Interview with Rosie King, September 24, 2010

Material Information

Interview with Rosie King, September 24, 2010
King, Rosie ( Interviewee )
Ellice, Candice ( Interviewer )
Foster, Diamia ( Interviewer )
Brandon, Michael ( Interviewer )
Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP)
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Oral history interview


Subjects / Keywords:
African Americans ( fast )
Mississippi Delta Freedom Project ( local )
Textile workers ( fast )
Civil rights movements ( fast )
School integration ( fast )
Oral histories ( lcgft )
Temporal Coverage:
1950 - 2010
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua


King talks about her experiences during integration of schools, and her family's background as sharecroppers, factory and transportation workers. She also shares her experiences with racism in Illinois, and Mississippi. People mentioned include: B.B. King, Victor Byers, Foster King, Robert Merritt and Harold Washington. Locations include: Indianola, Inverness, Mississippi; and Cicero, Chicago, Illinois. Organizations include: National League of African American Women Voters Corrections Corporation of America, NAACP, EOC, Department of Justice and the Ku Klux Klan.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Holding Location:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license:
Resource Identifier:


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The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Samuel Proctor Oral History Program College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program Director : Dr. Paul Ortiz 241 Pugh Hall Technology Coordinator : Deborah Hendrix PO Box 115215 Gainesville, FL 32611 352 392 7168 352 846 1983 Fax The Samuel Proctor O ral History Program (SPOHP) was founded by Dr. Samuel Proctor at the University of Florida in 1967. Its original projects were collections centered around Florida history with the purpose of preserving eyewitness accounts of economic, social, political, re ligious and intellectual life in Florida and the South. In the 45 years since its inception, SPOHP has collected over 5,000 interviews in its archives. Transcribed interviews are available through SPOHP for use by research scholars, students, journalists and other interested groups. Material is frequently used for theses, dissertations, articles, books, documentaries, museum displays, and a variety of other public uses. As standard oral history practice dictates, SPOHP recommends that researchers refer t o both the transcript and audio of an interview when conducting their work. A selection of interviews are available online here through the UF Digital Collections and the UF Smathers Library system. Oral history interview t ranscripts available on the UF D igital Collections may be in draft or final format. SPOHP transcribers create interview transcripts by listen ing to the ori ginal oral history interview recording and typing a verbatim d ocument of it. The transcript is written with careful attention to refl ect original grammar and word choice of each interviewee; s ubjective or editorial changes are not made to their speech. The draft trans cript can also later undergo a later final edit to ensure accuracy in spelling and format I nterviewees can also provide their own spelli ng corrections SPOHP transcribers refer to the Merriam program specific transcribing style guide, accessible For more information about SPOHP, visit http://oral.histor or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. October 2013


MFP 063 Interviewee: Rosie King Interviewer: Candice Ellice, Diamia Foster, and Michael Brandon Date of Interview: Septem ber 24, 2010 E : This is Candice Ellis F: And this is Diamia Foster B: K: Rosie King. E: Today on September 24, 2010, in Indianola, Mississippi. Can we begin with your early life, where and when you w ere born, what your parents did? K: I was born here in Indianola, Mississippi, and my parents were sharecroppers when I was born. They lived in the farms in and around Sunflower County, although they are not from here. T hey migrated from Alabama. There were farmers and overseers who may go to oth er states or other plantations far away if there were othe r workers who wanted to migrate, s o they were basically, you know got here. And he actually, my recollection is that he lived i n and around this whole rural area and eventually moved into the city. But he was basically farming until he moved into the city limits. And one of those farms which is out in between Indianola and Inverness is the farm where he worked actually with B.B. basically their history, as far as I know, the rural life. And there was actually farming that went on after my father began to work in the textile industry. My mother eventually bega the history that seems to get lost when they talk about cotton picking and


MFP 063; King, Page 2 farming; people tend to see really old versions of it, or be slaves, but there was more of a modern time when they actually got paid and got raises, had actual had. I was actually a boss by the time I was nine. E: Wow. K: Yeah, I actually was out in the field. I chopped cotton, I picked cotton, I filed hoes, I carried water, I drove the vehicles. Not the tractors. My mother owned the bus and the truck and a station wagon. So I had my first experience driving, I actually drove the bus down the road when I was about nine. E: Nine, wow. K: She was next thing you know I was creeping down the road in the bus. And I moved it. So, from then on, they were like, keys are in there, go. So after that point I stole everything under the sun that they drove, including my dad he eventually began to work for the city and the county and driving heavy equipment. I stole everything he brought home including a dump tr uck and a tractor. E: Did you get in trouble? K: No, he got on the tractor and took off. I just whatever had to be driven I would just want to know how to drive it. If he brought it h ome, and someone comes okay.


