Rosa Parks: Interview 1

Material Information

Rosa Parks: Interview 1
Rosa Parks ( Interviewee )
James S. Haskins ( Interviewer )
James S. Haskins
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Oral history interview


Subjects / Keywords:
African Americans ( fast )
Mississippi Delta Freedom Project ( local )
Parks, Rosa -- 1913-2005
Selma to Montgomery Rights March -- (1965 : -- Selma, Ala.)
Civil rights movements ( fast )
Oral histories ( lcgft )
Temporal Coverage:
1940 - 1999
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Alabama


Parks and Haskins talk about Parks' family history and about Civil Rights Movement contemporaries, including: Amelia Boynton, Levi Watkins, Jr., Esau Jenkins, Guy Carawan, Zilphia Horton, Myles Falls Horton, Septima Clark, Candie Carawan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta King, Roy Wilkins, Ralph Bunche, Ralph Abernathy, Juanita Abernathy, Edgar D. Nixon and Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick. Also mentioned is the Selma-Montgomery Rights March of 1965, the Highlander Folk School, NAACP, CORE, SCLC, SNCC and the Deacons for Defense and Justice. Locations mentioned include Demopolis, Linden, Montgomery, Opelika and Selma, Alabama, as well as Georgia, and Charleston,South Carolina.
General Note:
Rights statement assigned on 6/24/15 by Cathy Martyniak, per Christine Fruin

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Holding Location:
University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license:
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Parks 1 Interviewee: Rosa Parks Interviewee: Unknown female Interviewer: James S. Haskins Date: circa 1990s P: And I had H: Did you read your beast book? P: I have never seen it in years and he ask, Mama I want to read my beast book. H: People have said that to me, oh I cannot find that book we are not going to see again. P: know. H: P: A woman did rebind it for me but it was very old, beat up, brown loo king book, and the pages are so delicate you could hardly turn them. But she, a woman did who work ed was a Jewish woman and she took that book and rebound it from her plant, it w ould stay toge ther better. H: Uh huh P: H: Did you read your beast book with your brother, your mother? Your mother had a copy of it? P: Well that w belong to I think, my know, but she was old, a lot older than she was from my aunt Fanny who was about six or seven years older than my mother and this sister was in between the two of them. Bessy was never photographed bec ause when they wanted to take pictures of us she had become ill. And she thought she looked too bad and too frail and had lost some weight. Anyway, she was too sick to permit the photographer who was passing through the neighborhood to take a picture of h er. So she died without anyone ever knowing except those remembering her, so nobody living now who knew her, I think. She died in 1905. And I was eleven. H: You were e leven.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 2 P: There was a minister of the church who wanted to marry her. He wrote H: Which church? P: The Mount Zion A M E Church. The same were members of H: And the minister wanted to marry her? P: Um hmm. H: And he P: know if there was ever an actual engagement, but he was in love with her and I guess she was in love with him too She was very thin, he was real real dark, real about someone like about Esau Jenkins. [Laughter] P: And he used to tell my mother, um H: I had something Esau totally did it yeah that high buddy. I remember they saying he said [Laughter] P: Well then, we had his picture though, this min picture looked like H: Is that picture that I like, that I remember of Esau, cause I took those pictures m yself P: Oh you did? H: Yeah. Is that picture of Esau? P: You got me along with Willis H: Willis? P: Willis H: I thought I had P: By his cars H: Esau in that too


Parks 1; Parks; Page 3 P: H: By his truck, by his van P: iture H: Is that Es au there? It may have a picture in there P: all those pictures yet. H: P: Uh huh. H: I know I took a picture of him. P: I u sed to show parts, pictures of that book forever book get away from you, but people packing up, I guess, either tossed it out or put it somewhere it was when my things were taken over to different places including the Stamps house. H: eed some of that Stamps stuff, are you going to be able to get any of that? P: H: [Sounds of papers, photographs being shuffled through] P: Now here is a truck here, and do I H & P: P: Willis, Steve Goodman wearing craws. H: P: He lives on John Vile knows every faith every name every problem in Mt. Tavis High and now pediatri ci ans widespread since the [inaudible: 13:05:22] black people are almo st non existent, most babies are born at home. And I believe here, this are our young children, now this is an adult here. Esau H: All right, I took a picture of Esau P: And down H:


