In my heart I see no justification for Segregation. Neither do I see justified condemnation for those who did not understand that statement. I was raised in the segregated South. I wasn’t taught that we should be separate, I just knew it because it had been that way all my life. My first real friends at 4-5 years old were black. I still never questioned the overall segregation thing. I was probably in 6-7 grades before I heard the word Segregation.
My family was never ‘segregation oriented.’ Mama would send you for a switch if you used the ‘N’ word. Daddy quit doing business at a service station because the owner would not let a ‘little colored boy ‘pee in a white’s only toilet.
Martin Luther King Jr. brought attention to the subject with the Selma to Montgomery march. In any neighborhood, state or country when you upset the ‘status-quo’ folks just don’t like it, we FEAR change. Flames are fanned by ignorant people who KNOW they are right. Like many heroes, ‘Martin’ was more revered once he was gone. Now most of us would appreciate a man with his attitude and vision. The BIG CHANGE started in Alabama.
George Wallace, in my opinion, was a very smart man, but misguided by the past! I watched him make mincemeat of a few men in a debate.
In his book ‘Walk Across America’, Peter Jenkins, a long haired hippy dude, walked into Alabama. Locals and even the State Patrol gave him a hard time. When he reached the capitol he walked in and asked to talk to the Governor. George Wallace actually invited him into the Governor’s office. They talked, Peter came away with utmost respect for a man he had labeled an ignorant ‘red-neck. After that visit the State Patrol cars would stop, ask if he needed anything, etc. They told him the Governor had put out the word.
History and traditions have caused lots of trouble because of misunderstanding each other. You had to have been here to understand why the south fought integration. It had BEEN so for so long even some Blacks thought it was the right thing to do. As Mammy Davis (my black friends mama) in her kitchen in 1944, told me, “Whites and Coloreds ain’t supposed to eat together, when you get growed you will understand that!”
“Folks are going to Alabama with a banjo on their knee”
1965 'Peel' Trident, Worlds smallest car from the Isle of Man