Title: Juanita Shearen
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PAGE: ONE ( SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEAR1E

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: Ufight about it.

J: Um huh.

F: Could you move closer ?

J: Sure.

F: Where are you from ?

J: Jamaica, in the West Indies.

F: Are you a U.S. citizen ?

J: I'm an American National. I was born in New York.

F: Um huh.
adn
J: Umh... my grandparents are West Indian.

F: I see.

J: And for the last twelve years we've been living in Jamaica.

F: Yeah, the reason you got a questionnaire is because you're not listed as a

non-citizen.

J: Um huh. I don't mind.

F: No, don't thi'nk---no, but you were rather, not hesitant, but you were somewhat

dubious as to Pether or not, you know, you could talk about the same things

I wanted to talk about.

J: Yeah.

F: Why did you feel that ?

J: Well, because I've, I sort of feel that probably the problems the Americans,

or the Negros, have here are not the same ones I seem to have, and that, well,

nobody is discriminating against me, I don't have any problems, nobody bothers

me, and I am led to believe that they find it difficult here, socially;

whereas, I don't---at all.

F: Do you associate mainly with blacks, or whites ?

J: Whites.






SUBJECT: JAUNITA SHEAREXR

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: I see.

J: I guess. I, you know, I suppose you would say so, and my West Indian friends,

not actively. I don't actively disassociate myself...

F: Um huh.

J: With the Negro people in my area. We all talk to one another, but I don't

da-e them.

F: You date mainly whites ?

J: Yeah.

F: Exclusively whites ?

J: I imagine it has gotten that way, yes, but it's not a forced situation.

F: So it's not a conscious thing ?

J: No.

F: I see.

J: In other words, if I was asked out, by a guy who was colored, if I liked him,

I would go out with him.

F: Um huh.

J: But I've, sort of, I don't know, it's very difficult for me to, I've been very

sheltered from prejudice. I imagine this is why my parents must have left the

United States. I guess, I don't know. Well, both of them---

F: You've been------ there ?

J: Yeah, we've talked about it, but in a very casual manner, because--- I don't

think they felt it was necessary. Both of them are extremely light skinned.

F: Um huh.

J: And uh, we lived in Westchester, in New York, in Scarsdale.

F: Um huh. In Scarsdale.

J: And uh, I think I must have put that on the thing, but anyway---






SUBJECT: JPUNITA SHEAREN~

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: No. No. I didn't, well I don't know, your questionnaire, the only thing I

know---

J: That's right, you don't get anything else---

F: Yeah, that's how you tested me---

J: Because I wrote a note--- I wrote a note with the questionnaire.

F: Oh, well I haven't looked through all of them...

J: Yeah---anyway---

F: Because it is hard to associate with the names from just looking--- o.k.

go ahead.

J: Yeah.... And there, I imagine from what I'm told now, that we were the only

Negro people living in the area, but I didn't experience any sort of---

F: What does your family do ? What does your dad do ?

J: What does--- My father is a creative Adve..production nager, in an

advertising. He's a creative designer .

F: Were your parents as light as you ?

J: No they're lighter.

F: I see.

J: And my mother is managing editor of a magazine, at home. So---

F: So have you been in the States, aside from the time you've been at school ?

J: Yes. I was in New York for three months at the end of last year. And I had

a great time. Everybody was exceptionally nice, and the people I associated

with were, I'm sure of both races.

F: Um huh.

J: So that, I worked at the U.S. Committee for UNICEF, and the UN--on the whole,

the atmosphere is very sort of, multi-rcial, I imagine.

F: Umh...you're calling yourself a Negro, do you think that uh,it's a rather

arbitrary thing ?






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARED

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: For me ?

F: Yeah.

J: Yeah, because I'm not really sure.

F: Um huh.

J: You know, I've never sat down and thought about it, or discussed it, and

honestly it's not been that important, you know, I sort of look down on those
we/ // CA,?, C k,' 1;41 GenOl oe/.")
aga people ar, but I suppose, if you looked back in my ---

grandparents, and where they all came from, perhaps I don't relate to the

African Negr's---necessarily.
7
F: Why, I would think I would have to, what J~ y nmanr~-

J: Well, I just don't know---

F: Well if it doesn't matter---

J: Not to me, because at home--- I don't know if you've done anything on Jamaica,

especially in Social Studies, but the social and economic prejudice, the

social prejudices are more economic.

F: Um huh.

J: Which is something I've accepted, although, not since I've come to college.

I, you know---

F: I see.

J: You change your attitudes.

F: Is there a correlation, between light skin---

J: And wealth and---

F: And economic success then ?

J: Yes. Now there is, but the things that put the uh, structure, you know, that

establish the structure are, I would say, no longer there.

F: Um huh.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARED

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Although, the---this system is working itself out now.

F: I see.

J: It's not that you're not going to find any very dark people who are wealthy.

I would say that---the---well educated, very dark people, are probably about

--- 14 years of age.

F: Oh, I see. Um huh.

J: And, the cycle is changing, more and more, because uh, were no longer a

colony of Britain.

F: Um huh.

J: So that there's no longer this superficial, uh, colonial atmosphere, that never

really was, but it existed on paper I imagine.

F: Why did you come to the University of Florida ?

J: Well, I'm majoring in landscape architecture.

F: Um huh.

J: It's---they've got a good school here, and I didn't want to go too far away

from home just yet. I guess those sre the main reasons.

F: Did you have any umh, doubts about coming here, because it is in the South ?

J: Not until---uh, somebody tesed me about it, about two months before I left.

F: What did they say ?

J: Uh, well I had a friend, who went to St. Leo..

F: Um huh.

J: And he said, "Well you're going to a university in the South. That should

be fun." and also my grandfather, who looks very Indian, East Indian, uh,

and has lived in New York, he's from St. Vincent, which is a small Caribbean

Island, he's lived in New York for---fifty or sixty years, and he was quite

dubious about it, but, I think that my mother probably told him not to say

anything to me. He has just begun to live with us at home, but I know that

he was particularly worried about this. Otherwise, I had no particular qualms.

5






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHARE R

INTERVI.IEER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: I thought about it---

F: Um huh.

J: But very casually, and not very seriously, because I figured, well, I'll cross

that bridge when I come to it. If I cross it.

F: What about since you've come here ?

J: Umh---have I noticed anything ?

F: Yeah, in other words, say that you didn't really think too much about it

before you came, I was wondering if your lack of apprehension was changed,

or unjustified, since you've come ?

