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Wilborn / Leaving his First Job

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Wilborn: So, I worked there about a year and two months, like I said, and I finally applied for in Dallas there in the summer. I waited too late because the superintendent, when he interviewed me, I had all that experience because I was coaching there. Winning coach. I taught geometry and economics in high school and I was teaching all the seventh and eighth grade. Every course in seventh and eighth grade, the elementary school. It was a school in the country. Segregated black school, Booker T. Washington in Paris, AR. So, he just told me I had a job (inaudible) but he said we did a little hiring in October. So, I came on back and worked and he did call me in October. So, I left because the principal there again, he said, “I’m going to help you. You got in trouble once. I’ll just keep your letter. I won’t turn in to the board until I know you’re working. I’ll tell them you’re sick or something.” So, he was thinking for me because it could have been a hoax. On the phone, somebody could have been playing a game with me. I went up there to Doak Walker—I don’t know if you been reading, the football player’s father. He was the superintendent there. Went to SMU. So, we talked a long time. Even on the phone, he said, “How long it take you to get here?” I said, “Let me see, it’s about five and a half hours.” He said, “Oh no. I don’t even have you a room. We got to get some portable buildings. We’re overcrowded. You’ll be teaching in a portable building.” I taught at Joseph J. Rhoads that year. Then, I got a job because I wanted to be—because I knew my mother was going to end up getting sick and old and all. I end up coming back to Marshall, Dunbar Elementary School after a year in Dallas. Been here ever since and she did need me just like I said. Matter of fact, my brother and I, we ended up coming back. He had been to Waco and San Diego, Sacramento. He had been all over teaching, coaching. He was a baseball, basketball coach. He deceased now. He was the one who was two months old when my father died. He died when he was sixty-eight years old. Charles Wilborn. Interviewer: So, you get back to Marshall. How long are you hear before you decide to go back to Houston to attend Texas Southern? Wilborn: One year. I started in 1960, Texas Southern. I finished in 1962. Interviewer: What did you get the master’s in out there? Wilborn: Administration and supervision. I retired deputy principal at Sam Houston Middle School. I taught math here for years. Elementary school math, fifth and sixth grade. Interviewer: How long were you teaching? Wilborn: Well, all together, all my teaching experience, I guess about twenty-eight years and about eight years administrative work. So, about thirty-six years.

Interview Interview with John Wilborn
Subjects Work › Occupations
Education › All-Black Education
Education › Elementary Education
Education › Teachers and Administrators
Historic Periods › 1960-1963
Family › Siblings
Tags Dunbar Elementary School, Marshall, TX
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Interview date 2015-06-23
Interview source CRBB Summer 2015
Interviewees Wilborn, John
Duration 00:03:40
Citation "Leaving his First Job ," from John Wilborn oral history interview with ,  June 23, 2015, Marshall, TX , Civil Rights in Black and Brown Interview Database,, accessed February 25, 2020