FINDING AID

AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & ARCHIVES


Guide to the Bessie Grayson Reminiscences, RG 32


Listed by: Dieter C. Ullrich
Date: June 2003

Date Span:
ca. 1930-1960

Size:
1 file folder (70 pages)

Historical or Biographical Sketch:
Bessie Leola Rivers Grayson was a born in rural south Alabama in 1925. Grayson was raised on a family farm and attended local segregated schools. In 1944, she became a teacher and assistant principal at Myrtlewood Junior High School in Marengo County, Alabama. The following year she moved to Demopolis and taught at John Essex Junior High School. In 1947, she became principal and teacher at Sidney Chapel Junior High School. During the late 1940s she attended Alabama State University and in 1950 received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She became a librarian at the Hale County Training School in 1952 and two years later received a Master's degree in Education. From 1959 to 1963 she taught at McIntypre Elementary School and in late 1963 was Assistant Librarian at Philander Smith College. She attained her Master's degree in Library Science at the University of Alabama in 1965 and the next year became an Assistant Cataloger at Alabama State University. She remained at Alabama State until 1981 when she took a position at Alabama A & M University as Associate Professor of Library and Media Services. She currently is retired and resides in Huntsville. She has received Phi Delta Kappa award for Outstanding Educator (1973) and the NAACP Outstanding Service Award (1976). (Who's Who in Library and Information Services, 1982, p. 182)

Scope and Content:
Bessie Grayson's reminiscences concern African-American life in rural south Alabama from the 1930's to the 1960's. Includes stories of picking and ginning cotton, canning, making syrup and malasses, quilting, church activities, African-American schools and segregation in the south prior to the civil rights movement of the 1960's.


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