OK, like take the Minister of Education. No, what is he? No, the Minister
of Defense. Now, he's just so black now but every time, I mean, like little
petty shit, like heiells them in a meeting to wear combat boats when all of
them are together, like this is going to scare, you know, the...
I: Who is the Minister of Efense?
S: I think Fred Reading. You need to get him in here and talk to him.
I: I wish he would.
S: I mean this little stupid shit, I mean now, what's wearing combat boots
going to do to anybody as far as scaring them. I mean that's stupid shit.
And he's the black leader, but yet still, he has to cut his ( ) every
time he goes home to mommy and daddy. I mean, well, this is a big farce.
It's really funny, you know, and like, all f a sudden, these, I can't call
them what I want to call them.
I: Call them whatever you want to call them.
S: I'm not going to let you hear me, I'm not ping to say that on tape, but
anyway, all of a sudden, all these people, all of a sudden, want to become
so politicized as to, you know, forget about the white man, that doep't
have anything, work within the system and, you know, tear the system down,
and all this bullshit and I knew them when they first got up here and they
weren't doing a damn thing as far as, you know, politicizing themselves,
you know, all this awareness bullshit. So now, everybody is so black and
everybody is so aware, and they're going to change this, and you're not
black if you don't do this. You know, don't tell me, 'cause you don't wear
an afro, you're not black and you don't think like. ).
I don't even pay them any attention 'cause it's sick.
I: Have you been criticized about not being black enough?
S: Uh, hum.
I: For what kind of things?
S: 'Cause I don't wear an afro, which is so stupid#. I mean, how you do your
hair, what does that, how does that affect your thinking? I mean, this is
stupid. And you know, to show you how stupid# it is, they really get up
tight about it, you know. You're not a black sister because you don't wear
an afro. ( ), I'm not. You know, they tell you, and
all this shit about blackness. I mean we can be black and not wear an afro
or a ( ), you know. Oh, that's another thing, the ( ).
Oh Lord, that's another one. They're black with the ( ). If you
don't have a ( ), you're not black. So I guess I'm not black.
I: What do you tell them?
I: When they start with you about that?
S: I tell them I don't want 4ayxmfAthat shit because they don't know how I
feel as far as changing anything or, you know, making any definite con-
tributions to the black movement. Oh, yeah, when you graduate, you going
to move, you gonna buy a car, you gonna get a house and you gonna move in
the white middle class neighborhood and then you're gonna forget about your
people. That degree doesn't give you that privilege to do that. You're
supposed to get that degree and go out and work for the people. This is
it. If you don't do this, you're not black.
I: What do you say when people talk to you like this?
S: I tell them to go to hell 'cause I know what I want to do and when I get my
degree, that's fine. I'm going to get a car, and I want a house because it's
going to be my house, I mean, getting some of the things that I want, you know,
doesn't mean that, you know, I can't help other people, you know, other black
people. I mean, it's a different thing whenou get a car and you try to bet-
ter yourself and you forget about, you know, from whence you coming, but I
mean if you gonna try and better yourself, you know, and try to help other
people, I don't see anything wrong with that. I figure by teaching, you know,
black kids and trying to expose them to a lot of stuff they're not ordinarily
exposed to, I figure like I'm doing my job.
I: Seems to be a lot of these dudes spend an awful lot of money on clothes.
S: There you go. They're not going to tell me what I can't do.
I: It costs a lot of bread to walk around in the latest things.
S: I know it, man, you know, just a shit. 'Cause I don't hear 'em. I don't
- 22 -
don't even hear 'em. I ain't thinking about 'em. But, everybody's so black
now. They can go out into the black communities, you know, in Gainesville
here, they want to set up this, they want to set up that, you know, programs
for black people. And want to ask them, what the hell do they do when they're
home in their own neighborhoods. But yet, when they come up here, this all-
white campus and predominantly, you know, white run town, everybody's, the
blackness comes out of everybody. I don't want to hear that.
I: Do you have conflicts with these people very often, Cathai?
I: It seems like you might.
S: I'm just telling them where to go, and I don't come in contact with, you
know, many of them, unless it's at a meeting which I usually don't attend.
I attend some of them, but they're sickening. The only constructive thing
I've ever seen that BSU do is when those fellows were in jail. Now, I mean
they really, we really stuck together, you know, really stuck together, and
we got them out. Now, that's when I felt very black then 'cause I know I
helped 'cause, you know, I raised money and everything. I mean, this is
when I say, you know, when I can contribute something and see that I'm
making a worthwhile contribution and feel it and really feel a part of it.
