My grandmother reflects on life growing up , while she faced discrimination and many other obstacles that crossed her path. In the interview, she begins by sharing her own experiences that she faced back as a child. Also in the interview she shares, an memorable event that played a huge role in her life and others.
On July 23, 1953, City Councilman Raymond Pace Alexander called for the admission of African-American students to Girard College, the North Philadelphia boarding school for boys that didn't have a father. Almost fifteen years later in June 1968, Alexander joined fellow civil rights activist Cecil B. Moore at a rally celebrating the end of the school’s segregated admissions policy. On that day, Alexander and Moore reflected on the evolution of strategies, objectives, and leadership within the modern civil rights movement. As historian Matthew J. Countryman rightly observes, “the modern civil rights movement was as much a product of the black experience of racial oppression in the urban North as it was of life in the segregated South” and those experiences keenly shaped how the effort to desegregate Girard College unfolded through the 1950s and 1960s. This was an important memorable event for my grandmother in which she will never forget.
Did you have any experiences with discrimination?
“Yes, as a child I grew up in South Carolina, everyday was discrimination because as a child, how you were treated, most thought that was the way of life.”
How do you feel about the role race play in society?
“It shouldn't be a role that race plays, everyone should be equal.”
What do you remember from the Civil Rights Movement?
“I remember Cecil B.Moore fighting to have Girard college accept black students.”
Do you think that racism is an important issue for children to be aware of?
“Its very important , because prejudice is a learnt behavior it's taught first in the home.”
What do you think is the best way to oppose/end racism?
“By treating everyone equal, not by the color of their skin or were they came from.”
Did the civil rights movement affect you and if so how?
“It affect me because it gave me a greater desire to not live an oppressed live although I was labeled as an oppressed people.”
Why do you think racism is still going on in the 21st century?
“As long as there is hate, disrespect, and ignorance it will always go on.”
What are your feelings towards racism?
“It makes me sad, and it's painful.”
Which time period do you think race had the most positive impact?
“Time periods differ, when anything positive came out, in the society of division , there were a impact , being the 60s , 80s, and even now, there were an impact.”
From your perspective how does Race and discrimination differ?
“because society continue to label people as minorities, people of color are looked at as less valued and not on an equal level.”