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Toran, Gloria Massey

Toran, Gloria Massey

Toran, Gloria Massey

Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interview 187a : In this interview with Jonathan Gerland, Gloria Massey Toran, daughter of long-time Diboll educator Willie Massey, reminisces about her life and how race relations and education have changed since the 1930's. Mrs. Toran grew up in Groveton and Nigton, where she attended the segregated African American schools. She always focused on education, especially after moving in with her father, Willie Massey and her stepmother Louise Massey. She grew up insulated from many of the conflicts of the day and graduated from Prairie View A&M with a degree in education. Mrs. Toran taught for two years in Lufkin and then moved to Anahuac, where she married and had her first child while teaching music in the African American school. She moved back to Lufkin, where she taught at Garrett Elementary and Dunbar until forced integration in 1970. In 1971, Mrs. Toran became a counselor at Lufkin High School. She reminisces about her interactions with whites, her views on segregation and how they changed, and the issues that arose during integration of the schools.