I mean, but just talking about, you know, things are going to change and
things won't be the same in five or ten years from now. Shit, that's five
or ten years from now. Hell, you're living in the future. I mean, who's
to worry about five or ten years when you may not even be here? I mean,
that's asinine to me, you know, thinking so far ahead about changing the
structure and all that shit. Well, hell, they know it's going to take time.
For this great change and I guess they never considered and wh the great
change comes, they may not even be here to enjoy it. hI guess contributing to
that change will make them go to their graves with a smile. That's what they
want. They want to die with a smile like I want to be proud to my ( ).
- 23 -
I: How many people think, and be as honest as you can, feel sort of the way
S: Well, I think Gwen, my roommate Gwen, you know, a lot of talk, I mean a lot
of talk never got anything done. And this is what the majority of the blacks
on this campus are doing. I mean, talk, talk, talk, and this is it, and like,
as far as, you know, we feel the same way about the meetings but our roommate
is the Minister of Communications, I think, I don't even know what she's the
Ministress of. One of them things Ratui's the minister of.
I: Is she more militant than you?
S: Yeah, I think so. See, she put ixxy all that bullshit that I don't want to
be bothered with. And see, Roz won the ( )studies to go...
I: ( )? Is she one of your roommates?
S: Um, hum. I mean, she's in the black studies and stuff, you know, and maybe
she gets this some out of the way, but to go to every little meeting that
these people are calling, you know, and since she is the ministress, she
must some sort of, her little, whatchamecallem, her little cadre must have
some kind of order, you know, and she has to look after this, and you know,
she's very, she has to do this.
I: Do you have two roommatesa\xxa ministress?
S: No, one.
I: I've never heard that feminine term of ministress. Ministress, is that the
S: I don't know what it is.
I: I think you just made it up. Anyway, I've never heard of the female. But
maybe I've just never heard it. Maybe just most ministers are men. You're
S: This is a ministress. Now this is what they called it in the newspaper when
we, you know, had the big thing at Tigert with the fellows and all and they
made the statements about how we loved O'Connell, and everybody got a title
- 24 -
then. That's what they called them, ministresses. I don't know what she is.
I: Well, whatever, just Roz is a minister.
S: Yeah, is a minister, we'll call it that.
I: Well, whatever, as long as we know what we're talking about.
S: Do you have confrontations with her very often? About thesekind of things?
I: No, 'cause they know how I feel or, at least, she knows.
S: Do they call you a tom?
I: No, 'cause I'm not a tom. I just, you know, I just get sick of going to
meeting, you know, every time they call a meeting, I always say to Roz, well,
Roz, what's on the agenda for tonight? And, you know, she'll just say, a
bunch of bullshit, so I know right then and there that it's not for me. See,
'cause you have the same, all the black ministers, you know, in the thing
with all these ideas, and they just sit around and they just talk about 'em
and they just talk about 'em some more and talk about 'em some more and then
when it's time to do something, nobody shows up, nobody comes, you know, so
they just talk about some more and they talk about you and that you're not
doing this right and you're not doing that right.
I: What program is the Black Student Union running now?
S: Nothing. This is what I'm talking about, nothing. But yet, we still have
Meeting, let's see, every Thursday night, you know, just sit around and talk
about some. You know, they always talk about, you know, we're going to do
this, we're going to do that, you know, we're going to put something on
Fifth Avenue, we're going to start. The last time it was starting a free
breakfast program for the black kids. ( ) they were going to do
that. Now they talked about that. I'm waiting for it to materialize.
I: Yeah, so am I.
S: But, I don't know what's wrong with my race.
I: Well, I don't know, in fact, I'm quite sure that just about HiHnRky not any
different from any other students around here. For the most part, they do
- 25 -
nothing. And, you know, talk about it so;eties but very little. There
are a lot of things to be done but people would rather sit around, it's more
fun to sit around and talk than it is to get up at seven o'clock in the
morning and go bring those kids some orange juice. That's not very much
fun nor is there very much glory in it. It's not standing and making a
speech in front of...
S: There you go. Right. See, I guess, they derive some kind of neurotic plea-
sure from getting up in front of everybody else and, you know, talking about
it, you know, they can tell you that you're not black just because you don't
dress a certain way or do a certain thing, but nevertheless, they're still
standing up there talking like seven o'clock in the morning, they're still
in bed. I bet not one of them are up trying to make it down to the store to
get some orange juice to have everything already set up for somebody.
I: I asked you before how many students, there are approximately 150, 160 black
students. How many feel pretty much the way you do? If you're going to
divide people up into various categories.