Parks 1; Parks; Page 4 P: down here with a little cross right there and it might be him. H: Esau? U: T P: H; P: Oh is it H: Yeah, yeah. P: H: the picture I took of him P: Now this says Steveland Furniture on the H: Truck yeah no P: On the t ruck H: P: He had a bus H: A van, he had a van P: A van or something, they called it a bus but I guess it was a van. H: write about him but um, what year what was his name who was running for um, not in but the mumbling] P: All right. H: of these, uh, but he took me to a church here. P: Now he, now in this album that I have of um, I may finish reading that but I just H: get it to you P: Um


Parks 1; Parks; Page 5 H: You how this started? Like something something leaves New York at blah blah blah and goes to the coast al terrain near Charleston. T hey changed it to conspicuous by their Atlantic coastal terrain near Charleston. [Laughter] It shows what an editor can do to your work P: Uh hum, uh h H: But that, that disturbs me. P: This uh, this woman H: seen a tar paper shack in a humid coastal terrain with mosquitoes as big as your thumbnail. And I saw that lady with that baby and my the pictures right even before I got there and then when I got close enough I had You still been in the storm who wrote, h e said we shall overcome too. Carawan, Guy Carawan, remember that? P: Well, he uh, now the person who actually sang We Shall Overcome as they sing it now, was Zilphia Horton, Myles [Myles Falls Horton] first wife before she died. And Guy Carawan, he was a young teenager then, he was a musician, too and he was right there. U: Who was that group that when we were at [Clark] funeral ? P: Well, that was Guy and Candie [Carawan], the white people. H: Yeah. Guy Carawan? P: See when they arrested him, when they arrested Septima why Myles was away and the raiders of that town they put her in jail, Carawan was one of the young white fellows that went to jail with her. H: r ight? P: And Zilphia died H: Died wher


Parks 1; Parks; Page 6 P: Died mysteriously too H: P: They still at Highlander [Highlander Folk School] But how long they have not moved, um, I mean, the Highlander has moved from Monteagle in Grundy where they are now. And they burned the building, where we used to stay and H: Yeah, I remember P: Remember what? U: Septima P: Oh yeah, uh huh U: And, uh, then after the funeral, how we were socializing H: from, New Hampshire or there abouts? P: spent his teen years still down there in Tennessee. H: Still waiting for the P: Um H: W aiting for Godot. [Laughter] P: Well they carry on pretty good, but they spend most of their time working with the Appalachian H: Poor P: P oor. With whoever is needed most. H: P: See they worked hard through the our period when we were in the struggle about ending segregation and so on.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 7 H: What do you think about and ways Ralph has ended up? Abernathy I mean. s a he almost was a Demopolis boy, we used to like call him a Demopolis from Linden P: From Linden, Alabama. H: Yeah, w hich was the county seat of Marengo. P: a little... a few Martin in him. H: l right. P: Uh huh. H: But you know I taught his nephew how to play the trumpet. [Laughter] P: He still has an alto, he gets that and talks and moves arou nd some. He a very serious life, Elvis H: Yeah, well he used to be diabetic. P: Yeah. Uh huh, his life is hard. H: Everybody from around that area had to be. P: He had two, he had to H: Close that door will you? P: H ave that [door slams closed] surgery. Oh yes, Levi Watkins what takes care of him at night at H: Levi the youngest one P: Johns Hopkins H: T akes care of Arthur ? P: Uh huh. H: Who my name on the list [Laughter]. P: s ] A brave man.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 8 H: iss S teele. P: H: Rock rock love. P: him by fooling with me lately, H: How long you been playing this part, trusting him. You no worse than home. [Laughter] There are probably those who would not give you the kind of service you require. P: H: P: Who? Somebod y was in Detroit was talking about um, why did I have to go away to Johns Hopkins to go to a doctor when there was so many doctors in Detroit. So you see my doctors in Detr H: Who was that? Who was that. P: Lets see, uh H: P: Yeah [laughter] it Levi. Elaine, and this is Frances Hooks over here. And then this is Ms. Mitchell and this lady is H: I know this lady P: T he president, who is she in the NAACP? U: Ella P: H: I know this lady P: But she is a, one of the great H: P: Yes U: Top ladies of t he NAACP too H:


