Mrs. Vivian Cline Cooper

bhcp4211_2.jpg (17889 bytes)
Heritage of Black Highlanders Collection, UNCAsheville Ramsey Library
Mrs. Willie F. Hennessee and Mrs. Vivian C. Cooper
looking at portrait of Isaac Dickson: bhcP77.

(for photographs of Mrs. Cooper's Hill Street School classroom,
see P77.10.2.1: items 3, 4, 7 and 8)


Mrs. Vivian Cline Cooper was born in the City of Asheville, North Carolina, the daughter of the late Walter Cline and the late Annie Julia Roberts Cline. She attended both public and private schools in Asheville, North Carolina.
1922 - Graduated from Livingston College Normal School Department, Salisbury, North Carolina, and did practice teaching in the Buncombe County Schools for six months.
1924 - Attended summer school at Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia, and Extension work for in-service teachers in Childhood Education from the State Department of Education. These classes were held once a week in the evenings for nine months at Allen High School, Asheville, North Carolina.
1945 - Received Bachelor of Science Degree from Winston Salem State Teachers College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
1941 - Attended the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, Summer School for six weeks.
1952 - Attended the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California Summer School for twelve weeks. Attended Columbia University, New York City, New York for one summer session.
University of Western North Carolina, Cullowhee, North Carolina:
1 - Reading Workshop
2 - Reading Clinic
3 - Head Start Program
4 - Extension Classes in education for in-service teachers held at David Millard High School, Asheville, North Carolina Winter and Spring Sessions.
Taught summer kindergarten and also Head Teacher for Head Start Summer program.
Taught school in Asheville, North Carolina for forty-three years at Hill Street School.
1923-1966 Class First Grade
Principal - J. H. Michael 1923-1940
Principal - Paul Dusenbury 1940-1949
Principal - Mrs. Rita H. Lee 1949-1966
She retired and was called back by the Superintendent, Mr. W. P. Griffin, sent to Aycock School in West Asheville, North Carolina, and was the first black teacher to integrate this school. Taught first grade for two years 1966-1968.
She retired after forty-five years of successful teaching.  Her Supervisors were:
Mrs. Lucy S. Herring - Hill Street
Mrs. Lucille Yarborough - Hill Street
Mrs. Hazel Morris - Aycock
Taught under the following Superintendents:
Mr. W. L. Brooker
Mr. R. J. Latham
Mr. J. W. Byers
Mr. E. C. Funderburk
Mr. W. P. Griffin

by Mrs. Vivian Cline Cooper

The future of the black educator in the south I think will be the same for the white educator. The future of any educator who intends to succeed in life will be to have LOVE. Without love, we cannot make a success in life.

Educators with pleasing personalities, physical and mental health and ambition to move forward and give that precious substance of cheer, good will and encouragement are our happiest people. When you give your life to a dedicated cause, you will constantly receive more in return.
Success in anything requires work. Our best thoughts and constructive thinking are best accomplished when we are rested and relaxed. We become keen in mind and action. Tired people are unhappy and make those around them unhappy and uninterested. You get no complaints from kindly people with outlets for the good.

We educators have to keep active and have a goal in life for ourselves, and for the people we come in contact with. Be ambitious, accomplish an aim in life for the betterment of all humans; and keep pace in this changing world of ours, and judge people by their ability, neatness, and other helpful qualities. Search for Divine Guidance and by so doing, success is yours. People will not be judged by the color of their skin. Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty

The future of the black educator to me looks bright. It will take time but with God, all things are possible.


FATHER - Walter Cline 1861-1934. Birthplace, Richmond, Virginia. Moved from Virginia at the early age of 3 to North Carolina. Occupation - First Class Baker. Married in 1891 to Annie Julia Roberts. Moved after marriage to Asheville, North Carolina and reared a large family, seven girls and two boys. He worked at the old and new Battery Park Hotels until his retirement.

MOTHER - Annie Julia Roberts Cline. Birthplace, Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Her mother's name Julia Anne Roberts. Her father's name Caleb Roberts. She graduated from Lincoln Academy School in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Her father, Caleb Roberts (my grandfather) was the founder, builder, and first pastor of Old Vestibule A.M.E. Zion Church in Kings Mountain, North Carolina which is now named after him. They both were faithful church workers and required this of their children. We all were members of Hopkins Chapel A. M. E. Zion Church.


Vivian and Garland Edward Cooper of Nashville, North Carolina married at home 482 College Street by Rev. Fonville and others June 7, 1925 in Asheville, North Carolina. Garland E. was a World War I Veteran of the United States Army. He was a barber by profession, worked in the Medical Core of the U. S. Army during the war.

He became a member of Hopkins Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Asheville, North Carolina and became an active member. He worked as a Class Leader, Steward, Trustee, and Treasurer for over twenty years. There were no children born to this couple after several years of marriage. A  high school teacher named Helen C. Smith, who was a friend of Mrs. Cooper, became suddenly ill with an incurable disease.  When she passed, her thirteen year old daughter willingly came to live with the Coopers. They gave Pansye the best education and training. She graduated from high school at the head of her class and graduated top student from Fisk University, where she majored in music. She married William Atkinson, and they became the parents of two daughters. Pansye is now living in Frostburg, Maryland and working at Frostburg State College as a Coordinator of Integration. She provides counseling, guidance and orientation for black students on campus.

Mrs. Cooper has traveled extensively to many interesting places: Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tulsa, Oklahoma, throughout the state of California, Montreal, Canada and the Hawaiian Islands. She is a member of the Hopkins Chapel A. M. E. Zion Church, Trustee Aid Club, Livingston College Alumni Association, Winston Salem State University Alumni Association, Allen School Alumni Association, member of the YWCA Board of Directors and contributed to the YWCA Building Fund.