S: I don't know 'cause a lot of kids just don't come to the BSU meeting period.
And I don't know if it's because they're apathetic or they just don't have
the time and there's just so much studying to do, but there are quite a few.
Like, I may be wrong, but I'm sure James does as far as...
I: James feels the way you do?
S:I don't know if I better say that or not.
I: You already said it. I have it on tape.
S: I think so. From talking to James, unless he's been lying to me, but I
think so. As far as you know, the people are not getting anything done,
just talking all the time. James and a couple others. Yeah.
I: Which way do you think the majority of the black students feel? Do you think
the average, see, let me explain it this way. I think the administration, the
white student body, for the most part, feel that the student body is more or
- 26 -
less a monolithic group. You hear Mitch talk, you hear Don Dixon talk, you
hear Steve Baker talk. As they would say, dig it?
S: Uh, huh.
I: And they say, well, that's the way most black students feel. And I'm trying
to find out how other black students feel. We know how they feel, and I
think they have a lot of really good points. On the other hand, that's not
the only point of view. So, which way do you think most of the black stu-
S: I think, well, probably the same way that Mitch and those do but in a dif-
ferent light, you know, I don't know, maybe in a different degree. Like
Mitch, you know, Mitch is OK, but you see, people like Steve and on, well,
I don't know that much, I know enough, well I know Don but, you know, not
like, I don't come in contact with Don as much as I do with Mitch and Steve.
But, you know, people like Steve, you know, they're for this instant change,
and, you know, things are supposed to happen over night. And the way they go
about, you know, doing it or talking to people, you know, black people, they
expect you to come out tomorrow, after the meeting tonight, to come out
tomorrow morning with a rifle or a shotgun or something, you know, and the
way I feel, the way they strike me is that you are never doing enough, like,
since I'm the leader and you're just up there professing all this shit and
always makingmea feel like you are the one that's inadequate and you have to
better yourself or, you know, make yourself more politically aware. I mean,
hell, like they do, but they just make me sick telling me all the time, you
know, that I'm not doing enough. I can't see where they're doing so much. Only
up there, you know, formulating allthe bright ideas and, you know, 'cause
somebody will come out and do something, they get pissed for that. And, like
I said, they'll go back and talk about you some more that you aren't doing,
you know, whatever you're supposed to be doing. And, you know, I think they
probably feel the same way, but you just have to know how to talk to people
- 27 -
and make 'em want to do something, you know, to motivate a person to want
to get up and pick up a gun, not that, well, yeah. 'Cause you need a leader,
I: Has ( ) attempted to motivate people to pick up guns?
S: Maybe not to pick up guns, but to be a little more concerned about the way$
things are going here on campus as far as black professors and, you know,
the workers and all, their conditions. But they, I don't know, they just
don't come on right for me. They don't come on, you know.
I: What does your family do?
S: Well, my mother, she's a domestic engineer. I told you I was poor.
I: Is your daddy at home?
S: Uh, huh.
I: What does he do?
S: Well, right now, he isn't working 'cause he had cirrhosis of the liver from
drinking too much. He's from Nassau, and he got really carried away with
the rum. They're not together, you see, wellTe works, you know, he works
at a hotel during the evening, but it's not really hard work. This is
where he was working before he had to go into the hospital but, you know,
he's better, but he can't drink now. I feel sisorry for him, and, but he
works occasionally, you know, just to keep from sitting around the house
where he lives and all but other than that, he...
I: ( ), are you being facetious? About your mother?
S: Why, no. She's a domestic engineer.
I: What's that?
S: That's the proper name for a housekeeper. That's what I write, you know, on
all the questionnaires and stuff, and then they think that she's like a
domestic engineer and she owns a factory. Something I have to get 'em. It's
funny. ( ) is my mother? She's a lovely housekeeper, you know, for
some great white lady that lives on the beach, and she has to work very hard.
I: Does she send you money to go to school?
S: No. I mean, she sends me money, but not for school. I figure why should I
make her suffer when I can get it free? You know, they got all this free
money they just want to give away to black people, so why should I makeher
scuffle any harder? Right? Really, you know, like it's so much easier to
get money, you know, when you're black, so I figure I get a loan and I get
the grant and all. The grant, you don't have to pay back at all.
I: Do you have mainly a grant or a loan?
S: I have a Florida scholarship that I got from Dade, and the only thing I'll
have to pay back is the National Defense Loan xdhih but, you see, when you
teach for so many years, you don't have to pay it back. So I figure, what
have I got to lose? So, I do that.