Almost 20 years ago I did some stories for Black History Months on black graduates from our high schools years ago. We didn't have many back in the 1910's, 1920's, 1930's and 1940's. Some of the stories I heard were moving. One woman in the 1940's took business classes in high school and the teacher told her she shouldn't take them because no one would hire her. One woman said that if they wanted a job in the 1920's/1930's they had to go to New York City because they would hire you for office work here. A man stopped getting his accounting degree in the 1950's because no one was going to hire him.
One woman was in high school in the early 1940's when it came out that people couldn't discriminates against Blacks in restaurants. The high school kids go together and tested it out by going out to dinner at the different restaurants in town. In the 1950's she and her husband couldn't get a loan to buy a house in town. They ended being given land by the husband's father and did get a loan to build a house. I think she was the first black teacher in town.
One man was the first or one of the first blacks at West Point.
One woman talk me about how she finally got a job in an office. It was after 1945 and she heard they could no longer discriminate. So she applied at one of the companies in town and she was hired.
I also did a story on the first black officer in town. He was on a sports team in high school in the 1930's and they won the championship. There was going to be a game down in Florida (I'm in Connecticut) and the team went but he couldn't go because he was black.
I got some great feedback on the stories. One woman told me that she couldn't wait to get the paper each morning to see the story of the day.
finreporter, I'm glad that I did it. It was appreciated. I also did their genealogy and some of them had interesting backstories. One of them had a runaway slave as an ancestor, and at the time the story of the ancestor was featured on the website of the New Bedford, MA, historical society. Also some of them had FPOC (Free People of Color) lines. These were black families that had never been slaves even though they were here during the time of slavery. Sometimes I would get them back to the actual plantation their family was from. Some of the ancestors had service in the army during the Revolutionary War, and/or the Civil War on the Union side.
i don't know about you guys, but as an embarrassingly not as woke as i thought i was person, i didn't know what juneteenth was until about a week ago. now i'm learning more about it so figured maybe i'm not the only one (and if i am, it's ok, i know i need to educate myself more on these topics!).
There is a documentary on John Lewis called "John Lewis: Good Trouble". I haven't seen it and only heard about it because some theaters in Tulsa are going to be showing it free of charge the day of Trump's rally there. Guess I hadn't heard of it as it isn't supposed to be released until July 3 of this year.
finreporter, I don't know how American history has been taught past my era, but in my day (I quit schooling that involved history in 1971) so much was glossed over or just totally ignored. It is wonderful there are so many resources available now for those who want to know the truth.
One part of the Reconstruction series on PBS, that I keep mentioning, involves how the south changed the narrative of the Civil War, specifically the Lost Cause. Generations were basically brainwashed IMO. This doesn't excuse but helps explain to me the attitudes that still prevail among some southeners (and others).
I guess I'm saying we needn't beat ourselves up about not being woke, just try to wake up now.
i watched the trailer of the reconstruction series but never got to the actual episodes yet. i have to admit, i also emotionally and mentally have to brace myself before watching things like that because it's so heavy and intense and then have to actively remind myself that it should make me uncomfortable and that it is important to watch because we have to change the course of our future. we can't continue to go along as is when many of us have the freedoms and enjoyment of everyday life without being judged or oppressed in the way that black lives have. i just wish the people who also need to see it would. those who say there is nothing wrong and maybe if people wouldn't xyz they wouldn't get in trouble or wouldn't be brutalized. they're being willfully blind to the fact that those are only part of the problem and it goes so so so much deeper than that. and watching things like this can help if people would watch it with an open mind.