Tuesday, February 18, 2020
My history with Black History
Autos of History
This is one of the last cars built during WWII, the 1942 Chevy. Car makers were already tooled for military vehicles.
I am a fairly new follower of Susan Kane thecontemplativecat, But I have been impressed by her writing. She does some great short stories. Lately she did a post on Black History Month. Yeah, I know there is no Italian History Month nor Polish, German, Irish, Oriental or even a White History Month. I knew some history she used but not that of Free Frank McWorter who founded the town of New Philadelphia, IL, in Pike County.
My mind went back to the country church my dad pastored in the High Shoals community of NC. I was 3-6 yrs old when we lived there. The closest neighbors were Black. At the time I was told by my mama they were ‘Colored’ people, Not Nigra, Negro or the nasty ‘N’ word. If I ever used the “N” word it got me a spanking or a ‘whop’ on the rear. She was taught in North Georgia, in her daddy’s store, Colored was respectful.
I ‘cringed’ but appreciated the consideration of the black nurses who attended mama. Because she (Born 1905) ALWAYS had to say, “Honey, do whatever you must do, at my house there was no difference in Coloreds and Whites.” Those ladies had no idea how true that was, but they treated my mama professionally, with smiles.
My mama was a preacher’s wife. I heard her say many times, of the south, we will send money to darkest Africa to help dark natives and ignore poor Colored Folk here in need, just like poor Whites.
I’m talking about me, my family and Black History. I knew Mrs. Davis as Mammy, the title used by her family. At 5-6 years old I had no idea the dangers associated with being Black in the South. Segregation was a part of life, accepted, it was NORMAL. I had no idea Blacks could not use the toilet in Service Stations, nor ANYWHERE unless it stated ‘Colored Rest Room.’ Neither could they walk into a Hot Dog joint or bar. Sometimes there was an outside window where they could place an order. Most of us cannot even imagine how much courage it took for some Black people to walk into a café and sit down to order and be taken to jail.
Mammy never let me sit at their table, her words, “Boy, it ain’t fittin’ for Whites and Coloreds to eat together,” confused me. I ate sitting on the wood pile behind the wood stove. Conversely making it more confusing, when the kids ate with us they sat at our table.
I may take this a step further tomorrow, but this entry is dear to my heart because I want all that put behind, and as a white guy I want everyone to have my mama’s attitude. BUT down inside I think if I were Black and remembered segregation (not even slavery) I would probably be pretty militant, but I don’t know that. (And I deeply abhor nasty militancy). I really hope if I were Black, I would have the heart of MLK Jr. or even Rodney King who said, . I just want to say – you know –"Can't we all just get along?" ... (Rodney King was no saint, but that quote is REAL)
This is too long; maybe tomorrow I will tell you about some friends I have enjoyed.