Parks 1; Parks; Page 9 U: P: You know her, s he is one of the top pe ople in, on the national voter in NAACP, think of what her position is. H: I know this lady, I know this lady U: Yeah, she is big too. P: Um hmm. H: I know t dais or dais or whatever they call, God, come on help me! I know this lady. U: I do too! P: I wish we would have had the names on the back of the pictures. U: P: Uh huh. H: Yeah. P: H: Do something with the pict ures P: T hat was during the time when they, I was curling up my, my um [laughter] [inaudible: 13:15:25] when I was back home to H: Where was that picture taken. P: This was taken at the U: Hotel. We were in Baltimore P: It was that old hotel. U: P: That was right after I had had my implant. U: s when you wearing your P: Raymond, Margaret saw it. Yeah. H: D o you go through the airports with that one that usually fit in


Parks 1; Parks; Page 10 U: ine. H: cause been in jected you had had it, and the U: H: you. U: Micro waves, anything, she can go through it. H: t, you know. P: That when I ran the monitor, for the examination U: And she did it so nice because we had her H: That buddy come a long way from the lab school [ Alabama State Laboratory High School] P: [Laughter] U: very distinguished H: I used to send him copies of my books when he was at the lab school. P: Very distinguished [Everybody talking at once, hard to make out individual comments] P: He got as many awards as you do. H: Tell him to put them in the drawer. [laughter] Bricktop used to tell me, only thing a dead man holds in his hand is U: Had his space on the battlefield too. H: Got to. [Laughter] P: He always, he was very very family U: P: F inally broke the bus H: Yeah, where else you going with this


Parks 1; Parks; Page 11 P: Broke the bus a round us H: Well somebody meet me, I come to know him. Hey, what we gonna do? a rainy night in Georgia, far far from old Alabam. But um, Alabam and Mississippi is something else. P: And G U: H: the race rela tion problems in America, how did they catalog it? P: Unh uh H: U.S. Decimal system called it U.S. Race problem. Dewey says we are a problem w. [Laughter]. U: Can I open one of these Perriers? H: Yes maam U: H: T [Laughter] P: ottle got to be more than water H: Cause P: And his parents H: And you knew him before he was even famous P: E xpect his father was against him going to H: Medical school?


Parks 1; Parks; Page 12 P: Going to this medical school, because he said he was going to medical school, it said I think I guess he want to go higher U: He went to Vanderbilt. P: And he went to Vanderbilt instead. U: white folks. H: Well daddy was doing that, and that was for the state. U: It was his son. H: Yeah. Right. H. Consul the pooper general, whatever th U: because his dad him P: H: the L ab school I remember, I was school. He went to school with [inaudible: 13:19:52] children at the Lab school. P: Who go? H: With Levi, Levi Jr. P: Oh yeah. H: P: Why, did she look young? H: In that picture with you. U: I H: Yeah, I mean you look like a p reppy you look like a p re ppy in that one. U: I was dressed in a honky dress. [Laughter] P : P: Miss