MFP 063; King, Page 3 E: K: B: What kind of work did your dad do for the city? K: Well, as I said, he started out farm ing and sharecropping. My parents were very was not a very positive experience. We were subjected to white farmers. They would overcharge or p ut money on the books at the store i f you needed supplies or seeds or grain or whatever. They would put down what they wanted, and my father was not literate, and my mother was somewhat literate. How could you go against all these people and say ? But my father w all season long and end up with nothing. So he would leave. And so eventually he stopped farming and he found a job at a company here, and we moved into town and we just never went back to that kind of thing. I was so small but I only remember seeing him on the tractor farming I think that was the last time that he sharecropped, and my sister was telling me about it. She was old enough to remember how she said it was so pretty how he had grown the cotton And he basically got nothing And he was more fortunate tha n some. Mr. Cade was telling me that his father had two farms taken away from him. The white farmer just came up to him and they could do that. They could take my fath er, we just would leave, and we ended up in the city, and by the time I was five he was working in the factories in town. But by the time, as I said I turned nine or ten, my mother began to haul seasonal farmworkers, and that went on for probably


MFP 063; King, Page 4 four year s. And she would have to fight with them to make sure that workers got proper wages and things like that. But they typically had become more modernized than being able to just give you what they want. They began to take social security number s because my taken out, their payments into the system were squandered They would work and not get unemployment or health or social security taken out for farming all day. B: What year was this? K: That was okay, I think my da d was sharecropping about [19]54 and backwards to that. B: Okay. K: And then, as I said, they were doing the, just transporting mostly with the kids helping them, and they were taking out benefits and, like welfare and social security, because I did payrol l too. So then they my mother got into private transportation with my dad. They bought a school bus because the schools to do. Because I had eggs thrown at me on our way to school. So she bought a bus, and for a small fee to keep things going, the kids could ride the bus t ride the county bus. So we worked the bus , she got bus experience, there was another part of that I lived on one side of the street


MFP 063; King, Page 5 which was in the county, but the street was split in half so our street was in the city. But that was strategy, because they built a large public well they called it public housing. They were houses and the majority of the African Americ ans moved back there, and those who came from the tornado or other towns that towns moved he re, and that was a catchment area, and it ended up being the biggest voting bloc Because want it. But in order to keep them out, they just did not incorporate. So there was a big battle over annexation. Because they left them out there for the longest, ed at large, all of the persons, you could put the persons where you wanted them to be. So representation. B: And this gerrymandering, is it tied predominantly towards the school integration issue, or was it just about politics? K: It was about just control, period. Yeah. Because then the areas I went to school, we were basically always being told that for some reason we were although we had were supposed to go to the public schools were being stolen and sent to the academy. So we were getting outdated books t hat should have be en ours, but when they were don e and used at the academy they circulated back to us, so the newer editions, we were getting old information. And so with our, well with us it


MFP 063; King, Page 6 was books, microscopes, and in the later years they were taking computers and ask me specifically B: I would love to know a little bit about your experie nces in school growing up. K: Well I integrated With me s ee, my first experience with integration was in Phoenix, Arizona, so I was already accustomed to other races more so than so me of the other kids. My family was. So when I began to be exposed to other students in when someone t hrew eggs at me for trying to go to school, I mean, I knew about it, b ut being empathetic is not everybody, and when I tel younger people from, you know, that. And I was so far removed from my parents was by someone throwing eggs, but it was nothi ng like the experience my dad had to fight with the white man in Alabama because he wanted to whip him just So , on another scale and in a differ ent time, I was going through something I was experiencing hate in another way that was connected to school.


