Rebecca M.

As Interviewed by Riley C., March 12, 2018

Rebecca M: In Her Own Words

I was living in Minden, Louisiana when our high school was integrated. I can't remember exactly what grade I was in but Iím guessing it was ninth or tenth grade. I think that when youíre growing up and going to school that whatever youíre experiencing you think is normal because youíve never done anything else. I do remember, for example gas stations. I mean now of course you have one for women, one for men, and I do remember they would have a third one that said colored. At the movies white people sat on the bottom and the black people sat in the balcony so therefore the water fountain for the white people would be downstairs, the water fountain for the black people would be upstairs so it wasnít labeled but thatís what it was.

I knew a family very well that all of the children were the first to by choice integrate. I knew all of those children as a child so I knew them when they came to school and I remember that people drove by their house at night and threw cherry bombs in their house and possibly some bricks through the window. I just felt so sorry for those children that I had known since they were children and then for them to be hurt like that was very hard and particularly I knew the parents very well. I felt so sorry for those parents. To see their children discriminated against and treated meanly was very, very hard.

When they integrated the students they brought black teachers over as well and the unfortunate part is the black teachers had not had as good an education as the white teachers had because they were black universities and again they just weren't treated as well so they werenít as educated. Some people didn't understand that. Some people took that as prejudice against black people for being that way when it actually wasnít their fault; it was that their school wasn't as good. When I moved from the South it was still probably a big problem of people being prejudice and blacks probably still not getting the opportunities that they have now and I remember when I moved out West part of one thing that I was sort've glad to get away from was that there was a lot of problems and it was going to be very hard to make the full transition.