Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sheaf of Paper

Sheaf of the past. Sheaf of another time, of new beliefs. Sheaf of the history of a teenager.

I came across a file of old writings of mine from 1964-65. I was a senior in high school. I knew I had the sheaf of papers yellowing with time. Why I kept them is beyond me. Maybe I kept them unknowingly for a day like today. I would like to share these papers with you. Both blogs will have the same writings until I feel I've come to the end of my reflecting. These papers are the story of us as teens, parents and now grandparents. The buds of thought that began to take root in those years have come to full bloom. We see in the words, a time long past but still viable in the present. We see the farm girl's view of world events so far away from her home on Neff Road.

I hope you don't mind my sharing this, but I need this history for my family, my grandchildren. I hope you will note the date this was written.

September 11, 1964
Segregation vs. Integration by Pam Loxley

Segregation and integration are two words heard almost every day. Some blame the southern states for the fight against integration, and yet, many northerners are determined not to integrate. Others are not concerned with the problem. Many fool themselves by standing up for the negro until faced with coming in contact with a negro. Every day steps are being taken to give the races equal privileges.

It is stated in the Constitution of the United States that all men are created equal. And yet today many are afraid to associate with the other races. Intermarriage is a fear of both the negro and the white. Many white Americans treat the negro as trash and feel that they are superior. This feeling is held over from slavery days and some other reasons.

Intermarriage is a big step for any couple to take. The couple may not be accepted by either race. Their children could be either white or black and neither society will accept them.

Many states and cities have started a rehabilitation plan for slum areas. If one was to drive through a slum district, he would find blocks and blocks of apartments and houses run down and dirty. Porches on some home might be broken down. Others would be only shacks with holes in walls. Rats are probably a common menace in these homes. Many places have windows broken or none at all. There is little grass area around these places. Children have no place to play.

In many areas where slums have been torn down, housing projects have been started. For many blocks in these areas one would find rows of apartments, all indentical. Green lawns surround these places.

(Please remember that this is the 60's and the writings of a child raised in an all white rural area)
The negro is of two classes. The first is the lazy negro. This negro has no ambition. He sends his family out to work to support the family while he sits at home. This negro is both unconcerned and uneducated. His children will never be any different unless education is available to these unfortunate children.

The second type of negro is the ambitious one. If he can acquire a high school education, he has a chance to get a good job and a comfortable home for his family. If he can go on to college, he has a great chance to do what he plans to do. Yet there are many barriers that even the highest educated must face. The barrier is too often color.

Too many Americans do not realize that there is also many white people classed the same with one exception: color.

With these new laws that are now being made, these barriers are being broken. If younger white children can start school with negro children, this barrier will be broken sooner. Younger children have no strong knowledge of this barrier and are yet in the impressionable age. They have not yet formed opinions. To bring these younger children together will be a big step in the direction of integration.

It is our responsibility as citizens of the United States and children of God to treat the negro as a brother. There is NO difference between them and us except for their color. It is possible that some day we will all be as one race. Integration is the only answer to the race problem, but this will take time and patience for both races.

Pam Loxley
English IV
Grade: A

I hope no one is offended by this blog. It is a piece of my history, a piece of me and the woman I have become. I am currently reading the book The Help. A history taking place as I wrote this piece. How little I really knew back then.

Thank you for sharing this piece of history found in a sheaf of paper.

Pamela Loxley Drake
47 years later

1 comment:

  1. For a young person of that time and place, it was a well-thought-out and generous piece of writing.

    I remember those days well. I grew up in the South, and once at a speech and debate tournament, I heard a young African-American give a speech. He listed all of the things that he was forbidden from doing--swimming in a public pool, going to a public beach, dining in the restaurant of his choice, etc. His refrain was, "Yes, I am an American. But I am an African-American." I've never forgotten his words. We are all Americans. There should be no difference between an American and an African-American.