MFP 063; King, Page 7 B: Were there any other experiences besides the eggs? K: Well, they took care of that because they put us on a bus, and then being other problems because everybody got vouche rs or whatever and went to the a cademy. So there were just a few who just actually could not go there and you could count them on one hand. So that kind of took care of it. B: Were you friends? Did you get along? Or K: We got along. T hey were subjected to what anybody else would. They would get bullied or befriended like the rest of us. B: K: They pretty much separated themselves. You could tell a divide, but they just got along. There was never I mean, guys. It was mostly guys who would probably they picked up the midget who was white and locked him in a locker. racist or just guys. E: Bullies. K: Yeah. So it took care of itself because the balance of power of a large group of us and not I I can onl y speak from hearsay about the a cademy is that there was a strong, overpowering fuel of racism toward a black girl that was there. Her mother had her the re, and I heard from her aunt that she did seem to experience some sort of emotional problem. And there was always that kind of thing that if somebody black was there they could sense it. But


MFP 063; King, Page 8 again, with the believe in affirmative action what goes on at the a cademy. They need a black person or something to get cert ain funds. Yeah, they need it. They get certain black people out there, and some of them stay. Like one guy, he stayed because his mother worked in the cafeteria, so there was probably some pr otection there. But I hear it can be very intense with the hatre d So yeah, because I had Dr. Wou was wondering why Victor Byers said if they sent them there know I know her and I like her, but at the same time, the experience goes: you feel very entitled asking me to support affirmative action, just not for me. So ce when you live in, like, an environment where the hatred is known and end to accept it and be quiet, and then the entitlement is that I can say or ask for kind of experience that we have a lot around here. B ut we do get along, and we do speak up for our rights. Bu t on a day to day basis, the overpowering sense of entitlement is still here, and it s kind of suffocating sometimes. But we do get along y B: So you mentioned your mom and the bus did your community generally mobilize in ways to rectify the inequalities in the educational materials and things like that?


MFP 063; King, Page 9 K: problems until I was late in high school. I saw thing, and being a child, I personally was not around an educator or anyone who worked in the school ng about that? And s o it came to me later on what was going on. I mean, even after I had moved away and came back, I heard that they were taking water from the public water system here, and they constantly take things, but because they E: How long did your mother run that bus service for? K: She ran it until things stabilized. That is, until the other side o f town got accustomed to us it was called the white side to us coming And what few parents who were kind of intimidated by sending their kids over there. And until the kids got accustomed to walking the distance. And it was probably three or four years maybe, somewhere in there lik e, to get everybody acclimated and accustomed to each other where they E: Right W as there any negative white response to that bus? K: No, no. Because neighborhoods. E: Right, so that K: [Laugh ter into the house. So, I mean, we pretty much understood, because even though


MFP 063; King, Page 10 something is not acceptable, there are still some things you do understand. I un derstood that they were going to be some people were going to be overtly expect it to happen to me b E: Right, and that personalizes the experience. K: had not seen kids do that. F: It appeared that your parents went through certain measures to make sure you guys were protected, but how did they deal with it themselves, seeing this happen? K: Oh, well they really dealt with it as any other problem that came up. It was something to be taken care of. They found the solution to it. Now if we had been hurt or injured, my parents were the type that would have been like, you need to find out who did it. But they typically, if anything went on like t hat, they would find a solution w hich was : day. And whoever else wants to ride the bus, you know E: And wha t grade were you in when your mother was riding it? K: Eighth and ninth. E: Eighth and ninth grade. So you rode her bus through eighth and ninth grade. K: Worked and rode it E: Yeah, K: Well I had to punch the tickets and check in the afternoon that who was on the bus was supposed to be on the bus.


MFP 063; King, Page 11 F: Did you feel like these responsibilities were something that you felt like you needed to take on seeing that your parents took on a lot themselves, or ju st . K: just do what they asked. It was more like, it was actually fun to me, kids coming doing? Or, g a problem with it. Actually, there was the intensity of it, but not the way it would them as I I got, i n a way, too much because I was very small about five and they came to town to the Freedom School that was on Jefferson Street, and my sister and I snuck off songs, talking about freedom. We were tin y S he was four years older than me. And this was a very small town then, even more so. And we snuck off and walked over there. We peeped in the window and then we said, we better get back. And before we could get home they had bombed it. Blew it up. E: Ho w old was your brother? K: He was probably eighteen. He was older. E: So he was older, right. F: Was he one to take action into his own hands and deal with things how he wanted to? K: [ L aughter] He would have bee n more of a Freedom Rider type, but not the aggressive one to just go. He would