J: Well I haven't uh, felt that way. I haven't changed. I think I've become

more aware of it.

F: Um huh.

J: Uh, probably because the black people on campus, uh, the first week or so I

was here, I was quiet, sort of, not that they shouldn't come up and speak to

me, but they have an exceptionally--familiar way of---starting a conversation,

which is something that I'm just not used to, from anybody. You know, they'll

sort of walk up and demand your name, like you owe it to them sort of.

F: Um huh.

J: And, you know, I don't, you know, not that I care who this comes from, it's

just not something that I was used to, and this was a bit strange for me.

F. Um huh.

J: Umh---but the girls in my dorm, for example, when they speak of people being

colored or black, they don't include me. Which is---whatever that means.

F: Um huh. When you say, that you're not used to people coming up to you that

way, what kind of things---

J: Well, this is sort of, I gather thatv.we---uh, the Negro people here feel that

they must have a certain amount of unity, to get where they want to go. Well,






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARENI

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: uh, it's sort of, that, they want me, they thought that I should be part of

it, initially; therefore, because we were all of the same complexion, we

should be friends, and I should find it most natural.

F: Um huh.

J: To do 6 + sort of, you know, talk to them, and wheel out my life story, so

to speak, and it was very difficult for me, because uh, I didn't expect this

from anyone. They'd sort of---it was like I would be sitting down in the

cafeteria, and they'd just walk up to the table and sit down.

F: Um huh.

J: And, you know, I didn't think that this was---

F: Well how did you react to it ?

J: I sort of said good morning, and kept on eating.

F: Um huh.

J: Well, they did it a few times, and they didn't do it anymore. Now, you know,

I talk to them in the cafeteria. If you want to come and sit down, you know,

after having met them. Perhaps it's a bit of formality, as well, as maybe

just being defensive.

F: Um huh.

J: Uh, perhaps, I think, I'm not sure, I haven't given it too much thought,

probably purposely. Umh...perhaps it's that I don't want to, sort of, be,

necessarily related to them as a group of people, but I don't actively

disassociate myself.

F: Um huh.

J: If there's a black person sitting in that chair, and a white person sitting

in that chair, there won't be any reason in particular why I'll sit either

one of them.

F: Um huh. Uh, in Jamaica, does your family associate mainly with whites, or

blacks ?

7






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEAREPR

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Uh, I would say it was completely mixed.

F: Um huh.

J: For example, the guys I've dated at home, have been Chineese, and Jamaican,

Indian, and Jamaican, coat ty dark-skinned, uh, Caucasian, for all

practical purposes, but you---really, at home, find the totally white person

---they might be light-skinned or dark-skinned. We don't use---the adjective,

Negro, is very rarely used at home, ypu know, one is spoken of as being, uh,

light brown, dark brown, fair...

F: Um huh.

J: Or if they're English, or they'll be European, or a strain---

F: When one comes from Jamaica, what does that mean ?

J: Well, that's not the easiest thing---

F: Yeah, that's why I wanted you to comment on it.

J: Well---let's see, we've got, we had slaves there, umh, they had Spaniards there

when Columbus arrived, we had English people there, and because it was---

F: After Columbus.

J: Yeah, that's right, they were there in 1655, uh, and we've had, uh, Carib

and Arroac Indians, and uh,

F: Indigenous population ?

J: Arr---the Arroacs were, and I think the Caribs were. They, I don't think they

were brought there. I had a great, great, great, grandmother, who was a

Carib though. Anyway--- and then we've gotten people, probably indentured labor

from the East, that would bring in Chineese and East Indian, umh, we've got

a poor section of German refugees, who've kept among themselves, and it's

fantastic to walk down in there little settlement, and seeca blond-haired,

dark-skinned child, it's, they're the most beautiful people, they really are.

But they're fantastically poor, and the keep,very much to themselves, their






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARET'R

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: English is very bad, really Papal (?) or Creole.

F: Um huh.

J: Umh---we've also got people who are---probably like, for instance, Shearer is c&

uh, Scottish name, I think.

F: I'm sorry about the mistake on your name---

J: That's o.k.

F: I looked it up in the log, but I couldn't read it. I thought it was

something like 'Sheaves', or something.

J: That's all right. And my grandmothers name is Parnell, which is Irish.

F: Um huh.

J: And both of them, both those families moved to Jamaica from their homelands.

And this is quite prevalent. You'll find lots of kids whose parents are Irish,

and whose father is---whose mother is Irish, and whose father is Jamaican.

F: Um huh.

J: And vice versa, and from Sierra Leon, uh, Puerto Rico, so that I would say

that a Jamaican is probably a Mulatto, if that's the right term.

F: Um huh.

J: Completely---

F: Umh, it seems, that uh, talking to a lot of people from uh, the Indies or

South America, especially people that come here, which obviously are not a

cross section of the population---

J: Yeah.
4-
F: Because people who ge to go, you know, to school in the United States are,

especially with the small percentage of people who go to college anyway, in

most of these countries, sort of talk as though there was no color discrimination

at all in their countries, and because it's a results usually the classic

example of this tremendous mixing, and then when outside Sociologists go in,

and they see really strong correlations between---n Ie class aristocracy

9






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: and very very light people, and---

J: Yeah.

F: ---often in the rest of the world. Havaya (?),I don't understand exactly.

J: What ?

F: Brazilian 'SLUGS', that's a Portugues word.

J: Yeah.

F: I'm not familiar with exactly how you pronounce it.

J: Yeah.

F: They look very dark, and they're mixed with the Indians. Now were you saying,

from your perception, for the most part, there's no color discrimination in

Jamaica ?

J: I couldn't honestly say that. Not, being over here, and looking back at it.

F: Um huh.

J: But, living within the system, and probably because I'm middle class---

F: Um huh.

J: I guess maybe even upper middle class, uh I guess very much so, that this does

exist, although it is quite subtle. Far less subtle, far less so, anyway, than

it is in the United States.

F: Um huh.

J: These are light brown people, discriminating against darker brown people,

rather than a distinctive white---

F: I think the same way. The matter of color discrimination is, is one of

degree, rather than color.

J: Yes, I guess so. Also, well I guess it relates to the whole, sort of system,

before---in my way of thinking, I didn't sort of necessarily associate with

people because they weren't in the same economic group, and I didn't see

them. In other words, in my high school class there were people of all

different colors, with different kinds of hair, different kinds of skin, uh,

10






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHEKMAN



J: more Negroid features and less Negroid features, uh, and, so that, yes---I,

there is, it's, it's definitely a grade of color, you know, rather than white

against uh, Negro.

