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Lois Martin

Educator and civic activist Lois Martin was born on September 23, 1928 in Boca Raton, Florida to Sallie and Jasper Dolphus. Originally from Georgia, Martin’s family relocated to Boca Raton several years before she was born. She is the youngest of seven children. After graduating in 1946 from Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida, Martin went on to earn her A.A. degree in 1948 from Florida Normal College and her B.S. degree from Florida A&M College in 1950 before beginning to pursue graduate studies at Boston College.

Martin returned to Boca Raton in 1950 and taught math for nearly forty years at Carver High School, Booker T. Washington High School and Carver Middle School.

In addition to her career as an educator, Martin had always been an active member of her community. For several years, she acted as secretary to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and later served as the vice chairman for the Housing Authority. Since retiring from teaching in 1988, Martin has participated in a number of organizations: she has been a contributor to Habitat for Humanity since 1991, sat on Boca Raton’s Historic Preservation Board since 2001, and has held the offices of vice chairman of the Pearl City Blue Ribbon Committee and treasurer for the Martin Luther King Memorial Committee. She has also served as a Sunday School teacher and treasurer for the Ebenezer Baptist Church. The Lois Martin Community Center serves the underprivileged communities of Boca Raton with a variety of services for children and teens, including tutoring and after school programs.

Martin is the mother of one son, Edward.

Lois Martin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 17, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.061

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/17/2002

Last Name

Martin

Maker Category
Schools

Carver High School

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Florida Memorial University

Boston College

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Lois

Birth City, State, Country

Boca Raton

HM ID

MAR03

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Knight Foundation

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Israel

Favorite Quote

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

9/23/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tallahassee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Casserole (Eggplant)

Short Description

Civic activist and high school math teacher Lois Martin (1928 - ) taught math for nearly forty years at Carver High School, Booker T. Washington High School and Carver Middle School. Today, the Lois Martin Community Center serves the underprivileged communities of Boca Raton with a variety of services for children and teens.

Employment

Booker T. Washington High School

Carver Middle School

Carver High School

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lois Martin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lois Martin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about her parents' family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes her maternal grandparents and paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lois Martin recounts how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lois Martin describes her mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lois Martin talks about her relationship with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lois Martin describes her father's experiences as a sharecropper and their relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lois Martin describes the tight-knit community in Pearl City, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lois Martin details the history of the black community in Pearl City, Florida

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lois Martin describes her childhood personality and her father's favoritism toward her niece

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lois Martin talks about her parents' lack of educational opportunities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lois Martin talks about attending Pearl City Elementary School, Roadman Elementary School, and Carver High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about her high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes how her commute to Carver High School limited her participation in after-school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about the role of teachers in her community

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lois Martin talks about how her academic achievements improved her relationship with her father

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lois Martin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lois Martin talks about the importance of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church to the Pearl City community in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her church activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lois Martin talks about the church activities she participated in as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lois Martin reflects on how her Christian faith helped her to endure segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Lois Martin describes personal encounters with police brutality and segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Lois Martin talks about the factors that influenced her views on segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Lois Martin talks about her parents' reluctance to fight for civil rights violations

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Lois Martin remembers having to use outdated books in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lois Martin talks about standing up to police misconduct in Pearl City, Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lois Martin talks about becoming the salutatorian of Carver High School in 1946

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about college tuition and her decision to transfer to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University after two years at Florida Normal College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes unpleasant memories from Florida Normal College in St. Augustine, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about her decision to go to Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University [FAMU] in Tallahassee, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lois Martin describes her resolve to succeed as a math major

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lois Martin talks about finding a job to pay her college tuition

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lois Martin reflects upon her decision to major in math as a woman

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about how she became a math teacher at Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lois Martin talks about graduate work at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lois Martin remembers her first years of teaching at Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Lois Martin describes the delayed effect of Brown v. Board of Education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lois Martin talks about inequity in schools and winning a lawsuit for equal pay led by C. Spencer Pompey and Thurgood Marshall

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lois Martin describes how she prepared her students for future opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lois Martin describes the integration of Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery, Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lois Martin describes the integration of Booker T. Washington High School in Montgomery, Alabama, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about how economic competition between black and white business owners in Montgomery, Alabama improved customer service

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lois Martin talks about the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lois Martin reflects on the process of integrating Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lois Martin describes the friction between black and white teachers after the integration of Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her volunteer work in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lois Martin talks about her work in the Boca Raton Housing Authority and her commitment to the Pearl City community in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lois Martin describes her work on Habitat for Humanity's selection committee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lois Martin talks about her work at the Historic Preservation Board and her role in designating Pearl City as a historic district in Boca Raton, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lois Martin talks about her work at The Haven, the Lois Martin Community Center, and Ebenezer Missionary Baptist church

