HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Just a real life story......

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 06:42 PM

Just a real life story....

In 1957, I was 9 years old and suddenly there was a major shift in my world. My 43 year old father had a serious heart attack and was told to stop working. My dad was a full time Chevolet parts manager and farmed 225 acres in his spare time.

So, we left Ohio and my rural grade school (class of 18 kids) and headed to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. There I was appalled by the strange teaching methods I found in my new school where there were 6 fourth grades! We were divided into teams and there were all kinds of point systems.

It was a much different world from the corn fields and woods of Ohio. I saw water fountains and restrooms labeled 'black' and 'white'. There were no African Americans in my school. I saw the shabby 'black' school and the neighborhoods blacks were to live in. I was even called a 'damn Yankee'.

The biggest shock came with participation in my grade school's annual 'minstrel show'. My mother tried to explain what these shows were. I had to learn a bunch of Southern songs and I had one speaking line. I can't recall what my set up for the punchline was, but I had to call out, "Mr. Interlocutor, Mr. Interlocutor!" Then I asked my question and the interlocutor responded, making a joke.
And they covered our faces with black makeup. They left white circles around our mouths and eyes.

As the years passed, I realized how awful all this was. But I don't believe I was given an opportunity to opt out. 3 years later I was back in Ohio and began to support the Civil Rights movement. Been an activist and a Democrat ever since.

People do become enlightened and they can change over time. And what is unacceptable in society also changes with time. That's how we progress.

9 replies, 1089 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Just a real life story.... (Original post)
sinkingfeeling Feb 2019 OP
MontanaMama Feb 2019 #1
marked50 Feb 2019 #2
Canoe52 Feb 2019 #3
dalton99a Feb 2019 #4
Niagara Feb 2019 #5
Duppers Feb 2019 #6
sinkingfeeling Feb 2019 #8
Chalco Feb 2019 #7
pnwmom Feb 2019 #9

Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 07:04 PM

1. I appreciate your story.

What a culture shock for you!
I agree wholeheartedly that people can become enlightened if they are willing to keep an open mind and heart. Society and culture can follow suit. If one can be judged by the terrible thing that they have done then it seems fair to also judge them for the good things they have done. When is a screw up so bad that we donít give someone another chance? I donít know the answer but itís a question worth asking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2019, 09:07 PM

2. I understand, having similar experiences. Best to you in dealing with it all in these times.-n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 11:07 AM

3. I'm close to your age and from the north, never knew it was like this in Florida back then.

Thanks for sharing!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 11:16 AM

4. Kick

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 11:29 AM

5. Kicking for visibility! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 02:28 PM

6. A side question..

Did your dad make it into old age?

That sad experience in FL probably greatly shaped who you are today, a very compassionate person.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Duppers (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 05:27 PM

8. Yes, he survived two bypass surgeries, but died from heart failure,

in a hospital, at age 75. Thank you for asking. He returned to Ohio and bought another farm. He loved farming.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 02:49 PM

7. I was 9 in Florida school in 1957, too!

But, I don't remember doing blackface, but do remember my father doing it on stage somewhere in Ft. Lauderdale.

Also remember segregated water fountains, bathroom, schools, etc.

One time I went to get a drink at a "coloreds only" water fountain in a department store. My mother screamed at me not to touch it. I went ahead and got a drink. I couldn't understand what the big deal was.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 05:40 PM

9. Even in the best of circumstances a move at that age is difficult.

But in your case you moved to an entirely different culture. That must have been quite a shock.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread