Larry Platt - 1949 - Age 3
In 1949 when I was 3 years old I was shot in my right eye with a pellet ("BB") gun. The eye was operated on at Grady Hospital (Atlanta, Georgia).
Larry Platt - 1953 - Age 7
In the year 1953, I was living on McDaniel Street (Atlanta, Georgia). I was 7 years old. My mother was getting ready to take me back to Grady Hospital for an X-ray of my right eye.
We got on the trolley car at the corner of McDaniel and Peter Streets. The trolley was running on electricity and the tracks criss-crossed the city at that time. My mother sat in the back; I sat in the front next to a white lady sitting by the window. We were going down Peter Street; at Spring Street on top of the bridge, the driver made a stop to pick up a white man. The man paid his fare and began looking at seats. He saw me sitting there in the front seat. He turned around and looked at the driver and told him that I was sitting in his seat. The driver stopped the trolley car. He approached me and said, "Get out of this grown man's seat. See the 'boys' and 'girls' right there [in back]"
I turned and looked at him. I saw the people he called "boys" and "girls" were grown people. I told the driver, "My mother paid $.10 for me to ride the trolley and $.10 for herself." The driver told me that I was going to jail. He went across Spring Street, made a left turn on Forsythe Street, went across Mitchell Street, Hunter Street, went under the bridge around the Rich's Christmas tree, made a right turn on Alabama Street and stopped at Broad Street.
The driver told his supervisor about me. The Black passengers went out the back door. The white lady: said, "Excuse me," and went out the front door. The driver came with the supervisor and they looked at me. The supervisor left and came back with the police.
The police dared me to come out the front door. I got up out of my seat and came off the, trolley. The driver pushed me up against the wall and put handcuffs on me. The handcuffs would not stay on. So he just put me in the back seat of the police car and took me to jail.
Three days later my mother came to get me out of jail on Decatur Street where the grown folks were kept.
Copyright © General Larry Platt. 2016
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