Willa Mae Freeman was born and lived most of her life on Johns Island. In this interview Freeman recalls growing up in a rural environment and learning to work on farming since early age. She also remembers her days at Promise Land School, a segregated school for black children. She describes the precarious school structure and the students' responsibilities and routines. When she was in fourth grade, Promise Land building was closed and all the students were transferred to Mt. Zion Elementary. Then, for the first time, they rode the school bus and had access to the bookmobile. Freeman reflects about the importance of education and expresses her concerns for the problems that happen at school nowadays.
This interview is part of the COHP's "Charleston and the Long Civil Rights Movement" series. These interviews explore how community activism continues to shape modern life in the South. The digital recordings and transcripts are part of The Citadel Oral History Program Collection at The Citadel Archives & Museum.