John P. & Vernelle P.


As Interviewed by Ella Stapleton, March 8, 2015
"Social injustice is not just based on race; it is also based on gender, age, religion or any type of difference that the majority does not have."
John P. & Vernelle P.

Introductory Profile: About John and Vernelle P.

For my interview, I spoke with John and Vernelle P., a married couple who both have experiences with the Civil Rights Movement as well as dealing with discrimination against women. John and Vernelle are close family friends who have told me endless stories about their past. They are happily living in Texas as grandparents and are soon to be retired. Still, they find ways to honor their past in everyday activities. The interview took fifty-four minutes and the conversation ranged from women’s rights and age discrimination to what it was like growing up during the Civil Rights Movement.

Vernelle has had many experiences with women’s rights. While growing up, her life expectations were already set out for her with boundaries blocking her road to the future. As she went off to college what she was allowed to study was limited as well as what jobs were socially acceptable for her. When she first wanted to first pursue work, she was a woman, and that was not acceptable by society’s standards Once she had fulfilled her motherly duties, times had changed. She wanted to join the workforce, but she was victimized against her because of her age.

John grew up in Austin, Texas, where discrimination and racism happened not only between blacks and whites, but also between Latinos and whites. The singling out was a result of zoning rules resulting in Latinos and whites being in close contact. This created many conflicts. The black and white relationship was not as bad merely because the children of Austin did not come in contact with each other very often. Over time, as he grew up, John, would not allow for discrimination against other races. John went to a black dentist even throughout the Civil Rights Era, and he did not allow for other people’s views to affect him.