MFP 063; King, Page 12 probably be waiting to see: l being worked out. B: So is your brother involved in any organizations? K: B: Was he involved in any organizations at the time? K: wanted in. I was about five. I know he went over there, and he was always going to these to find out what was going on. My br other and things like that. I moved away after high school, but I know he got involved in politics. I do some things went defunct so A nd I have a wome National League of African American Women Voters , t his is my second time any riots just to be doing it. But I am about to boycott CCA. B: Can you tell us a bit about that? K: They are Corrections Corporation of America, you heard of them? The governor of Arizona was just linked to them. She wanted to round up the illegal alie ns on sight, without papers. And then it found out a couple of the people in her close inner circle are lobbyists or are connected to CCA. The issue then becomes that the aliens, once picked up, become federal prisoners. CCA has a federal contract, w hich m so we can have all these people picked up b


MFP 063; King, Page 13 closely tied to a prison who can ho use and make money which the CCA is private. And so we have CCA in Mississippi. They are firing people black people, only black people a grievance procedure ect rights. One young man woke another Hispanic guard up h e hears the white supervisors in management using racial slurs, being derogatory towards African Americans. ls the guy a black monkey bitch a n and they said, well , they went and looked at some old thing that he had and they got rid of him for that. And the employees are telling me that t his happens a lot t hat if they get angry with you, you can have some little write up ; this is it. But the time span takes care of whether you can utilize that initial complaint, but they use it anyway. They an the way they should. There was a contract with Tallahatchie County where they was supposed to hire eighty percent of the The guards, which are predominantly black, are down on the units maybe three som etimes three women with three hundred violent prisoners S o Southern Hispanic prisoners violent ones from California T no gun, faulty equipment and no control tower if something does break out. [Tel ephone rings] K:


MFP 063; King, Page 14 B: Great ringtone though. K: and they continue to have meetings but nothing ever there are no cost of living ve filed complaints with EOC S ome of them already have another complaint with the Department of Justice division within the Department of Justice and I am lo oking for them to determine if this falls under their guys. I also sent in complaints to the Department of Wage but nothing is really happening. They hired an assistan t black warden, but what is that meet c ompany A nd then did it in a menacing manner, which is basically saying, if look for us on YouTube E: Good luck! F: How can one get involve d with this organization? Is it rich e r as a community to get them involved? K: NAACP!


MFP 063; King, Page 15 F: K : anybody can do it man, Mr. Robert Merritt who had been principal forever. No one was more qualified than him H e was a doctor and they refused to have a black superintendent. We were like, who are you hiring? Now, how are you hiring him, exactly? And they were like, we were just have him for like no know one, there was a big uprising about the lack of unionization at that catfish the field workers went, really I s called like a modern day field, because that little low paid job came with a few benefits, but B: We were there this morning. E: So we did that. K: Yeah. You can come from another town and join if you want, but typically it begins with those who are concerned, who are directly related to that matter. But live there and those people who work there and that falls under concerned citizens. The NAACP just goes to support and help direct if they need some guidance.


MFP 063; King, Page 16 B: So I know you were young when the movement began, but you said your brother was involved. Do you feel like those experiences have shaped what you do today? K: Yeah, it did t o hear that somebody came all the way down here to try to help me. And I felt like I needed to help myself. E: What did you do after high schoo l? K: I went to college. I started at Mississippi Valley and that just . no. And then I went to Illinois and I finished undergrad at the University of Illinois at the Chicago campus. E: Oh, okay! K: And then I just . E: What did you get your degre es in? K: Psychology. E: K: Well, I am in mental health Memphis in humanistics track. So it was throu gh University of Memphis with Columbia University, so I wrote my own program, which is management and psychology. And then now E: Oh, great. K: B: How was it moving from Indianola to Illinois?


MFP 063; King, Page 17 K: Well, my brother was there and he told me that, again, there I go! He says, you was again. I was just gone! Everybody else on the bus getting jobs and I was like, what? I neve r had any fear. B: As far as race relations goes did you feel any differences? K: Oh Yeah t hat. There were both sides there. One of my b est friends is a racist. She is i Illinois is that they hang . the n word, niggers, you know. And I met her and we she took me home, I was crazy enough Ro! And her her mother was nice G od. So once we started hanging around se they treated me really nice and she told me one night we had come back really late and I was dropping her off and she said, I would let you stay all night, but th they would blow us all to pieces E: Oh my gosh. B: And th is is in which part of Illinois ? K: Cicero, Illinois. Just in the suburb, just outside of the city limits of E: Chicago. K: E: What kind of neighborhood was it? K: It was a bedroom community W hite, predominately. You had so few Hispanics had moved in and there was a lot of immigrants. Polish, or, like that.


