Oral History of Dr. Annye Refoe

Dublin Core


Oral History of Dr. Annye Refoe

Alternative Title

Oral History, Refoe


Sanford (Fla.)
Georgetown (Sanford, Fla.)
African Americans--Florida--Sanford
Nashville (Tenn.)


Annye Refoe, the daughter of Herman L. Refoe, Jr. and Shellye L. Refoe, was born on January 29, 1951. Since her parents both taught at Midway Elementary School, Refoe also attended the school, as opposed to attending Hopper Academy in Georgetown, an historic neighborhood in Sanford, Florida. Refoegraduated from Seminole High School in the class of 1969. After her treatment in the newly integrated Seminole High School, Refoe decided to enroll in a historically black college/university. She graduated from Fisk College in Nashville with a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1973. Upon her return from college, Annye began teaching in August 1974 at Lake Howell High School in Winter Park. In 1982, she started teaching at Seminole Community College, where she later became the Dean of the Arts and Humanities.


Oral history interview of Annye Refoe. Interview conducted by Julio R. Firpo at the home of Dr. Stephen Caldwell Wright in Sanford, Florida.

Table Of Contents

0:00:00 Introduction
0:00:32 Growing up in Sanford
0:01:36 Richard Wright's depictions of the South
0:03:09 First time being called "nigger"
0:03:48 Education
0:04:15 Comparing Georgetown and Midway
0:11:56 Growing up in Georgetown and attending Crooms High School
0:15:31 Desegregation at Seminole High School
0:20:02 Interaction with white people in the business district
0:26:38 Working at a drug store
0:30:54 Seeing The Great White Hope at the Ritz Theatre
0:32:00 Seminole County Public Schools
0:34:51 White teachers' reactions to having black students
0:37:44 Ku Klux Klan riots
0:38:59 Experience at Fisk University in Nashville
0:41:25 Majoring in English and dream of being the first female sports columnist
0:42:37 Interacting with communities in Nashville and student protests
0:45:30 Moving back to Sanford and then to Winter Park
0:46:50 Influence of her parents on her life and the community
0:54:51 How Sanford changed oved time
1:00:17 Teaching at Seminole County College
1:00:24 White teacher barred from teaching ballet to African-American children
1:02:08 Returning to Sanford and employment after college in the 1970s
1:07:21 Experience as teacher and later as dean at SCC
1:13:58 Experience teaching right after college and being called "nigger" by a student at Lake Howell High School
1:19:20 How Refoe distanced herself from Sanford
1:21:03 Disintegration of sense of community due to integration
1:23:02 Need for preserving past
01:23:37 Annye's definition of Sanford while growing up and in the present
1:27:56 Annye's gratitude for being a teacher
1:30:10 How people connect to Sanford
1:33:50 Sanford and other small towns losing their history


Firpo, Julio R.
Refoe, Annye


Refoe, Annye. Interview by Julio R. Firpo. Home of Dr. Stephen Caldwell Wright. April 15, 2011. Audio record available. RICHES of Central Florida.

Date Created


Date Modified



Wright, Stephen Caldwell

Is Part Of

Georgetown Collection, Sanford Collection, Seminole County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.


Multimedia software, such as QuickTime.




944 MB


1-hour, 33-minute, 36-second audio recording






Georgetown, Sanford, Florida
Midway Elementary School, Midway, Sanford, Florida
Crooms High School, Georgetown, Sanford, Florida
Seminole High School, Sanford, Florida
Goldsboro, Sanford, Florida
Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee
Lake Howell High School, Winter Park, Florida

Accrual Method

Item Creation


History Teacher
Geography Teacher


Originally created by Julio R. Firpo and published by RICHES of Central Florida.

Contributing Project


Firpo, Julio R.

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Flewellyn, Valada S. African Americans of Sanford. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub, 2009.
"About Crooms Academy." Crooms Academy of Information Technology, Seminole County Public Schools. http://croomsaoit.org/#about.
Postal, Leslie. "Historic Crooms Academy Embraces A High-tech Future." The Orlando Sentinel, November 23, 2001. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2001-11-23/news/0111230278_1_crooms-academy-seminole-sanford.
Robison, Jim. "Professor's Legacy Lives On In Seminole School History." The Orlando Sentinel, August 4, 1991. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1991-08-04/news/9108030386_1_crooms-academy-sanford-hopper.
"Education In Goldsboro & Sanford." Goldsboro Historical Museum. http://www.goldsboromuseum.com/The-Education-In-Goldsboro.html.
Sanford Historical Society (Fla.). Sanford. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003.
Cohen, Rodney T. Fisk University. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub, 2001.
"Who We Are." Seminole State College of Florida. http://www.seminolestate.edu/about/who-we-are.

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Firpo, Julio R.


Refoe, Annye


Sanford, Florida

Original Format

1 audio recording


1 hour, 33 minutes, and 36 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

1411 kbps


Firpo, Julio R. and Refoe, Annye, “Oral History of Dr. Annye Refoe,” RICHES, accessed May 19, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/3310.