Randall Black Interview
AS: Okay, please state your name and where we are right now.
RB: Randall Black. 1512 W. 3rd St., Marion, IN
AS: Um, and the date?
RB: The date is May the 7th.
AS: Do I have your permission to record this interview on video and audio tape?
RB: Yes, you do.
AS: Um, I understand that you attended Marion High School all four years of your high school career.
RB: That’s true.
AS: What year did you graduate?
AS: Um, could you tell me a little bit about your high school experience?
RB: Well, it was a good experience. Marion High School was a good place to attend high school. I enjoyed it. I participated in sports and uh um went there all four years. Uh, I liked it. It was a nice, it was a, they gave you a good education.
AS: Uh, do you remember any of your favorite classes?
RB: Yeah, I had uh Mr. Bower for um English. It was a class I really liked. I had Mr. Chapman for chemistry. And just a wonderful man. I liked that class. Um, I had uh all academic courses and I don’t remember all the teachers but uh Mrs. Campbell for uh English Comp. Um, but it was a good experience for me. I enjoyed it.
AS: You said that you played sports. What were those?
RB: I played baseball and basketball. Uh, and ran cross country.
AS: Um, any other extracurricular activities?
RB: No, I worked. Uh when I wasn’t in sports, I worked after school so I didn’t have a lot of time uh to be in any other activities. Those sports took up most of my time.
AS: Where did you work?
RB: Worked at McRae’s Service and Filling Station here in Marion. Uh, I worked there on Saturdays and Sundays if we didn’t have ball games. And uh through the week I went in at four and worked till nine.
AS: Um, what was your most important experience while at Marion High School?
RB: I think at Marion High School you learned to get along with all types of people. Um, we had um you know different races, different economic backgrounds and we learned to uh get along with all types of people which had an effect on my later life.
AS: Um, where were you living at the time?
RB: Lived on Western Avenue. 918 North Western.
AS: Describe your family for me.
RB: My mom and dad both uh worked factory jobs. Uh, I had one brother who also attended Marion High School. He was younger than me. Um, they just both had factory jobs.
AS: So, what did you do for fun?
RB: Uh, same thing kids do now. We went to the prom. Uh, we also had a place called Custer’s where we hung out. Um, drove around there, saw all the other kids there. Um, went to basketball games, baseball games, just the normal stuff that kids do. Uh we did the same things in 1968.
AS: So during 1968 and 1969 I understand that riots took place at the high school. Could you tell me a little bit about that?
RB: There was a lot of racial tension. They actually didn’t have the riots the year I was there. But um there was some racial tension. I think that um uh it seemed that black kids weren’t treated equally at Marion High School. That’s my opinion. They um very few kids drove to school. Very few kids uh dated. Black kids. Uh pretty much the black kids stayed with the black kids and the white kids. There was not a lot of interracial mingling at that time. It just was not accepted.
AS: Um, what was your greatest difficulty in high school?
RB: Oh probably um getting to class on time. Because my girlfriend had classes on the other side of the building and I always had to walk her to class so I was late quite often.
AS: Okay, um anything else you want to tell me about your experiences at Marion High School?
RB: Only that it was uh it was good experience. And it you know prepared me for uh uh later in life. Um I went there to Indiana Wesleyan, which was Marion College at the time. And uh I thought that I was as well prepared as most uh kids that came out. A lot of kids went there from private schools. And um they were not academically as uh far along as I was. And uh that made it a little easier for me. And I think that Marion High School was directly responsible for that because we had uh uh academic classes and if you were gonna go to college, you took those classes and they prepared you very well.
AS: Um, any memories that stand out to you when you were there?
RB: Um, we were uh we went to Hinkel Fieldhouse although I didn’t play that that time uh we got beat in the semifinals by Indianapolis Shortridge.That was uh, um I had a broken ankle so I was out. I didn’t get to play. But uh that was a highlight for me, even just going with the team and being there.
AS: Okay, uh thank you for letting me record this.