Parks 1; Parks; Page 13 H: I know that name, w to you. P: H: the New York? U: Baltimore. H: Her home is Baltimore? U: H: But where is she from? P: But she was active in the NAACP and was at the dedication of the opening of that new building in Baltimore. They b ought this new building and left New York completely, headquarters of the NAACP. H: P: Could be. H: Cause I was over, I was on the board of directors of the U: She is a very active civic girl H: Was she Manhattan NAACP, Manhattan president? P: the U: We could call Levi and find out who she is. H: No, no. But I do want to know who she is cause I know her, I mean U: n e, I know that. P: Is that her last name, starts with e U: P: H: See, being an English professor you say Enola, and I start thinking about the Enola Gay which was about the plane that dropped the atomi c bomb.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 14 P: H: [inaudible: 13:22:11] Esau P: Well, I just have to remember. H: But that was at where, in his house, in P: No, that was in the Hotel Belve dere. An old hotel in Kokomo. H: That old hotel, that ol d world hotel, the old European style one that P: Uh huh, and see it has rooms in it, it was once a residence. So Eli was a, Levi H: Levi P: I was about to say Eli I guess I found my H: P: [Clark] and her Eli and she was H: P: H: The women, the women really um, aside from you that would be really styling is Clark. So amazing. we talked about why women were able to do things and black men were not able to do And we know we want to make your book a tome. Black women getting arrested. You give me all these looks, I love your looks. P: You talking to her [laughing]. H: en fa scinated by that because even in CORE when I ended up with those guys, cause SCLC and [Laughter] H: I mean, they really were, I mean they were preachers, they are, we used to think they are all Sigmas you know. Kappas and Alpha s always thought that the Civil Rights Movement was run by the preachers and we were always taking it to be Sigma, primarily Sigma. The interesting thing is


Parks 1; Parks; Page 15 P: What about the uh, that yes. H: Oh, Kirkpatrick? [Laugh s] Kirkpatrick is in Hawaii. [Laughs] Do you know that? P: H: Yeah, Kirkpatrick went P: to [inaudible: 13:24:42] H: n cockamamie parish which is where the electric chair is for black folks, did you know that? Cause there is only on they have what they call Napoleonic justice. U: Well H: Kathy, Kathy, I was going to say Kathy can tell you. She went to LSU law school. Louisiana. U: H: And she went to law school in Louisiana. An that to her. P: Um hmm H: I should have said, yes I will come do wn and she probably would have passed it. Ernest Morial and all those guys making it positive in Louisiana but the Cajuns still run that state. P: Um hmm Yeah I remember meeting him when I was in Louisiana. H: So what do you think of Miss Clark like women doing this spearheads, I mean, of the C ivil R ights M ov ement aside from the fact of their being activists but in terms of firm fundraising.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 16 P: When I think about how successful that they have been? H: Um, in terms of courage, I think of courage P: Courage H: w ho taught me at Alabama State. One thing abo ut all the black women who were outspoken in the civil rights movement, um. I think if you would ask me, if you would ask me the same question I would say that I would know more women who were civil rights activ ists than P: Than men H: Yeah, than men [long pause]. P: Well, the late thirties and even earlier days, to the early thirties, the late th that many women who were involved in it being rather young then. But when you turn to the late forties and fifties and re trying to get registered to vote we had our voters meetings. We di when I first joined the NAACP and became a secretary, there were two women who attended meetings and that was Joanie Car and me for the most part. Once j ust kept it with me cause he was always on the scene. And Mr. Nixon [laughs], kitchen. H: Oh tha know about civil rights and what I know about rights P: H: Yeah, it was me. P: H: Well I think about who taught me English, I think about who taught me writing, and I think about who taught me consciousness, in fact, it was unfair. They were women, men never said anything but play football, but play in the band. I mean, P: Oh, that was a t school.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 17 H: Yeah, I mean at school, I mean my whole life in terms of my consciousness. P: Of what the real world is like H: What the real world was like P: And what it was like to be in the South H: Yes, I could learn all of that from women. My me say very much about what my father has taught me. My father taught me about putting money in your pocket and turning it back and letting everybody bout house. My father walked in the house and he said ard work. [Laughter] You did it all by yourself did you? And I look at him one time, and I said no Pops, I said, you helped. He said, My mother would have whopped know, so, I mean I vacillate even in my consciousness at my age between how thought. I mean, one has to think about what it is because he takes the credit for something h gonna te want this on my life story. P: H: [tape ends side two ] P: Well the war ended H: War I, yeah? P: Yeah. And the Yankees, well they called all th em and that was getting some used to hearing them talking about the Yankees coming through. And at the end of the t they were free until somebody told them. And the Emancipation Proclaimation and all that. And then by the time I was old enough to realize that we actually were not free was right around the end of World W ar I, when the Klansmen were riding through comm unities and burning churches and killing people, beating up people.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 18 father would have a shotgun close by at all times, a single barrel. I think he had a double barrel gun. H: Do uble up! Double up. P: Yeah, but I think he had a double barrel gun and he kept it close by, he was talking about just in case the Klans would frequent our house, we had to not un dress to go to bed, just keep your clothes on whatever you were wearing. And Opelika somewhere, in one of the counties above, H: Opelika yeah, I was up there, yeah. P: H: Neal township P: were living but after he passed they had these H: Are most your people from north Alabama? P: No, from south of there. But she went up there cause she married her husband [inaudible: 13:34:50] They were fr om, I guess you say from the mid part of Alabama around Montgomery, Montgomery County and Raymer and [inaudible: 13:35:00]. Well my mother went to Tuscaloosa and got married. H: Cause Opelika is way up Opelika is way up near Columbus, near La F ayatte, Lanett P: H: P: No, no. My mother is from Pine Level. She was born in Pine Level. In Montgomery County H: And your grandmother? I mean P: My grandm other was too. And my grandfather was too. And my great grandfather on my um H: P: Irishman H: You Scotch


