Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

sinkingfeeling

sinkingfeeling's Journal
sinkingfeeling's Journal
February 7, 2019

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.

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Illinois
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 51,680
Latest Discussions»sinkingfeeling's Journal