Tommie L. Pernell

As Interviewed by Anushka P., March 13, 2017
"...And then a lot of them were perhaps following their teachings and in that area of the south. It was white, and Iím making a sign that the whites were up here and the blacks were down here, economically, socially, in so many ways. It was a time of transition for everyone. "
Tommie L. Pernell

Introductory Profile: About Tommie L. Pernell

Tommie L. Pernell is a good-natured teacher at Bailey elementary school, with many stories to tell. He is 64 years old, with dark hair and tan skin. Before he was a teacher, he spent 34 years with the U.S treasury, and 31 years with the military in Texas. He grew up in Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. Mr. Pernell moved to Austin in the year 1988. I met him through my tennis coach, who is his wife.

I interviewed him about his experiences with racism and segregation growing up in Alabama. His emphasis being, his time as one of the first African Americans to integrate a middle school in seventh grade. In the interview, he mentions that the integration of his school was never mentioned. This is because at the time his school was integrated, there were other major events shaping Alabama and so, I take pride in sharing his story.