Mary E. Paxton

As interviewed by Wendy Geng, March 9, 2019

Mary E. Paxton: In Her Own Words

My husband didn’t want me using things like Clorox, right, to clean the bathrooms and stuff like that. So, there was this woman, and she was a black woman, who somebody told me that she cleaned houses. And so, I contacted her through a friend, and she wanted to come work for me.

And so, I would go pick her up cause she didn’t have transportation. She would have to get on the bus, come to my house, and then get on the bus and go home and that kind of stuff. So, I went to go pick her up. And I was just shocked out of my mind about the housing for the people that were living there. They were just little shacks that looked like they didn’t have any heat or anything. It was cold in Brunswick, cause it was right on the water.

I had never known that a world like that existed. That there was such a difference in how blacks and whites lived. I did understand about Hispanics, because my best friend in high school, I went to her house once after a basketball game, and her house had dirt floors.

If you could imagine that, just this little-bitty house, and it didn’t have floors, it was just dirt. It didn’t have a foundation. Just a dirt floor. I was very shocked. She was always very clean, so it wasn't like she didn’t have access to bathing or stuff like that. I don’t know where that happened.

But she used to come over to my house when we would go on late night basketball games and stuff, and she would make my daddy tortillas and stuff. He just loved Rosa. Cause she would make him tortillas and beans whenever she came over.