F: For a long time, even in the United States, umh, among black people, that it

was always prestigious, to date someone who was ada~4 light.

J: Yeahm .

F: Uh, is there something similar to that---

J: This---

F: You know---

J: This I gather has existed, that a less, let's see, a dark-skinned, perhaps

upper class guy would date a lighter-skinned, even lower class, less intelligent

girl, and even marry, because their children aiy-come out lighter. I gather

that this has existed. I am not particularly conscious of it. Umh, I don't

know, if you can take it back, to say, my grandmother,was quite dubious because

I started going out with someone who was Chineise.

F: Um huh.

J: Because, at the time she grew up, Chineese were exceptionally poor shop-keeper

type people. Now, in her generation, when she lived in Jamaica, she is almost

---your complexion, uh, and she's got almost, probably Caucasian hair, and so,

you know, it's quite straight an everything. Umh---I---

F: Is your hair naturally that way ?

J: More or less, yeah. And uh, she, you know, in her house, the--servants,

because they were called servants, and not cooks and gardeners, were very

dark-skinned, and they were somewhere out there in the back.

F: Um huh.

J: And she had nothing to do with them. Uh, as a matter of fact, she, her, at

the school she went to, her aunt taught at it, and she wasn't allowed to play

with the poorer children there, because they were all too dark for her to

11






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: associate with. She'll very begrudgefully admit this now, but still you

you can't pull it out of her, and it's very interesting, because my father

left Jamaica when he was twelve, and very little of this has rubbed off on

him. Uh, in fact, he never voices his opinion about--- the race of the

person I go out with. If he doesn't like him, he'll say it, but otherwise,

nothing.

F: Um huh.
--r6
J: Uh, and in other families, who are related to me, who are modV, Jamaican

oriented, I think that they do have problems like, I have a cousin who is

dating a girl that was a lot darker.

F: Um huh.

J: An I know that his father disapproved of it, and this is in a---upper middle

class family. Middle class family.

F: Yeah. And uh, do you think, now I don't know how you should take this except

on face value, is your lack of uh, seeing, let's say, racial discrimination

in Jamaica, a matter of naivete, because of being so involved in the situation,

or is it really because you don't think it exists ? In other words, being here,

and certainly I don't think we're into that, the arch-type, you know, racist

society, let's say, in the Southern United States, to---

J: Wha---what do you mean ?

F: Well, classic example.

J: Yeah.

F: You know.

J: Um huh.

F: Paragon example, of racism, by strict, you know, degrees, black, white,

this kind of thing. Do you think you see Jamaican society, in a slightly

different light ?

J: No.

12






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: Yeah... As far as the kinds of things that exist, because you see an exaggerated

example possibly, which sort of, you know, points out certain kinds of things,

which makes us more subtle, and---

J: Am I aware of it more than at---? Yes.

F: Thinking back.

J: Yes.

F: Well, what kind of things do you see ?

J: Uh, for instance, like, well, I can see it less in color associations, but

more in things that people do. A lower class person, you know, dancing, for

example. We have a local sort of dance. Right ? It's called 'EN E4 ,

or something like that. Now basically, this dance originated in the poor,

slum, areas, and it has been taken, the music has sort of gotten through to

the kids my age over there, and uh, we won't dance the same way they do,

because it's not---

F: Is that a conscious thing ?

J: Uh, well I don't know, but perhaps their dancing is less refined. Their

gesticulations are quite crude.

F: Um huh.

J: And, I guess pro---well I don't not do it, but any time you do it, you know,

somebody will say, "Well where did you learn that from?", you know, jokingly.

F: But possibly not so jokingly.

J: But possibly---yes, this is the thing. You'll definitely get people

ua g around and saying, "Well,I wonder where she picked that up."

F: It's tMr yu had -t.

J: Is it-----

F: I'm not---no, because there is the cliche here that, you know, "Black people

have rythm."

J: Yeah.
13






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SNENKMAN



F: There're some of them, you know, that just danced a certain way, so it

wasn't a matter of socialization or coming in contact with it. You must

have caught it. ---

J: But this is very interseting to watch an American, or uh, lighter-skinned

person come down and dance, the music they dance to here, I'd think that the

darker-skinned people do dance it with a lot more rythm. They appear to at

any rate. It's much eas---perhaps this is in your blood, I don't know, but

if you've ever watched, oh you couldn't, it wouldn't be the same thing, but

to watch an American, let's say tourist try and dance the Callypsos is the

most shattering thing.....

F: Yeah, but I think, and the studies that have been done, more or less show

that it's a matter of socialization.

J: Is it ?

F: Yeah. Right. And that's something that's difficult for a lot of Americans

to accept. The idea, the way blacks, in this country dance, you know...

J: Yeah.

F: They dance differently than white people---you know...

J: They do.

F: But the point is, that uh, black people, who grow up in Birmingham, England,

are very stiff, and very lacking in uh, rythm---

J: Um huh.

F: And, you know, it is a matter of---

J: Yeah.

F: All, you know, because you're not used to doing something, and something has

a different beat, and so on, and so forth---

J: Yeah.

F: But that is sort of mentioned, that certain types of stereotypes exist all

around the world.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Oh, yeah, well--- You can, I mean, if you go into uh, uh, let's say, we have

lounges, or night clubs, attached to hotels over there---

F: Um huh.

J: And if you go in there, no matter what the color of the people or what race

they are, you can tell wether they live there or not, or if they are of

West Indian background.

F: Um huh.

J: Or they relate to the West Indies, just from the way they dance to Callypsos.

F: Um huh.

J: I mean, this is something that you can sit there and pick out the foreigners,

right away, and when I go back, even now, the problems that I have dancing

with someone who is Jamaican, to Callypso music here, it's fantastic, how

much I've lost.

F: Um huh.

J: Although I can----

F: See--I---just blured out the idea, of right---

J: And I'm really surprised-----

F: ---once you get used to different ryt s, beats, and so forth---

J: ---'cause I went back, afte being in New York, and started dancing to this

sort of local dance again, and my boyfriend stood there and cracked up

watching me, you know,---

F: Um huh.

J: 'cause he said, "We've really got a foreigner on our hands." And I found it

exceptionally difficult to get back in this.

F: Um huh. Let me go back to your relationship with black people here, which

I guess, is sort of a misnomer. There are very few BLACK people.

J: Yeah, well that's something that I had to get used to too.

