While watching a show on the "History Channel" recently about the turmoil of the 1960s over the water fountain was an inscription that reads "White Only". It brought back memories of his youth in the 1950s and 1960s.
Growing in eastern North Carolina segregation has become a way of life in the '50s and' 60s. Since this was mainly agriculture, a large percentage of the population was "colored". At that time it was a polite way to refer to blacks as a contra-word "N", which is also widely used. The separation has affected all aspects of life. You know the unwritten rules and do them.
One event that I remember well, there was the funeral of my great-grandfather. Several blacks who worked for him for many years, my grandfather asked if they could go to the funeral. He said yes. When they entered the church, they sat on the back bench. I still remember how people on the next bench got up and moved. When my grandmother died in 1980, a black woman who worked for them, and helped her, sat for many years with family & # 39; it. Different times.
I still remember the signs of the fountains / water coolers in Washington and other cities, designating them "white only" and a few outside seats, marked "Colored Only". It was one of the rules, which I have always considered a bit funny, grandfather worked at the farm. All the people who worked for him, where besides me black. When we went to the field, who worked on a hot day, grandfather brought the water into a glass gallon, and we passed it around, drank from the same pitcher. If you are out of the field, the rules have changed, and you are white, and they pafarbavalisya again.
On all public bathrooms in shops and other places there were signs "White Only". I remember that in the "dime store" on the main streets of Washington, in Washington there was a wooden building, was the inscription "Only color", and I was told that the bathroom for them.
Many department stores have dining areas, but they were only for the "White". You've never seen colored people sitting in them. Usually there was one small corner of the counter, where they were able to place the order "to go", but they could not set while waiting. This is one of the reasons that they have become a & # 39; subject to the early establishment of civil rights.
I remember walking into a movie theater in the theater, and blacks had to be placed in one small section of the rear balcony. This happened after they went into a private entrance that says "Color only" to buy tickets there. It was not unusual, as for bus and train stations, doctors and hospitals have separate entrances and lobby "Colored." Almost all public places and businesses were separated.
If autumn fair came to town in the fall, you've never seen blacks there. During the week-long event was one day destined for the colored people to go, and you're a new not go that day.
All this began to change slowly in the late 1960s, but not without problems. On both sides of the publication have been very vocal in expressing their opinions, right or wrong. When I was about 13 or 14, it was announced in the next school year, high school Aurora will begin partial integration. I remember that it was when the negative talk even became the loudest, even if there was a large KKK rally in the Aurora area. Times have changed, and there is nothing to hinder progress. In the next academic year, the average Aurora school was partially integrated.
Although it was attended by only about 12 black children who came to our school, it happened sur & # 39; oznae change. All the children were in the area of Porter Creek, and I worked with some of them on the farm Big Daddy, but I never found them. I still remember the first day when they come to school, and we all look at them, wondering what would happen especially after they saw all the problems with the integration of on TV. Remembering, you could see the fear in the black kids and white, because our world has changed. In this day and had no issues during the next two years. We were lucky that the changes went smoothly unlike some schools.
Then, in September 1968 it began full integration. High School SW Snowden, which was previously colored school, became an elementary school from 1 to 6. Classes Aurora High School became the high school from 7 to 12. Classes again there is a real problem. The mentality of many people has seen many changes, which were to bring the two sides. Once we have fully integrated, white children become a minority, as for every white student about two black students. It was different.
Even despite the fact that the schools have been integrated into the old faith and the ways in which they are kept. I played basketball in high school team, and we went with all white team to just Craig and I was the only white guy on the team. It made an interesting comment when we were playing in white, in any integrated schools. One of my good friends from school and basketball was Calvin. We are three years playing ball, and became close friends in practice and in school. I never invited him to his house and asked him to go to the reception with my other friends, because in my heart I was due to the fact that this was not done. The old ways are difficult to change, and I look back with remorse and think how ridiculous were those beliefs.
Friend / classmate told me another story about how strong the relationship was then. She was a fan, who lived near the school. Another friend of ours, and the black-haired girl, who was black, did not return to school games, so she could keep an eye on the school steps up to game time, sometimes for several hours. One of my friends have asked my mother if she could come to her to wait, but the mother refused, so worried that the neighbors think. Then a friend of mine would make them a sandwich and went back to school and waited for her on the stairs.
Many would like to forget about it and wipe it with a mind and our history. But still, it's just our history. We must remember our good times and its bad times, but do not dwell on them, but to learn from them. Forgotten or lost history has the ability to repeat, until out of it does not know the truth. It must be remembered about slavery, segregation and abuse of our man. Teach it to our children to make the same mistakes were not allowed again.
This too was part of growing up in North Avraryi.