For quite some time, I’ve been wanting to write for my son a special post about his African American/Black heritage. Though sadly enough my son’s Black ancestry has a dark history of oppression that needs to be shared from his grandparents own unique perspective.
Growing up did you ever feel there was a disadvantage growing up Black?
Yes, we couldn’t do things that White folks did. Arthur and I were just talking about the Christmas parade when we were growing up. They would take us to see a White Santa riding by, and he was throwing candy at the White kids. He never threw candy at us, we were just there staring. We were just happy to be there.
In the restaurants we couldn’t go in either. We had to go back in the alley,and order from a special window for people of color; and wouldn’t dare to drink water from a White fountain. There was one for the Whites, and another for the colored folks.
Everything was segregated we couldn’t go to the fair, like you take our grandson. They only had one day where Blacks could go. I never went Mama just took one of us, our oldest brother. There was also only one pool for Blacks, there were many pools for Whites. It was far from home, and we had to take the bus to get to the pool.
Speaking of buses. When I was teenager they had these boards on the bus (we called them street cars) that read “color.” They might have been 6 feet long, and you had to walk behind the board all the way to the back and sit. Then in my early 20’s that’s when the Rosa Parks movement started because Rosa didn’t find a seat in the back. At the train station there was also a “Color” side, and a “White” side.
As an adult going to go the theater and watch a movie we had to go upstairs. This also reminds me of something else shopping. Even in the 1950’s when I was working you’d go to these nice department stores you couldn’t try on anything. You have to purchase it, take it home, and then return if it didn’t fit. Don’t dare put anything on your head either