MFP 063; King, Page 18 E: Was it K: So basically white. E: Middle class, for the most ? K: Yea h. E: Yeah, because I know some of those suburbs are super wealthy, but K: No, this is Oak Park would have been more wealthy. E: Okay. K: But it was west of there and it was like your working class blue collar wealthy people, but for the most part b ut were mostly just your Americans. E: And what year was that? K: This was [19]82. E: [19]82, wow. K: Yeah! With Janet and I it was like a kindred spirit cause here I am : I lived in several parts, but where she was taking me I was with my uncle, which was in happened to her if she had stayed all night with me. B ut, her parents were extremely nice I was never taken out in the beater car, they always gave her the new car to take me out. Her, her sisters and I, we got the credit card, they took me out to the th eat e r E: Did you ever h ave any negative interactions with the white community there? Or was it just that tension?


MFP 063; King, Page 19 K: Yes, I had this one kind of debate with a coworker. He was taking liberties again that he could tell me about b lack people. And see Janet anything ab out b b lack people always tearing up things and why their houses he was like, we Mike, so . why is your opinion colored that all b lack people have raggedy houses? Have you seen a black person with a nice house? Yeah, but I said, you know what, you are racist. You ched and it colors everything you do. He start ed out with talking about music ; a Simply Red automatically start saying these things without even thinking. And he was going on about b re working in here in medical records with me. I just had to tell him, a rich white man w you to marry his daughter. He would probably rather see a rich bl ack man marry her than you. It was this kinda thing that it was a different kinda thing have it at that time have money. And he was like, yeah like, you en know what money means I f you did, you every day and stand next to me at work. He quit, a nd he came back begging for his job. E: Oh my gosh.


MFP 063; King, Page 20 K: I saw him like, see this ; n him! Our supervisor was bl ack. Our manager was black. Well dressed, nice g that b what planet did you just fall off? He smiled at me when he came back, and I knew that he if Go d could save the queen, he could I had another friend, Michelle and Peter, they were white. And they moved into Bridgeport, which is racist. And I went over there and they were telling me about their neighbors I worked with Michelle but here again , b ut their neighbors were. Everything went fine with them, but when Harold Washington I d is E: Huh uh K: H E: Mm hm K: I was on my way home, that city was so tense t he racism. E: And what year was that was he elected? K: This was like [19]83, somewhere around there. E: Okay. K: I was on the bus on the way home and we stopped at the light at Bridgeport and a mob of an gry white people rushed a public bus, the CCA, and started rocking towards Englewood.


MFP 063; King, Page 21 E: Is that a black neighborhood, Englewood? K: Mm hm people on it, because it was headed toward their community a nd it stopped in Bridgeport at the light. E: And so these people knew that and they were waiting. K: Yeah, they rushed out at the buses. They were out in a mob, anyway, because Harold Washington had gotten elected or won the primary or something like that. my G something and this is happening. B: Were there any other ra or was it just . K: just having a problem with people moving in the other neighborhoods, like if black people got m ore money or something and wanted to better themselves. They were having a lot of issues about b lack people getting jobs, and they threatened to march through Englewood one day, but they thought better. But this was before the Harold Washington thing. But etty much it with me on the out and out racist stuff. E: Everything else was just kind of the tension that you could feel? K: E: Yeah. B: Is that unlike living in Mississippi?


