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Vitelli, Eugene, 2004 October 24

 Part of Collection
Call Number: RU 1055, Series Accession 2008-A-001
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[Aviary] ru_1055_2008-a-001_Vitelli_Eugene
[Aviary] ru_1055_2008-a-001_Vitelli_Eugene

Scope and Contents

Eugene Vitelli, born and raised in New Haven, describes his forty-year career as a teacher and administrator in several New Haven high schools: Hillhouse High School, Fair Haven, and Wilbur Cross. He describes the 1967 and 1970 black student-led, Black-Panther influenced race riots at Hillhouse, and explains what he thinks led to the riots. He mentions that some black students felt that Hillhouse staff favored and spent more time with white students, using more resources to help them prepare for college students than those on black students. He also mentions that some black students believed that the mainly white teachers overlooked and omitted black literature in the English and history curriculum, overlooking minority, and especially black, experiences and viewpoints. He adds that he believes that part of the staff's greater emphasis on white students and Anglo-American curricula stemmed from their unfamiliarity and discomfort in interacting with minority students. In discussing the varied reactions to the riots, Vitelli recalls his own efforts to address student complaints and restore school order. These efforts, he concedes, were unconvincing to the many white students who chose to transfer from Hillhouse to other high schools, such as Richard C. Lee High school, Notre Dame High School, and Ezra Academy, which soon became overwhelmingly white. He reflects that the black majority student body at Hillhouse is still apparent today. Vitelli recalls the difficulty of negotiating with white and black students, teachers, administrators, police, and parents, each of whom had different opinions of the cause of the riots and different visions for its settlement.

Interviewer: Levine, Katherine

Length (min): 54


  • 2004 October 24


Conditions Governing Access

As a preservation measure, original materials may not be used. Digital access copies must be provided for use. Contact Manuscripts and Archives at to request access


1 Computer Files (.wav)

2:00:34 Duration (HH:MM:SS.mmm)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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