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lois Martin explains how her spirit of determination is driven by her Christian faith

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lois Martin talks about her dedication to her students

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lois Martin reflects upon how broken homes impact the education system in America

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lois Martin shares her hopes for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lois Martin explains why prayer needs to be put back in public schools

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lois Martin talks about her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lois Martin describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

12$8

DATitle
Lois Martin describes personal encounters with police brutality and segregation
Lois Martin describes the friction between black and white teachers after the integration of Carver High School in Delray Beach, Florida
Transcript
Do you have any specific stories or instances where you had face-to-face situations of segregation, society here in Boca [Boca Raton, Florida] as a child or Pearl City [Boca Raton, Florida]?$$During the time when [Police] Chief [Hugh] 'Brownie'[Brown] they call it, was the [police] chief of Pearl [City], of Boca Raton. He was the chief for many, many years. They were looking for a black man that had a rifle or whatever. Anyway, he ran across my brother hunting I guess about eight miles from here out in the woods and he had a rifle. He didn't ask him any questions. He just beat him to a pulp almost. And then finally he came up and he said, "Who--what is your name?" And he told them the name. "So why you didn't tell me that before? Cause I know you're Jasper's [Dolphus] son." He said "You never asked me or gave me a chance to say anything." So he brought him home. And he said--didn't say I'm sorry, but he said, "I brought your son in and if he had spoke out earlier, he wouldn't be in the shape he's in." And I looked at the situation and I said, "You know, one day you're going to have to reap what you sow." And my mother [Sallie Dolphus] says, "Don't say anything," you know, cause she was afraid because he was the [police] chief. But I told him, I said and my mother said go, go, go, get back out of here, whatever. So anyway that was one situation. I had a situation happen to me down in Fort Lauderdale [Florida]. I went down to shop at Fort Lauderdale; that was one of the places we used to go to shop, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach [Florida] cause you didn't have any stores, dress stores or what have you, around here [Pearl City]. And I was in the ten cent store there and I had to go to the bathroom. And I looked up, white only, women, white only. I walked right in. So one of the cashiers run in behind me. She says, "You can't come in here." I said, "Wait till I finish." So when I finished, I came out, she had gone out and she had gotten the manager and he came to the door. And he said--was at the door when I came out. He said to me, "Can't you read?" I said, "Read, read what?" He says, "That sign up there says 'white women only.'" I said, "I didn't know we had any white women in these United States. I see some of you look a little flush in the face, but it's not white." So anyway the other girl was with me say, "Hey, you know, don't push it now." So anyway he told the lady, say, "Well she's out already so we can't do anything about it." So he says, "Get on out the store," so I left. But I got time for the most part. There was a parking lot to the north of that dime store where we used to park the old car if we came in a car. And usually if you had to go to the bathroom, just go around the side of one of those cars in the parking lot, you know. But that particular time I decided that I'm going to go right in here, and I did.$And your experiences with it.$$Right.$$With the teachers and having an integrated staff and everything like that. Do you think that was a more positive situation than it was when it was the separate situation?$$It was. But on the other hand, some of the teachers thought that they too were a little bit better than some of us. And you had problems there sometimes in connection with them. Or you might have had someone that was over you that was not quail--that was under qualified and you're overqualified and they're over you. And so you have friction sometimes. I give you an example. They hired a lady--they gave her a title and she had to check the lesson plans of the teachers and make a report and whatever. So when she came to Carver, she said to me, she says, "I don't know any math. And I need your help. I want you to teach me how to check the lesson plans and all, and what's needed and something about the goals and all of this." So I did, I taught her. The next year I turned in a lesson plan to her. She had all these red marks on there. So I went to her and I had quadratic equation on there. I said, "What equation is this?" She said, "You know I don't know any math, I don't know what that is." I said, "And how did you put these red marks out here on my paper?" She said, "Well I had to show some indication that I at least checked it." I said, "But you didn't check it, you just put some red marks down." I said, "Now I tell you what. You find yourself some whiteout and get every red mark out of my lesson plan book. Then turn it back to me." I said, "And the next person you hear from will be the principal." I went to the principal. I said, "Well I, I said I didn't know what was coming up," I said, "but the Lord prepared me for this." I said, "I have individualized my textbook that I'm using. And because the kids are gonna be on all kind of levels, I cannot do lesson plans. I can give you my scope what I'm doing. I can give you the booklet of where they're going next and everything else and all of that. But just a lesson plan for this week I can't do it." I said, "And I thank God that I have it all ready and here it is. And I will not be doing anymore lesson plan." And that's when I stopped doing lesson plan because of those red marks in my lesson plan book. And she didn't know anything about quadratic formula that she was markin' up.$$So you had more difficulties dealing with white staff members than with children.$$Children, no problem.