F: The term ?






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: The term. Yeah, because---

F: Yeah, in fact it's uh, a pirjoritive thing to call them anything else for

the most part.

J: I gather.

F: Yeah. Uh, did you notice any kind of resentment now, being that you---

possibly because of a cultural difference, rather than racial difference,

in other words, that you were taken a-back at the forwardness of people.

J: Yeah.

F: Thk- they sort of resent you ?

J: Now ?

F: Yeah.

J: Uh, well--- not necessarily, but this may be interesting. I was sitting

down outside the Architecture Building, and uh, a black guy, who lives in

my area, came over to me, and sat down, you know, and said, "Hey you busy?

Can I talk to you for a few minutes?" So I said, "Sure." And he said,

"Listen, the people in our area think that you're prejudiced." And I said,

"Now wait a minute. How did you deduce that?" And he said, "Well you know,

you're not friendly, you're very selfish, you won't talk to people when they

speak to you, and stuff like this." But then he added, "But I think perhaps

it's because you're a foreigner, and you're not accustomed to this sort of

a social system."

F: Um huh.

J: And I said, "Well that's very true." And I preceded to explain to him, you

know, and he said, "Well, maybe I should make an effort to go out of my way

slightly to make sure that I smiled t6 all of these people. So that---"

F: Black ?

J: Yeah, the black people. Sorry. So that theyrwon't feel---

F: Well, I, I, Iwas just thinking---you were talking about.

16






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



,T: That I'm disassociating myself with them.

F: Um huh.

J: I don't, I'm not aware of any resentment, but I am aware of this, that when

I first came here they made a fantastically outgoing effort to come over,

and say, "Hello, how are you?" Uh, you know, but now, it's a much more cool

situation which is interesting. Now, I'm usually the one who smiles first,

whereas, before it was them.

F: Um huh. Do you have any inferrences as to why that might be ?

J: Well, I think probably, maybe, they think that I'm more culturally white

than I am black.

F: Hum...

J: I mean, we've got this thing at home, because this business about being black

has spread to Jamaica, in a half-hearted way.
fill OUL, +q Ucci }
F: ---ay, unfortunately.

J: Uh, so that the poor gardener guy, sort of walking down the street, you

know, will say, "Well you don't like black people. Birth control is to

keep black people, you know, eliminated. Right?" And, if you, I'll be

walking down the street, and somebody on a construction sight will shout out

somet ing to me, and I won't say anything to him. Uh, he'll turn around,

and say, "Oh, you know, you white people, you don't speak to anyone."

Well, if you turn around and say something, "Well, my soul is black,"

you know, wwll that's o.k., you've made it. And I think that basically,
-L-^
perhaps this is why they don't-2:sort of an idea, that I don't relate to them.

Therefore, they, perhaps they disassociate themselves with me any more, be-

cause---I guess I'm different. Well, I'm a foreigner, in some---in many

respects. I think I've become, I've realized much more of the West Indian

in me, being over here, than I did over there, where I was a, almost,

almost American. In that my mother spent most of her life in New York.

17






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: She was brought up there.

F: You have, you---

J: Does that answer your question ?

F: Yeah. I was wondering---here, especially in the past couple of years, a

black person who denies his black identity, probably culturally, is really

looked down t# you know, someone who has sold out. Who is a 'Tom' or

a 'Thomasina' also...

J: Yeah.

F: You know, and I was wondering, in other words, uh, if that might of been

attributed to you, that you know, that you're protesting that you're really

not black---

J: Yeah.

F: And that somehow you're ashamed of being black, and that therefore, it's a

reflection on them, in other words, that you are overtly making sure not

to associate with them ?

J: Umh...well I don't know. I don't think so,but like, for instance, I was in

the Miss International Contest, and I was one of the finalists, and in

about---well the Miami Herald, and a few other papers it was written up,

you know, U. of F!s. first black student in a beauty contest.

F: Um huh.

J: Uh, now---

F: How did you feel, honestly, as honestly as you can ?

J: I, I thought it was kind of strange. I said to myself, "Gosh, I wonder

what mommy and daddy will think?" Because---maybe this was what they were

worried about. The girls---

F: Well, explain that to me. What is it that they're worried about ?

J: Well, I don't think that they want me to be that much aware, I think, that

they think, I should be sheltered from not becoming bitter, because of any

18






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: sort of prejudice.

F: Um huh.

J: And, they were not here, when the term black people came into use.

F: I see.

J: Uh, whereas had they put 'first colored student', 'first Negro student', or

anything like that, you know,---

F: Yeah, that makes more sense.

J: Now, the girls on my floor were amazed--- they sort of walked in and

said, "Well you're not black, how can they out that there."

F: Um huh.

J: This, you know, was really something. But I was, I was fascinated at the

publicity that I got, uh, probably because I was black, according to them,

you know ?

F: Um huh.

J: That this was a big thing. I mean, because, like, I didn't win the contest.

The name of the girl who won was never printed.

F: Umh...

J: That never came out in the paper, but yet in all these papers, I mean there

was a big picture an everything, you know, it was quite a to do. They sort

of joking around about another first, but, you know, it was quite something.

F: Um huh.

J: But it, you know,it was sort of publicized like this, well---

F: What year are you in ?

J: 1UC.

F: This is your first year here ?

J: Um huh. I came in January.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



Oh, it's even less.

Yes.

Oh, you're second quarter.

So, I'll be here this summer.

Um huh. Are you planning to stay on here ?

Um huh. Unless they kick me out.

Why, are you planning on being kicked out for some-reason7?

No.

O.K.

I hope not.

When you go into classes, do you think---most people, white people, think

you're...an American Negro ? I mean, for want of a better term.

Yeah.

I don't know what else.

Um huh.

You know we're getting so hung up on what to call---

I think---yeah.

You know when you walk in, are you a black person to most of the people in

that class ?

Uh, I don't think so...not all of them...because I look different.

Um huh.

My hair is different, and my features are different, and I think probably

the way I dress is rather different, my close are much more...uh...

native, you know, West Indian type...

Umh...

Umh...or Spanish, or something like that, and the minute I open my mouth,

well that wrecks the whole thing anyway, because I'm ---well I think that

my American accent is improved greatly in the last three or four months,

20






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: but when I first came here, they all thought it was British, which was a

joke. Because---

F: Why ?

J: Why did they think that way, or why is it funny ?

F: Well, why is it a joke ?