MFP 063; King, Page 22 K: There are spurts and things you see, and stuff like that. I another friend of mine about Obama, so. [Laughter] upposed to be so cool until now eep it real. You got all brand new Why? So her. Not screamin and yelling, but I said some pretty deep things that she needed to hear. F: Did you find yourself educating a lot of white people that you encountered K: then, I try not to waste my breath on those who are not willing to have that conversation, or they h change their minds about everything but just stop coloring it from that perspective. B: So thinking of growing up here, going to Chicago, outside to Illinois, and then going to Memphis, now back in Mississippi, how would you say things are here now, as opposed to when you were growing up? K: B: Really? K: Yeah. They just change a little; do it a little bit different. But I got friends who are


MFP 063; King, Page 23 make little comments like, stuff about the car in a ditch and one my friends who but that love? Not even a happy birthday H about Obama. It is like a different way T he nuance is a little different on a daily basis, but there are still flare like, I could come in this library there was a time you There was a time a friend of mine came in here, they took all the seats out so B: Are you optimistic about the future then? K: I am b ecause people are learning. Change is difficult, and especially for those who encouraged and benefitted from racism or things like that i t takes a long And wrong there are other pressures that keep you from even trying to come to the middle. So there is things that go on and there are still attitudes that you see. e that there, still. B: K: an asso ciate of mine is gonna kill me s A Freeze. E: If you walked in would they tell you to leave or was there just the


MFP 063; King, Page 24 K: E: K: I think know may have, but I never talked to one go in there. You can go to the window. And they just started letting a few come to the window, and eventually, after a while very I kept go from one place to the other t welco me. F: And when you say recently you mean, how long? K: Like two years, maybe? Like a year and a half? B: Wow. K: And there are people who go in there, but they are so . like just going on in there. But see, I know it because I grew up here and I know what it is that they stand for. And I was like, though b ong ago. And this is like thinking is right here, just this close to you. F: c ivil r ights era, do you feel like you notice more of the segregation, you notice more of the racism than the youth now?


MFP 063; King, Page 25 K: hear and notice things a little more because you have that basis for it. And again, s that natural thing where some people have a natural ability for some stuff, And sometimes they pick up on things and they are not able to articulate or understand it. Yeah, I think because of the histories that were told to me and some of the things that I experienced that validated it, I am able to know and see in a way that easily . I ca ally pleasant. I challenge them Y ou probably need to really think about this because, like with my other associate, the discriminatio n thing I had to remind her that this is discrimination. This is not a black thing. We are women. And we were considered property when they brought us here. I said, do you not understand I can remember in the [19]60s if you were raped it was pretty much your fault. For a long time. And even now, do you have any recollection of people saying, if you have no right to say no, well did you kiss him? E: L ike, were you asking for it K: Well you must have wanted him N o anything else. So about.


MFP 063; King, Page 26 E: discriminating against herself. K: they are going to find something else to discriminate against, and guess what i probably gonna be you next because you were among that bunch. So yeah, I are associated with racism. And I do have an ability to do a little better than so me. My whole premise is based on not necessarily a black issue when you practice hate b Catholic s o ? So a difference when a person can be Catholic and walk into a room and no one knows it, but you can be black and walk in a room and someone knows it, because most of us cannot hide. So we are a victim of [Telephone r ings] I thought I turned I turned it off! [Laughter] B: K: I turned it off! I did. But this thing, when you turn it off, if you touch it at all it comes back on. But no, I use that as a teaching tool for the people I associate with. And even white people, because I tell them, you know, what is this thing with Bosnia and Serbia ? I know that they look at where these people come from and what they may have more of some Arab ancestry than some others, but hite and try to de escalate the intense racial feelings because I feel like if I can broaden


MFP 063; King, Page 27 their view, maybe I can get them to lighten up on me being black, if they look at hatred overall. B: And actually get to the core issues. K: Yeah, that you just are practicing hatred a nd that people can find a reason to hate somebody for anything. I often tell people if everyone was blind, you would probably discriminate against me for the sound of my vo ice or maybe walk up to practice hate see me. How can you go to school and study history and then know wher e they [Laughter] Yeah, cognitive dissonance is my platform You living over here and over here at the same no, the racism is here. I still see it in hiring practices. I still see it in housing. Here in the [19]90s was she the assistant district attorney or was she the district attorney? Black girl Lockhart. She ha d to sue because she wanted to buy a house in a white neighborhood and B: Was there a specific restrictive covenant involved with that? K: B: That was it? K: That was it, because she won the lawsuit. If there was someth ing that actually was in place all the time in that neighborhood, she would n ot hav e won. She won hands down e asily.