Parks 1; Parks; Page 19 P: They came through South Carolina, and was brought down the re and was in H: Have you traced your family? Back to P: We been working on H: South Carolina P: H: It could be Charleston you know. P: But he was brought over on a ship, when they used to bring them through in H: Triangle favored P: He um H: Traded them for sugar they came south P: But he was white though, he was not black. He came from Ireland or England or something H: But your mother must be, your great grandmother must of have been black in Charleston P: Yeah, but my great Pine Level. But he met her there, after they H: P: From Pine Level? I guess she was just another slave. Her family name is Level. hing about her being traded or being transferred at all. But uh, there maybe some history of it because she was an unmixed African as far as I know. H: Unmixed? P: African. Not mixed up with whiteness, but my great black. And they were married and had, and started a family before freedom was declared. And then of course my grandfather was a son of the plantation owner. And um, his mother was the house girl that never went to the field. I guess she was probably octaroon or whate ver they call them, so close to white. His father r he was any size makes, and


Parks 1; Parks; Page 20 not too long after her death was that, a man that was named John Edwards who Babel, took over and of course he disliked my grandfather so much, he just be at him all the time. And he said, I used to hear my grandfather say that, when he was small the only food that he remember getting as a small child was when some of the people working the kitchen would slip some bread or something inside the clothes, in th they tried to starve him and they t ried to do everything to him. And so he really he, the one thing he wanted never to see any of his children, uh, anybody related to him have to work as, what do they call it? In servitude, doing the house and cleaning and all like that for the whites. Of course, and I suppose that is the reason he wanted his children to be educated. But several years her senior, and she got grown and just left and went on to he worked in the field. The second sister on that book, I think that she died. And then when my mother was in her teen years, was when I guess he got enough money or whatever he could together to send her off to school or to take her. I guess he took her really. He took her down to Payne Institute in Selma and then of course she went to Montgomery. H: Okay, go to Payne now, as far as you went right where I wanted you to go. P: Yeah H: and Payne College. What is it Payne? P: They call it Payne University H: Payne University P: B U: In Augusta? H: No, no. Selma, Alabama. P: But Selma Alabama is where my mother went and the school was Payne [Daniel Payne College, affiliated with AME church].


Parks 1; Parks; Page 21 H: er, my U: Your great grandmother H: M y great grandm other had a brother named Blue Carter. Blue Carter. He was Carter is from southern Alabama. She does P: H: Methodist P: W as one of the AME schools at that time H: I think it started out Presbyterian P: It could have H: But it ended up being Methodist, but they broke away, um they broke away. grandfather was an AME Methodist. I told you how I got to be Catholic, cause my mother was a Methodist AME and decided that was the best education I could get. Do you know in Selma, my brother was at one time vice president of Selma University P: H: Yeah Selma University P: And then there was a Payne, I think in Se lma H: In Selma, right. P: Selma was a Baptist H: There are a lot of black Paynes by the way, in Atlanta and they a re from Selma. And uh, they are working east too, which is interesting. And most of them went to Xaxier too, which also takes you back to B road Street and, you know Mt. Zion? P: Zion?


