'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Short Stories on Wednesday: A Negro Tourist in Dixie by Bettye Rice Hughes

I am giving a try at short stories. Nan at Letters from a Hill Farm has inspired me. I don't own many short story books as I've never really read any so I am limited right now to what I have available to read, but I will be working on rectifying that!

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?


  1. It sounds an interesting read. I read Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck a while back and he went to some of the southern states about the same time, to see what things were like for himself.
    I like short stories. You could maybe try Annie Proulx, Daphne du Maurier or Ursula le Guin.

  2. This looks fascinating, thanks for sharing. On MLK day I met someone who talked about how she had grown up in the segregated south before coming to NYC, and it's still hard to wrap your mind around the fact that this was fairly recent in history in the US.

  3. I think I should like to read this. I haven't read much where blacks in America are concerned and should like to try it. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. I love short stories and enjoy receiving the Library of America offering in my inbox each week. Haven't read this one, but it sounds wonderful. I've been trying to include more short stories in my blogging, but usually seem to post about them on Mondays.

    The photo in your header in beautiful! Where was it taken?

    1. JoAnn, this is Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. This is American Falls. Thanks for stopping by I'll check out your Monday Posts!


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