J: Well, because a British person, listening to me speak at home, would never

think I was British, but because my speech is less drawn out, and less slow,

I imagine that this is the way it comes over at first. Uh, I don't nec...I

don't, I don't know wether they do or not.

F: Do you talk much in class ?

J: Yeah, a lot.

F: Yeah, I mean I've had students that never say anything. You know most classes

do, you know, and I was wondering if the situation had ever arisen that uh,

you know that is...well asking you as a black person, you know, and that---

J: Well, I had an institutions teacher, Mrs., I don't know kther she did this,

she knew where I was from, and I never told her, so she must have found out.

Mrs. McLaughlin, who was from Jackson, Mississippi.

F: Um huh.

J: Well her pet talk, in institutions last quarter, if it wasn't Vietnam, it

was the integration of the schools, and how the structure was when she was

a little girl, and everything else, and after we bypassed that she used

to, we used to talk about this, and she used to...I never said anything, I

don't know -'ether she was disappointed in me, because I didn't have anything

to say about it, but she used to sit there and look at me when she was talk-

ing about it, and I wondered -ether she thought I should say something or

what. But nobody has specifically asked me, as a black person, "What do

you think."

F: Um huh.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Uh, in this years, this quarters institutions, I think that my being a

foreigner is perhaps a little more interesting because, talking about uh,

say whenever anything happens in the Caribbean, or in the islands you know.

The first thing we see is a U.S. aircraft carrier, sitting in the harbor,

smiling at us you know.

F: Um huh.

J: Umh...but I have not necessarily felt this way. I think in my English,

for instance, that my British type English grammar teaching has been an

interesting contribution. At least I've had fun talking about it, and

everybody else has talked about it in my English classes.

F: Um huh.

J: And in other classes, you know. I, I have not felt that someone has asked

me as a black person, "What do you think."

F: Yeah, as you said, with uh, professor Mclaughlin, that possibly, by inuendo,

rather than overtly, you know---

J: Yeah, I didn't feel she---

F: Blacks in this kind of look over---

J: Yeah---

F: Or something like that.

J: And I'd sit there, and smile, and fall asleep. But, she's a nice lady.

She always talks to me when she sees me.

F: That's nice.

J: Yeah, it really is, biggest thrill of my life huh, huh, huh.

F: What about in Jamaica, and you said a lot of, sort of, American news,

or feelings, have sort of drifted over to the Caribbean, to the Indies.

J: Um huh.

F: What's the feeling towards, about, racism in the United States ? Is it

something that is discussed fairly much ? Something that's believed exactly ?

22






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Uh, do they believe in it, or believe of it, believe that it goes on ?

F: Believe that it exists. In other.words, why do people who've never come

in contact with the situation that exists here, you know,---

J: Yeah ?

F: It's just, well...they think it must be exag rated...

J: Um huh.

F: In other words, people really don't feel that way about people, or really,

people don't care that much if someone is slightly dark, or something like

that.

J: Um huh.

F: Is there sort of a credibility gap there ?

J: Um...I would say that probably because a lot of my friends are associated

with the university there---

F: Um huh.

J: It is very readily believed. Uh, wether people not so much associated

with the university, it's discussed very casually,as somewhere up there,

and that's their problem.

F: Um huh.

J: But gradually we are having...uh...things like, at the university especially,

there's a lot of unrest going on; as far as I've been told by my sister.

Uh, the prejudices, it's strange, but the University of the West Indies, the

campus that's in Kingston, umh, is like a little island unto itself, and the

things that go on there, the prejudice that exists within there, is I think

quite striking, and well, my sister went there, and there're people from all

the other Caribbean Islands there, and for example, she used to associate

with about four guys, three of them whom were )ed students, and one was a

Political science or economics student, they were all slightly lighter

skinned than I was. She's the same color as me. And they were referred to,






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: in the paper, which is not as established as the one is here, uh, as you

know, uh, I think it was uh, white middle-class group. Yeah, it was the

WMG's, and the...

F: Umh...

J: Umh...or the white Med student group, or something like this. Uh, and she

was culturally white, this is, and another girl who was with them, who looks

Caucasian, uh, was in the group too, and she was referred to by the other

students, as being culturally white, and that this was what mattered.

F: Um huh.

J: And this was quite jarring to her. I can remember her coming home, and

being quite disturbed by it all.

F: Why is that ?

J: Why was she disturbed ?

F: Um huh.

J: Well, probably because this, she didn't quite figure what they were striking

at either. Because it wasn't that she didn't, that she disassociated

herself with the rest of the students, but that they didn't really interest

her. And, I think that they felt the reason why...she wasn't interested in

them was because her cultural tendencies were towards...being white, or

those associated with Caucasian people, rather than those associated with

uh, black people, Negro people.

F: Yeah, but that kind of thing also exists here. People say, "Well it's not a

question...I'm not a racist, and I don't have anything against those people,

J: but,

F: just that I don't have anything in common with them.

J: Yeah. Uh huh. Well, I can say that quite easily too.

F: Um huh.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: I mean, you know, although I wouldn't, uh, and I don't necessarily think

that I would have occasion to, but I, I don't know, I try to have things in

common with them, because I'm interested in them. But then I'm interested

in lots of other people too.

F: Um huh.

J: I'm interested in them, in that, I do not want to actively disassociate

myself with them, because I think it's important that I shouldn't.

F: Why ?

J: I don't know, maybe it's my conscience, but...

F: Well, what---

J: That they hap...because they feel that I have something in common with them.

Maybe I do.

F: Um huh.

J: I, I'd like to find out.

F: And what do you think the feeling would be if you didn't ?

J: If I didn't have anything in common with them ?

F: No, no, if you didn't act as though you did. You say your conscience

would bother you.

J: I, what would my feeling be ?

F: I, I think more---to how---as what you think their feeling would be. I

think that's what would bother your conscience.

J: Yeah, because I, you know, they're a small group of people, and I don't

know, I'm not sure, I just wouldn't want to offend them.

F: Um huh.

J: Because, I mean, if they called on me for support in a situation, I don't

know, I'd evaluate it, and if I agreed with them I'd go along with them.

But, I wouldn't actively do it because I was of the same skin color.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: Um huh.

J: I'd do it because I agreed with them. It's just like I didn't support the

Tolbert Area Incident for a lot of other reasons; for instance, I know how

the people treat the janitors, I mean, and from that point of view, uh, I

support the guys ideas, but I don't care what you did you don't, you know,

go sticking a gun in somebody's face (if that's what happened).

F: Yeah, all of a sudden nobody knows exactly what happened.

