Some Thoughts on African American Women and
Jewish American Women in the Civil Rights Struggle.
Responses to Interview Questions Previously Submitted.
In June of 1960, I graduated from Western High School in Baltimore, MD. At that time Western was considered the top all-girls' school in the city. Mine was the third integrated graduating class since the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Topeka Kansas Bd. of Education. Baltimore was a very segregated city at that time, and Western High was a deeply prejudiced institution. After three years of openly hostile teachers who did not mind making pointed racial slurs as part of their lessons, we black girls were more than a little tired. Remarkable, all of the attacks came from the administration and faculty; almost none from the white students. They wanted to know how we "permed" our hair and what our boyfriends were like.
Graduation meant no job for me, unless I wanted to babysit for a white family. (I didn't.) So my mother drove me to one of the local churches and had me sign up with the Civic Interest Group. This group (later an affiliate of SNCC) had been canvassing the black churches for young people who were willing to spend the summer doing "sit-ins" and voter registration for the NAACP. Mom was going to South Carolina with my brothers and she knew that I didn't want to go. Working with CIG, as the group was called, she reasoned would give me something to do and keep me out of trouble. Little did she know how much "trouble" we would ultimately cause.
(Anyone wanting my experiences during the Maryland Campaign of 1960-65 can contact me at my e-mail address.