Parks 1; Parks; Page 22 H: Yeah, part of Zion. Father Chicago. Saint, of f going crazy. P: Is that in uh H: The Catholic hospital in Selma, off a Broad Street. P: knew H: But anyway, the Paynes the reason you on P: Uh huh. H: P: Were you ever related to anyone name Nobles? Cause that was my great s maiden name. H: Spelled N o b l e? P: No, I think they put an s on the end of it. H: Oh, back to Jeannie Nobles? P: H: The Halls? P: some other Nobles and they H: The Hendersons, Fanny and the Hendersons? P: I knew some Hendersons one time in Maryland. did you get some of your information H: They are very white, very white and very fair. P: Hendersons that I am thinking of now. H: Okay, these are the folks, some blacks from um fair, Fanny Henderson


Parks 1; Parks; Page 23 P: They were very good looking people. H: She was a midwife. P: My great grandmother was. A midwife, but her name was Mary, Mary Jane Percival. Because that was my great belonged to some white people named Reitz in the Pine Level but they never changed his name from Percival which I guess he brought with him from the old country, Europe. And, but he was always a Percival and never took on the name of the wh ite master. While my grandfather was born in the Edwards family so he was an Edwards. [Long pause] P: And while I try think of that, after the slavery was ended in and the folks right grandfather built that little table with my grandmother who was his oldest child at the age of six, helping with pine knot and lard last for him to fix it at night so he and his family could people, him making furniture and things like that, but h that too, but without any tools at all but j ust a hammer and a gimlet and H: A what? A gimlet? P: A gimlet is little something light that you bore little holes in wood and ins tead of having nails, he was sharpening a little piece of wood done kind of small and put it in there as a peg. H: Yes! [Laughter] P: And so that is how he put the table together, as one solid plank of wood. But I still have that. H: And he selled it, did you know the Rogers? P: H: They what owned the grocery store on 1 st Grocery Store? P: in Selma was the Boyntons. Amelia Boynton. H: Yes.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 24 P: I remember her and her husband and Miss Anna May Boynton, and then there were some Youngs that I met in later years. I was at their house in 1941 when Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor a nd we were visiting in Selma that day. H: Were you in Selma, Alabama in 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor P: a man named Jim Young. Cause a Mr. Kelly H: Carpenters and architects ? P: H: Bui ld buildings, construction people P: He could have been, but he was an older man and I think he was retired. And he had two daughters. And one of them was named H: [Inaudible: 13:49:09] cause they ended up in Dem opolis. If t hey are the same ones who were to find out how entrenched your family was in terms of other black families in Alabama who were part of the liberation struggle. Cause my family seems to go all th e way back to being subversives and on my the female side of activism. And your story too. I mean, I e tone, the voice finished, with Lionel [Lionel Hampton] and that still takes me back to Alabama but Dina Washington took me to Lionel and I always thought Lionel U: Well, I H: in terms of the progress of the race. And I kno of the story, and when I think of it, what happening in Alabama and


Parks 1; Parks; Page 25 the mother of the mother of the mother and if I can make that connection because some Alabamans very important particularly when we talk, start talking about that march. P: Um hmm. H: ots there. I mean if you still on the sidelines, then it makes it come join us. At St. Jude, you know, that last Pa yne P : Yes, I went to uh Montgomery ( I was living in I had moved to Detroit, Michigan) to participate in that last lap of the march. And I see so many young in the short while I had been out of Alabama, so many young people had grown up and they they co uld they just keep putting me out of the march. So I finally got back in anyway, and got down to the thing, at the, you know, down to t he capitol and stood in front of the capitol building and those very hostile H: Is this the march of [19]60 P: [19] 65. H: P: Yeah yeah H: P: Roy Wilkins H: Martin, C oretta P: Abernathy and Juanita, we all went on one line together when the picture was published in Ebony [ Ebony May 1965] There were others too. At that particular point someone did tell me come up to the front, we were in downtown Montgomery then. H: I tell people all th e time, this is only because I know thi s for a fact, that you know that Ralph Bunche is from Montgomery? P: I knew his wife was. H: His wife was