J: Yeah. Well everybody backed down from that situation anyway.

F: Um huh.

J: So, something must have come up.

F: When you first got here...you said you dated exclusively white guys...

J: Um huh.

F: You've never been asked out by a black guy ?

J: Yeah, one in an English class.

F: What happened ?

J: I wasn't interested in going out with him. For the one thing, well he

didn't bath very often obviously, because he smelled perpetually in class,

and this is something that I associate with the lower class people at home.

F: Um huh.

J: And it's something that I don't enjoy being around. I didn't like him as

a person, because I used to sit next to him, and I mean, I walked into the

class after he did, so I could have sat anywhere else. He was much to

a-essive, and pushy, and you know, he acted as if he was really, sort of,

God's greatest gift to woman, and I wasn't interested in him. A lot of

other girls in the class liked him, and they happened to be white...

F: Um huh.

J: So...well I didn't feel necessarily guilty about it, because he was black,

I just wasn't interested in him.

26






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: And that's the only time you've been asked out, by a black guy ?

J: Yeah.

F: Do you think that's odd ?

J: No. Well, no.

F: Hum...

J: Not really, I mean, I don't know, they all seem to have girl friends,

that I see them with.

F: Not true---tt definitely.

J: That's not true ? Well I don't know, but I always see them with other

black girls.

F: Um huh.

J: I, I mean, I don't think it's odd, no. I...

F: Who---well go ahead.

J: I don't know, I always sort of talk to them, and smile with them, and have

something to say.

F: Um huh.

J: But that goes for everyone else.

F: Well---let me explain the reason why I think it's odd. First of all, a lot

of black guys date white girls anyway...

J: Yeah.

F: O.K. So you wouldn't be excluded because of those reasons. Uh, secondly,

umh, black guys on this campus have said that they have trouble dating any-

body, in the sense that, not because of racism, but because they feel that

black girls on this campus are sort of somewhat snobbish, you know. And they

have tried, and been turned down, time and time again. Now you're very

attractive. Now I can't imagine why you wouldn't be asked out, unless there're

some other v-riables.
some other v~riables.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: I'll tell you, one interesting thing, I was going out with this guy, who

was much older than I, that's of no consequence, uh, in the situation, and

I'd gone out with him about two or three times, to a play, or a movie, or

to have coffee, or something. One night he was drunk, and he phoned me,

and he told me that uh, in this sort of drunken state, that he had been

talked to by somebody who was quite big in the Black Students Union, whom

he respected, and that person had told him that uh, since I was one of the

prettier colored girls on campus, it wasn't fair for him to date me.

F: Um huh.

J: Uh, because it wasn't fair to the Negro guys on campus, and therefore, I

should understand, and I should be willing to accept this. Well, I was

quite taken aback, since he phoned at 1:30 in the morning, and I was sleeping.

Umh, an otherwise I was exceptionally---it shook me up a lot.

F: Why.

J: Because I felt that nobody had the right...to...tell someone who I was

going out with---

F: Um huh.

J: ---that they shouldn't date me because of this color of my skin. Uh, if it

had been another white guy telling him, perhaps I could have made an analogy

or understood, but in this case, I half believed him because he was drunk---

F: Um huh.

J: And the other half really upset me. Not because I liked the guy, but because

the situation took place.

F: Um huh.

J: Well, I saw him a few days afterwards, and he thought the whole thing was

a riot, and he really didn't mean it, and all of that.

F: Do you believe that ?






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: No...because...he, I don't know, there's something very strange, I think he

took me out as a sort of experiment because he was curious,bst what I'd be

like. Maybe he wanted to look like he was a Liberal, orsomething, for a

change, I don't know.

F: Well he wouldn't look that liberal. Huh, huh, huh. If you're going to do it,

you know---

J: But, anyway, you take somebody out who has got a real good Afro.

F: Right, right, then you really show everybody.

J: But, uh, I, you know, I sai---I very definitely brushed him off, and told

him, "Well look, I just don't have time." But this guy, initially, what

made me curious, was he went to an awful lot of trouble to take me out. Uh,

he even, he works at the Alligator in the evenings, and he even got photographs

of me from that contest from the Alligator photographer, and he did all sorts

of things that he didn't have to do if he was just curious, and wanted to

take me out on a date.

F: Um huh.

J: And for this reason, I found it strange...he also gave me a book on...which

I've never...yeah, I still have it, something about racism, ethnic people,

he told me to read a section of it. Well I ha en't read it. I looked at

,,I
the book. But you see, he gave me the book, then he phoned me...

F: Um huh.

J: Drunk, so...

F: Umh...Yeah, see there has been talk, wether or not it can be verified or not,

I've heard it often enough to probably believe it's somewhat true, that uh,

black guys on this campus have threatened black girls, that they'd better

not go out with ---

J: The white guys ?

F: Yeah.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN




F: And...

J: Umh...I thought of this happening, and I think this is why I felt quite

threatened.

F: Um huh. And also, the implication being, that the white guy is not going

to he uh, you know, looked upon too highly either.

J: By his fellow white people ?

F: By the black guys I

J: Oh !

F: Aside...from that might be true.

J: Yeah.

F: But they had nothing to do with that particularly...

J: Yeah.

F: Pass it up.

J: Umh...well, but this, I mean, I have never heard or seen from this person

lately, you know.

F: Yes, but, but the incident does illustrate my scepticism, as to why people

haven't taken you out, because I'm sure that would be the feeling, I mean,

that you are attractive, and that black guys would tend to want to take you

out.

J: Yeah.

F: And they don't, I mean...

J: Well, maybe they think that I am...a snob. Which probably I am to an extent.

F: There are an awful lot of very white girls on this campus, who undoubtedly

are very snobby, and somehow that makes them even more appealing. Ev...

well, you know that from---

J: Yeah---

F; That's---Some people are horrendous, the way they act, and I guess people

are beating down their door.
30






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: It's a real sort of challenge ?

F: Yeah. I guess, I mean, that explains it---

J: Yeah, that would be almost sure---

F: ---you know---

J: Well I don't know, you know, I'm not sure. Maybe they, maybe they're sort

of willing to sit back, and say "Well, if she's going to let alone in that

'Little White World of Hers,' maybe we better leave her there."

F: Um huh.

J: But they do still phone me, still walk up to me, and this is strange. People

who---

F: Black guys ?

J: Yeah.

F: They phone you ?

J: Occasionally, for quote 'assignments,' you know. Uh, people will come up,

and they always ask me, "How's it going?" And this is something that's

strange to me.

