You spend your whole lifetime in your occupation, actually making life clever, easy and convenient for white people. But when you have to get transportation home, you are denied an equal accommodation. Our existence was for the white man's comfort and well-being; we had to accept being deprived of just being human.
Time begins the healing process of wounds cut deeply by oppression. We soothe ourselves with the salve of attempted indifference, accepting the false pattern set up by the horrible restriction of Jim Crow laws.
In it not easy to remain rational and normal mentally in such a setting where, even in our airport in Montgomery, there is a white waiting room... There are restroom facilities for white ladies and colored women, white men and colored men. We stand outside after being served at the same ticket counter instead of sitting on the inside.
I was born 50 years after slavery, in 1913. I was allowed to read. My mother, who was a teacher, taught me when I was a very young child. The first school I attended was a small building that went from first to sixth grade. There was one teacher for all of the students. There could be anywhere from 50 to 60 students of all different ages.
I have never been what you would call just an integrationist. I know I've been called that... Integrating that bus wouldn't mean more equality. Even when there was segregation, there was plenty of integration in the South, but it was for the benefit and convenience of the white person, not us.
I have been refused entrance on the buses because I would not pay my fare at the front and go around to the rear door to enter. That was the custom if the bus was crowded up to the point where the white passengers would start occupying.
I don't think well of people who are prejudiced against people because of race. The only way for prejudiced people to change is for them to decide for themselves that all human beings should be treated fairly. We can't force them to think that way.