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  • Seema

coal mine

Words from an interviewee, an 83-year-old White woman living in the suburban South:

The first thing that crossed my mind when you said "imagine a U.S. without racism," was my dad. He was a coal miner, and he would say, "When we come out of the mines we're all Black, and don't you think you're better than anybody."

I had family members on both sides who were racist. I always shuddered at them, but wouldn't confront them. We are all different. God made us all different for a reason. He sees the soul of man. Not the color. Live with love.

I had a Tom Sawyer like childhood. I remember going to the city pools and feeling sorry for the Black kids who couldn't get in. When they desegregated things, the pool closed.

My husband was a Marine. When we were in New Orleans, one Sunday my husband went fishing, came back and we had a fish fry at our house. We had Black couple over and their five girls. Well, the neighbor called our landlord and tried to get us evicted because we had Black people over.

My dream: I have three great-grandchildren under the age of two. I dream things change for the better for them. I know my children will strive for it, but not all my in-laws. One of my grandsons and his wife hold racist attitudes.

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