Parks 1; Parks; Page 26 P: Uh huh. H: People think he was born in Alburquerque or P: No, and his wife was one of those very fair women whose father, grandfather or somebody was white and kept getting put in jail. They said, I think she was the one. Must have been her great grandparents or grandparents right after reconstruction and they w ere brought by the Jim Crow laws and were arresting people for staying together and all. And so somebody used to, a woman used to visit us said everytime this particular man would get put in jail for having a black, oo H: She was lighter than you P: was going keep him away from his wife and children. [Laughs ] So I think they just Bunche and [inaudible: 13:55:08] they must have met H: His family moved back to Alabama but his family is from there. P: know where she was even born down there or not H: No P: But the family was H: The family was. U: Back you know, when you were asking Mrs. Parks to trace her lineage, what I had hea rd is, is that her gr the beatings as a youngster added to P: U: Yeah, your mothe P: On to his children U: our mother P: My mother U: And you see


Parks 1; Parks; Page 27 P: and my aunt Fanny U: Right, and see all of that, but you know, it came from him you know, and that built that courage, you know that the entire family possessed H: Well, Ms. Parks gonna have to tell me about courage. [Laughter] P: But my mother H: My god, you two are something in this morning, okay P: And she was really independent U: You were saying it came from women and it did come directly from women, but you know, that H e was the one that stirred that feeling. And no sir, P & H: Uh huh. U: h and so on. P: Uh huh. Well my grandmother had I guess you say she was, had her courage in a different way. Because after she was, after you know, she knew she was freed and so on, she lived in a house with a very right family. You know, the ones ecause they had a small child that they wanted her to take care of and she lived in the house with them. From the time she was about, I guess six or seven or so, large enough to take care of a small child, and that was with a woman. The woman was, name of Zula. So she, why she worked around the uch work she did in the kitchen. She may not have too much time to work in the field. See my punishment, he is being mistreated very badly. But when they got together and married, she was, I guess, U: Calm P: Calm one. And he was, they say he was very emotional and he was very, being very white he took every bit of advantage of it as he could, to embarrass as many white folks as he could when they thought he was white. [Laughs] And he was always doing or saying something that would embarrass or agitate them. And he seemed to just be that kind of person. And, so, how he survived with what, as so white and so much one of them And I guess being crippled too, because he was always, from a very


Parks 1; Parks; Page 28 call arth mes he trying to think it So um U: I am remembering your mother and how outspoken she was, and then H: Did you, did you meet her ? U: Yes P: Y was U: She was just opposite from Mrs. Parks H: P: O ther people ha ve said it! I nev er told anybody yet H: P: [Laughing] People have said that H: U: P: They have H: Yeah, I know I know that! P: You know that expression came from, it se em that there was some woman, an elderly woman when they would be testifying in the mass meetings, in the did in all of my interviews, tell anyone that my feet were hurting or that my feet were tired. That I was H: Go ahead P: Had some thing H: P: respond better about their feet.


Parks 1; Parks; Page 29 H: People just could not think of why you were a crazy nigger M rs. Parks! P: Yeah. [laughing] H: ed and your soul P: No. [Laughing] H: You just was tired. P: Well, I had had so much trouble from many bus drivers H: I got that. P: it lighter on yourselves and making it any lighter The more we gave in and comply, the worse they treated us. Well I knew, they going all the way back to the time when I sat up all night was poor, had his gun right by the fireplace and wherever he was, or if he had a little one horse wagon to go anywhere he always had his gun in the body of the wagon. Now those are two things that would never away from him as long as he was able to get th em. He took his horse and bugle and whatever he was driving to that little wagon, his shotgun was always in the body of it. He just kept it like that. [End of interview] Transcribed by: Jana S. Ronan, August 30, 2013 Audit edited by: Final edited by:


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