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Session:         Page of 592

Q:

But what I'm interested in, was high school somehow a different experience or a new experience?

Foner:

High school was basketball to me. I did very little homework. I think I learned very little there because I was not interested in studying. I can't tell to this day whether it was, I'm reacting to my brothers by blocking out things or what, but I was not a very good student.

Q:

Do you remember any particular academic experiences that were in some way humiliating? Teachers making fun?

Foner:

No, no. What I do remember is this: I invariably would sit in the back of the room, and I could not see the black board. My eyes were terrible. I was nearsighted, and I had to copy off what the homework was when they'd write what the homework assignment was. But the idea that I should wear glasses, you know, sissies wear glasses. So I went for many years without seeing what was happening until I went -- this probably is true of a lot of people. It's not because they didn't want to get glasses, but the idea of glasses was a sort of a humiliating sissy kind of experience.

Q:

And so your main interest was basketball. And you played what position?

Foner:

In high school I was a center. I was 5'10”. I was very tall. I was very tall for my age. No, because we didn't have a very good team.

Q:

But did you play all around the city with different teams?

Foner:

Yes, we played all high schools. In the second year I was the captain. I wasn't a great basketball player, but I was a good, steady - - you know, those were the days when the scores were like 14-12, you know. You scored six points a game, you were a high scorer. Ten points, you were really ready to go anyplace.

Q:

Did you play schools from black neighborhoods?

Foner:

Well, I don't recall neighborhoods being that black at that time. The only neighborhood that was black that we played was Boys’ High.

Q:

It even then was black?

Foner:

It had whites on the team, but it had blacks on the team, too. But that's the only neighborhood I know. Hamilton had some blacks



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