I grew up in the deep South. As a youngster, I remember boarding a city bus and heading for the long back seat that stretched across the aisle. Mama caught my arm as she dropped into the front side seat and told me to sit. Her abruptness startled me. I looked back and noticed only dark-skinned faces in the back half of the bus and white ones in the front.
“Why can’t we sit there?” I said. She signaled to be quiet.
Another time I ran to a water fountain as we exited the public library. Mama stopped me again. “Debbie, use that fountain,” she pointed to another one.
“This one’s closer,” I balked.
She told me not to argue. I looked back at the dark-skinned children near the forbidden fountain.Continue Reading