My first entry comes from The Library of America's Story of the Week. Each Monday they share a short story to read right there online. 'A Negro Tourist in Dixie' by Bettye Rice Hughes is included in the book, Reporting Civil Rights: American Journalism 1941–1963 It is only 6 pages.
In 1962 Ms. Hughes decided to take a tour of the south by bus to see for herself how things were since the Interstate Commerce Commission's ruling banning segregation in interstate bussing and terminals. She rode a Greyhound bus for 6 weeks through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and part of Mississippi.
She noted in each state she traveled through the responses she received as she walked into the main lobby and used the restrooms and ordered food at the lunch counters. I must say she was a very brave woman. She traveled alone and at each stop showed such courage even when she received a hard time and people did not want to wait on her. She stood her ground and demanded, by refusing to budge, her rights as a human being. Other Negroes on the bus and in the terminals were not as brave and watched her from a distance.
It was interesting to see how each state and the citizens of that state either reached out to her or spurned her. Mississippi did not even let the bus go through their state. The driver took them north way out of their way and around so they would not even have to set foot in the state. What a horrible time in the history of the United States that all was. Its unbelievable how one human being treats another and I am glad that we have progressed from that era. I grew up in the south, Florida, and I have never had any prejudice against people who are different from me, (I believe we are all the same in the eyes of God) but I know to this day the racist sentiment is still an underlying current in so many people's views, even some of my families views.
Take a quick read and meet Ms. Hughes for yourself. She will inspire you!
This post is linked to Short Stories on Wednesday over at Breadcrumb Reads
How about you, do you like short stories?