F: Why.

J: Well, I don't know, you know, I'd say 'hellg,' rather than 'how's it going'.

F: Well ma---you mean just a matter of speech.

J: Yeah, but, well I, this is something that I've found with all the black

people who have spoken to me. They've always asked me, 'How's it going'.

They make you allerate(?) to have any problems. No ?

F: Well, possibly, I'm missing what you are saying.

J: Well whenever uh, a black person comes up and speaks to me, inadvertently,

they always say, 'How is it going'...

F: Um huh.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: 'Are you having any problems'...

F: Um huh.

J: 'Are you making out all right'...If a white guy comes up and speaks to me,

you know, usually he says, 'Hello, how are you'...'you doing all right'...

F: Well, I, I think---

J: I don't know wether this is---

F: It---it's probably two things. First of all, they're differences, just in

speech pattern. That's just something that black people, you know, on this

campus use different jargon...

J: Yeah.

F: ---than whites. Secondly, I think there's a certain amount of uh, for want

of a better word, some kind of fraternalism...

J: Yeah.

F: ---amoung the blacks on this campus...

J: Yeah.

F: Whether or not they really, you know, it's impossible to feel this empathy,

towards everybody, but I think that they feel this is something they should

do. That, you know, concern because you are a black person.

J: Yeah.

F: Because you are a colored person, and you know, just the terms themselves,
L C L C
you know, 'Irothers and /isters'...

J: Yeah.

F: Which, you know, denotes a certain amount of closeness, and caring, and

love, and commonality...

J: Um huh.

F: That's a---that's an obligation to ask.

J: Yeah.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: Because if somebody's your sister, you're supposed to be concerned about

how she is.

J: Yeah. Well I could, you know, this is why I just sort of wrote it off.

I don't mind. It doesn't bother me, you know. It's not as if it partic-

ularly bothers...it doesn't bother me at all, in fact to be seen with them,

or anything like that. I won't alk across the street, or look the other way,

when I'm walking by a black person necessarilly...

F: What do you think they would do if they heard you say that ?

J: I don't know.

F: That's a rather patron---I know what you're saying doesn't matter, but it's

seems, and I don't really think you mean it that...seems like a rather

patronizing thing to say. It's a---

J: That I conscience...that I---

F: Well you say, "Well I wouldn't walk across the street to get away from you."

I'd say, "Well thanks a lot."

J: Yeah. Huh, huh. Yeah.

F: I mean that's real...that's really white of you to uh...

J: Yeah.

F: You know, to use that expression, well let's say, "Well um huh, that's really---

Go ahead.

J: Well, I don't know, you know, I, I guess...I see what you mean. I suppose

I'm worried about offending them...

F: Um huh.

J: As a, as a group of people, and because of the fact that this guy and I had

this conversation, and he felt that perhaps it was important, because I was

being misunderstood,

F: Um huh. How were you being misunderstood ?

J: Well, because he said that I won't, you know, uh, sit down and...I won't

33






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: sort of...reciprocate in long conversations.

F: Um huh.

J: Btx-epT-fr like that.

F: Um huh.

J: Umh...he felt, he said that he had listened to discussions with the other

black people in the area, and that they thought that I was distinctively

unfriendly, on purpose.

F: Um huh.

J: And that I was disassociating myself with them, and that from the discussion,

I decided, perhaps it would be important for me...to make sure I wasn't mis-

understood. 'Cause I think, I guess I, I think that's important. I care

to an extent what they think. And for this reason, I'd makesure that...

I'm not consciously offending a black guy, or a girl.

F: Um huh. Do you date pretty often ?

J: Yeah.

F: Um huh. And just about exclusively whites ?

J: Um huh.

F: Well, you said exclusively whites.

J: Yeah.

F: Do whites...usually make some reference, one way or the other...nice,or

you know, questionly, or whatever, as far as you know, ~ether or not exactly

what you are ?

J: What I am ?

F: Yeah. You know, that kind of thing.

J: Umh...yeah, like casual conversation.

F: Yes. I was just wondering...

J: Yeah, sure. Umh yeah, with that same character I went out with.

F: Um huh.

34






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Otherwise, not really.

F: Never ?

J: I couldn't say. I've talked about it.

F: You bring it up ?

J: Uh, because this CaribV Indian grandmother of mine was a cannibal. That's

quite a joke, sort of, at least her race were cannibals, you know.

F: Um huh.

J: She wasn't a cannibal, but otherwise...

F:: Your grandmother ?

J: No, my great great...

F: Oh.

J: ...great grandmother.

F: Oh, yeah, I see.

LAUGHTER

F: O.K. Go ahead.

J: But otherwise, you know, I, I might talk about it, or looking through an

album, at the pictures of my family, who are all different shades of brown...

F: Um huh.

J: Nobody, I think that probably I'm the darkest one. Basically, because I

stay out in the sun a lot. This is another thing. Going out in the sun,

to get a suntan, you know, I mean, when I first got to the floor, I had

just come from being in New York, and been home for two weeks, hadn't

gotten to the beach, and when I'm not out in the sun, I get gray...

F: You get what ?

J: Gray, sort of a yellowy-gray color---

F: Yeah, o.k.

J: About this color, and really, to me it looks really sickly, you know, and

I'd stand there, and look at my face in the mirror, and complain about this,

35






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: and the girls on the floor would crack up with laughter. Because they would

say, "Well I certainly wish I had that kind of a tone to my skin."

F: Um huh.

J: "Rather than being this color." You know, and I said, "Well yeah. It's really

funny. You should say that more often, and see what people think of you,

especially in the South." But I know that I make a lot more jokes about

being colored now,..

F: Um huh.

J: Or about colored people, uh, than I did at home. Probably because, you

know, we all kid one another about it. About...I think it basically started

with going out in the sun. 'Cause I, I mean now they will agree with me,

that I look much better when I've been out in the sun. Because I look

sort of more bronzy, rather than uh, gray-brown...sort of wishy-washy

color.

F: Um huh.

J: But this business of getting a sun tan, I know that they were curious about,

you.rfow, how people get a sun tan, and I made it like, you know, they

wanted to 6kow if I burnt.

F: Um huh.

J: Like when I'd go out in the sun, and they were amazed to find out that I

peeled just like everybody else does, you know, when you go out in the sun.

