Geneva McCall and John McCall

Recorded May 4, 2019 Archived May 4, 2019 31:38 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: atl004095


Geneva Hurley McCall (78) shares her educational journey with her Son, John McCall (48).

Subject Log / Time Code

Geneva Hurley mcCall (78) says she is the first person in her family to graduate from college. As a black student in 1940s Charlottesville, Virginia, she says she knew what was being offered to her at Jefferson Elementary School was not the same as the white students.
Geneva remembers that it was not uncommon for a whole row of students to share one book. She says that as a result a lot of her learning was by oral recitation.
Geneva says she had strong teachers who were dedicated. She says her teachers taught black history without the white people in charge knowing about it.
Geneva remembers getting her first new school book in 1956 when she was in 10th grade. She says that the people in the book still did not look like her.
Geneva remembers when she graduated from the University of Virginia that her parents names were printed in the local newspaper as "Mr. and Mrs." She says this made her more proud than her diploma.
Geneva says she sometimes wonders how her journey would have turned out if it had not been a struggle. She says she sacrificed a lot.


  • Geneva McCall (b. 1941)
  • John McCall (b. 1971)

Recording Location

Atlanta History Center

Venue / Recording Kit