Mitchell, Lewis

Date: June 21, 2010
Mitchell, Lewis

Interview 201a : In this interview with Patsy Colbert, Diboll native Lewis Mitchell reminisces about growing up in the Red Town section and going to school in Diboll as an African American before integration. A graduate of H.G. Temple School, Mr. Mitchell particularly remembers Mr. Massey, Mr. Bradley, E.A. Gilbert, the Kenyon's, and Coach Ross as having an influence on his life. He also remembers the school integration process as an alumni, keeping in touch with his brother, Mack, and hearing the stories when he returned home from college. Mr. Mitchell also recalls working at the Housing Authority with Mr. Woodrow Woods and Margie Harrell, and was there the day the first Hispanic workers from the Texas Rio Grande Valley arrived in Diboll. He maintains that race relations were usually cordial before, during, and after integration and credits the Temple family and Southern Pine Lumber Company officials with the largely harmonious atmosphere in the town. Mr. Mitchell is active in the H.G. Temple Alumni Association and is an organizer for the Diboll Juneteenth Celebration. His father was one of the celebration's organizers, and he has continued the family tradition after returning to Diboll upon his retirement from the Rusk State Hospital.

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