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View Diary: My life during Jim Crow (60 comments)

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  •  I remember Jim Crow: 2 sets of buses, schools (5+ / 0-)

    water fountains, restaurants and bathrooms.  I can remember when African Americans carefully planned trips to town so they would not have to use the bathroom because there was none.
    I remember naked children playing in the dirt as their families delayed buying clothes until they were old enough to go to school.  I remember hogs rooting in dirt streets in the Quarter and chickens pecking in the yards. I remember the share cropping system and I remember the advent of civil rights.  I remember the riots and the countermeasures by whites.

    I remember Jim Crow but somehow, I think other generations might doubt such a thing ever existed just because it seems so foreign today  

    •  I remember the chickens and I remember (1+ / 0-)
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      the near naked or all naked children in the rural south.
      There was also outhouses that looked like they might fall in and the houses that holes in the walls.  It was not that long ago and looked like a foreign country as I think back.  Kids playing under the house stacked on blocks.  Yes I remember.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:29:26 PM PST

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      •  houses were really sited on stumps or (3+ / 0-)
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        Vetwife, glorificus, texasmom

        heart pine blocks.  Usually when a homesite was cut out, there were stumps left to form a foundation.

        I think in this county, there were still something like 40% of homes lacking plumbing, depending upon a communal handpump.  Sewage from the outhouses usually flowed into ditches and there into a communal ditch that ran to the river.  During the summer, quicklime was spread in the outhouses to reduce the flies

        •  Bois d'arc stumps (4+ / 0-)

          were very common as house foundations in Texas - particularly in the eastern part where they were plentiful.  The chicken house on our family farm was set on bois d'arc stumps that looked ancient and felt like concrete.  Within the last 15 years we saw houses set on stump foundations with outhouses behind and cookstoves set up in the front - occupied by families in deep East Texas.  They did appear to have wells, so I presume/hope there was running water.  We haven't driven that way since the 90's, though.

          Bois d'arc branches made the best fence-posts, according to my stepdad, because they almost never rotted, even in the black gumbo soil in our area. Osage orange is the proper name, I believe.

          The truth always matters.

          by texasmom on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:00:54 PM PST

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          •  People still live or exist this way but (1+ / 0-)
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            those who think America's streets are paved with gold live in the middle of nowhere with a butane heater dreaming of days they can order room service and feel somehow they will achieve Romney status while thumbing their noses at the poor person with no heat saying their lot is middle class and the homeless and near homeless brought it upon themselves.  I guess it makes thier lot in life look less dismal.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:20:37 PM PST

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      •  I Was WatchingA News Program A Few Years Ago (4+ / 0-)
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        Vetwife, sponson, glorificus, texasmom

        they brought on this African America as the concersative from the Chicago Suns Times.

        I think it was Clearnce Page.

        They started to talk about race and he freakout.

        Said that he recalled his parents would not drive south as a kid during the night casue their was no hotel to stay at. Now I know much worse things happened, but it stuns me folks are alive today that say there is no racism.

        Heck there are family members of mine alive just a few years ago that knew other family members of mine that had slaves.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:40:46 PM PST

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        •  Everyone knew where Cummings, Ga was (1+ / 0-)
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          Black or white.  Oprah did  a show there in the 80's.
          BAD BAD place.. more than a sundown town.  I at least was not brought up there.

          Mae Crow was assaulted on Sunday, September 08, 1912. She died Monday, September 23, 1912. Rob Edwards was indicted for the rape of Mae Crow. On Tuesday September 10th, 1912 Edwards was shot, drug from the Cumming, GA jail and hung up on the telephone pole at the intersection of Main Street and Tribble Gap Road (the northwest corner of the Square). The coroner's inquest held Wednesday, September 18, 1912 found the cause of death to be a gunshot.[9]
          —Donna Parrish, Shadow of 1912

          The governor then declared martial law, but the effort did little to stop a month-long barrage of attacks by night riders on the African-American citizens. This led to a diaspora of African-Americans, and the city had virtually no black population.[10]

          Racial tensions were strained even more in 1987 when a group of blacks were assaulted while camping at a park on Lake Lanier. This was widely reported by local newspapers and in Atlanta. As a result of this a local businessman decided to hold a "Peace March" the following week. Reverend Hosea Williams joined the local businessman in a march along Bethelview and Castleberry Road in south Forsyth County into the City of Cumming when they were assaulted by whites. The marchers retreated and vowed to return. During the following "Brotherhood March" On January 24, 1987, another racially-mixed group returned to Forsyth County to complete the march the previous group had be unable to finish. March organizers estimated the number at 20,000, while police estimates ran from 12-14,000. Civil rights leader, Hosea Williams, and former senator, Gary Hart, were in the demonstration. A group of the National Guard kept the opposition of about 1,000 in check. Oprah Winfrey featured the Cumming and Forsyth County on her show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. She formed a town hall meeting where one audience member said this:

          “ I'm afraid of [blacks] coming to Forsyth County," he said to Oprah at the meeting. "I was born in Atlanta, and in 1963, the first blacks were bussed to West Fulton High School. I go down there now and I see my neighborhood and my community, which was a nice community, and now it's nothing but a rat-infested slum area because they don't care.[11]  

          Notice the name?  Wonder if her husband was named Jim?

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:45:55 PM PST

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    •  The little SW Louisiana town (2+ / 0-)
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      Vetwife, entlord

      where my husband was born and grew up still has a white and black side. The oldest white people might still call the black side "N***town" amongst themselves. The kids say "Blacktown."

      The schools are integrated, but white parents spend the money to send their kids to parochial or other private school if they can possibly afford it, so only poorer whites and blacks go to public school. The Catholic school is integrated too, so black parents who can afford it send their kids there. There are two Catholic churches -- not officially segregated, of course, but people go where they feel comfortable.

      The welfare office is on the black side of town. White people who need those services wouldn't dream of walking there if they could possibly help it.

      There's such a strong, unspoken undercurrent of racism -- it's hard to describe. It makes the culture kinda schizophrenic I think. When half a town's great-grandparents were OWNED by some of the rest of the town's ancestral population, and such an obvious thing as skin-color attests to who owned who, and no one's ever really spoken openly about the situation, it's hard to see how anyone can bear the tension.

      Abolishing open segregation is only the first step to real integration and the end of racism, and in at least that small southern town it doesn't seem like anyone's moved much past the first step.

      (I'm a true Northerner (white) by birth, lived in Louisiana for about 18 years, more or less against my will -- loved lots of things about it, but felt the tension of historical and present-day racism as a real psychological stress on me and my children, almost as much as on those born and bred there.)

      "I've had all I can stands, and I can't stands no more." - Popeye the Sailor Man

      by congenitalefty on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:49:56 PM PST

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      •  Still, and it should not be. (0+ / 0-)

        Oppression....Other than shameful, and evil, no other word desribes this kind of depressed life.  Still these folks smile through the tears of feeling less owned as so beautifully put, as their grandparents.  From the Dakota Indian tribes to the bayous of Louisiana, we should hang our heads in shame.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:24:02 PM PST

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