MFP 063; King, Page 28 B: Did she still live there ? K: No, she went on. Got her money and left. E: Did they use anything to justify it ostensibly? K: ow the particulars of the case. They just redlined it. Just came up with of what I got. The house was sold e right back! E: Actually. . K: Yeah. E: We heard a couple years ago that issue with the tank Have you heard about that? About the gentleman was accused of stealing on very flimsy evidence and somebody got in a tank B: Was it in Tallahatchie County ? E: Yeah, it was around here. And it was hardly publicized and it was this completely ridiculous event. Two tanks and AK 47s B: And a sheriff was deputizing pretty much any white man in sight to go after the son of a black lawyer. E: Who had supposedly it w as some petty shoplifting accusation. K: Well shoplifting. E: Was it the two women? The sisters, maybe? K: m trying to put it together. E: There are so many examples that we coul d .


MFP 063; King, Page 29 K: Well the Rosedale Hamilton. I was supposed to go to court with him a couple of times but I had stuff to do here with the NAACP. They went into a black neighborhood in Rosedale and then trap B lack people just was a game fish. Okay, soliciting to buy game fish. You come over here and you sell me game fish then you kick my d oor in because I have game fish to jail and charged them thousand dollar bail for perch. B: Had there been any game fish busts in white areas? K: people who came to the meeting up in Tunica, were all big game A frican American people. B: There was a pretext to K: E: C an you elaborate on a little bit, with the fish, are they illegal to have? K: and I think you can only conditions are, because you can see them in a store so metimes freely just obviously fish for them. E: Remove them from the environment.


MFP 063; King, Page 30 K: market selling. But in our community, that has been that way for ever. We buy had sold me some perch I probably would have . But why would it be so inte nse that you ? public campa W hy did you go and entrap ? T his is not a drug ring. This is a bunch of poor probably little education among a bunch of black people. they could have said, on a public announcement, warning. B lack people buy a lot of perch W hite people probably do, too, but I know here they love perch. They were eating it so much, I thought everybody could have it. And we all thought everybody could have it. Because they decided it was game, but for us it w as cultural, it was what we did. So they went to court again and pled not I heard that the DA called later to the NAACP and they she called someone that and that they may be looking at working somet hing out. E: Yeah T afterwards b ut obviously racial society and there are still all these immense problems. And you seem very involved in stuff like the NAA CP and things like that. What advice to you have to give to young people, here in the community and elsewhere, to . ?


MFP 063; King, Page 31 K: e the time to study about multi culturalism, beca use we need to understand our white brothers and sisters, too, that they are being taught this, and how they form them. Because they learn values the same way we do a nd s ome of them have a very adverse effect on us. And I would ask them to educate themselves to be receptive to the fact that it is still here. Not that it should color the interactions with their white friends or whatever race, because racism is not necessari ly black or white ; I feel a lot of discrimination from Hispanics, also. That would be my message, to educate yourself a nd to educate others and to speak about it when you see it decrease it is just continuing to educate yourself and to confront it. F: Do you ever think there will be reconciliation of the adults who have been in that time of such hatred? K: lipping out, and I know some of the people are old enough to have been taug s ne? No. There was a big br ouhaha with the D emocratic E xecutive C ommittee because one man came in and became a member of the D emocratic E xecutive C ommittee, and the D emocrat, what are you doing in here? That kind of thing where they come in and minantly


MFP 063; King, Page 32 benefits t hey begin to cross party lines quite a bit around here. And h e was confronted by a white man N ot another black person, but he confronted it. The other guy think that we will get rid of all of it. I think that, as I said, people will find a way to discriminate, and even when we get to the days of Sta r Wars where we have blue women [ Laughter] I think somebody is gonna reach back and say something. But I do see a time where there is less far less store and a white man gra bbed my basket and pushed it back and said, M a ma was here, but she was not. She was white and she was approaching, and he felt from the in ter act ion, this is what I perceived he felt I should have automatically fallen back because they were white. She was not in line, not even close, but at that time they expected you to always defer to them. I knew what here first, but I understood the gesture. E: Uh huh. K: But it wi ll be okay, I think. B: One way or another. K: I mean, it will because in here W ? Did I do any good? B: Excellent!


MFP 063; King, Page 33 E: Oh, certainly! Thank you so much for your time T l right. [End of interview] Transcribed by: Christian Wanamaker Spring 2014 Audit edited by: Sarah Blanc S pring 2014 F inal edited by: Diana Dombrowski, April 7, 2014

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