Umh...but this is, you know, something else that...that's, it's sort of a

lot of fun thing to toy with. I think it's a new experience for them too,

the girls on the floor. Because talking to girls, and I've been really

curious about what they think of the, say, integration problems that they're

having at, well what once was Lincoln High School. I don't think it's

there anymore.

F: They closed.
36






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Umh...and what they felt when, I wanted to know if their schools were

integrated, Well most of the girls went to school in Miami Beach. They

said they had a great time. With, umh, the black and white people, and

they, you know, they were very good friends, and they went and ate dinner

at each others houses, and had different kinds of food...

F: Um huh.

J: Which I, needless to say, had never heard of, you know, grits, yuh...

But uh, they, you know, I think for them it's an interesting experience, but

they don't consider me black. At least verbally they don't anyway.

F: Um huh.

J: Because I know that...I overheard this conversation. A girl from another

floor, uh who's in a class of mine, came up and said, "Uh, you know that

black girl that you have on the floor, what's her name?" And the girl

genuinely sat up and said, "We don't have anybody black on this floor.

Who are you talking about?"

F: Did you hear this related---?

J: Yeah, I overheard this.

F: Oh, I see. Um huh.

J: And she said, "Yeah, you know the girl from uh, you know, Jamaica, uh..."

and she said, "Oh! You mean Juanita. Well she's not black, she's from the

West Indies."

F: Um huh.

J: Yeah, and this sort of thing is, I think it's amusing.

F: Do you think, if someone were to follow you around on a date, with a tape-

recorder,..

J: Yeah ?

F: And without seeing you, and you said usually it doesn't come up unless you

talk about it, this is sort of a roundabout way of asking...uh, do you think

37






SUBJECT: JUTANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: you know, one could tell by listening to the tapes of the conversation...

in other words, being involved in a situation that may be a little difficult...

J: Um huh.

F: ...to be as objective...

J: Yeah.

F: 4..as someone else, in other words, I'm talking about the conversation, ta---

Do you think the uh, the lack of talking about race is...quite as pervasive

as you're reporting it to me, at this point ? In other words, usually the

guy never---usually he doesn't---

Jr Well he might talk about it, but not necessarily, uh, as something...we

might talk about it as something to talk about. But I haven't particularly

noticed a curious, concentrated,suggestive, sort of, "I'd like to find out

about this, so I'll suggest it, then we'll talk about it."

F: Um huh.

J: Umh...certainly...I think it's casually talked of; for instance, I was

playing tennis one night, with this guy who is white, and this group of

poor black kids was really bothering a group of white guys who were playing

umh...handball, you know that thing you throw against the wall, and uh, he

sort of shouted out, "Hey they're taking over." And I turned around, you

know, and uh, I thought it was funny, but this is the kind of joke...sort

of stuff that goes on.

F: Um huh.

J: I'm not consciously aware of it.

F: Let me ask...do American lacks go to Jamaica ?

J: Yeah, that's interesting, because uh, initially they come down with this

very American accent, and they look down on them.

F: Um huh.

J: By other Jamaican people of equal color, but higher social class. Initially

38






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: they're looked down on, or they're teased, you know.

F: By whom ?

J: By people of their same color ?

F: Same ?

J: Yeah.

F: How do you explain that ?

J: I don't know, perhaps because they, well they don't have that much, I

guess now the black people do have a lot of pride, but when they came down

they were exceptionally humble.

F: Umh...

J: And the people at home are full of pride.

F: Now that's odd---

J: In many cases---

F: ---like are you talking about black tourists ?

J: Black tourists, uh, not necessarily.

F: Because that certainly wouldn't be the ...

J: Well now, black tourists, they're in the minority.

F: Um huh.

J: Probably because I guess they don't---they're now beginning to have the

money. Also, I wasn't --- the tourist and hotel areas are not particularly

near where I live, but I did see them.

F: Um huh.

J: Umh, now they're not looked down upon. They're treated exactly the same way,

they stay in the same hotels, and I imagine they get the same service,

although specifically I don't know.

F: Well what other American Blacks come down there ?






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



J: Umh...I imagine some of them who have lived in the States, well they're not

really Americans, there is this thing that you're probably aware of, of

people, uh lower...class people coming over to the Stateq and working as

maids and housekeepers...

F: Um huh.

J: And sending for their family...

F: I see.

J: Because they can make a lot more money over here doing the same thing they

do over there. They have to work harder, but it's little cooler, and

things are easier I guess. Umh, and so they come back to Jamaica...with

an American accent...

F: Um huh.

J: With sort of American ways...

F: Um huh.

J: And they have to re-adjust, and they, I they probably begin a bit as social

outcasts or foreigners, but they're foreigners in their own country.

Probably because of their difference in speech, their difference in what

they have become used to here, and what with the same money, or what in the

same group they'll go back to, because they'll have more money, but they're

still going to go back to the same group.

F: Um huh.

J: And the same class of people at home. They'll probably have problems with

their people who've lived at home, because they're going to be above that

now. But they're, I think that, you know, as far as the American Negro

tourist is concerned, he probably has just as good a time as anyone else,

but he's in the minority.

F: And also...In the minority in what way ?

J: In tourists.






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: Yeah. And also he's in the extreme minority of the blacks in this country,

because obviously the black man who is able to vacation in Jamaica is not

uh, one of the ddle American __ack, for obvious reasons.

J: Oh, yeah, o.k.

F: Obviously blacks who have made it...

J: Yeah, um huh...

F: There's no doubt.

J: Have made it, yeah that's true.

F: Well, you know, yeah...

J! Uh huh, yeah...

F: ---you know what I mean---

J: Because I, I've l"ed this, yeah. My father's brother, my uncle, lives in

New York, he's a director in B.B. Dennim, which is a...well he's left now...

F: What is that ?

J: It's an advertising agency.

F: I see.
\'
J: Umh...and my auntg a judge.

F: Um huh.

J: My cousin is a photographer for LOOK MAGAZINE. And this was interesting,

because I was with them in Christmas, and they're all lighter-skinned than

I am, and they keep talking about black people, and this was my first...

sort of thing, coming into contact with---

F: Do they identify with blacks ? As being among them ?

J: Yeah.

F: They do.

J: But they don't necessarily live in a predominantly black area.

F: But they do feel a---

J: But they call themselves black people.

41






SUBJECT: JUANITA SHEARER

INTERVIEWER: FREDRICK SHENKMAN



F: Um huh.

J: And they work for...they work for the cause.

F: Um huh. Yeah black...

J: Of black people. Like, yeah I think more or less that you could say that.






END OF INTERVIEW




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