Feb, 26th 2014
By the middle of 1950s African Americans had fought and died in war, achieved success in business, attained fame on stage, screen and on the playing field but in the South they could not sit in the front of a bus or eat a hamburger at a lunch counter. Jessie Adams, an African American grew up in an era of great struggle for Africans to claim their identity and be seen as equals. As I asked her questions, I could see a glimpse of the past in her eye. I wanted to know as a child what and how she felt with all the discrimination around it. Mainly more I want to know, after being treated as second class citizens for so long, how does one move on from years of hatred?
I met up with Jessie in her home in Los Angeles. She had prepared coffee for our session, I put three spoons of sugar and that’s when she told me how she was the same exact way…she liked it sweet. I began my interview light-hearted with my favorite story as well of Dodgers number 42, Jackie Robinson. She ushered with such pride, and love. She went on to tell me how she went to one of the games once and left there with mixed feelings. She saw Jackie hit a home run and screamed but then the racial slurs at Robinson quiet her down.
Jessie’s father with rest of family moved from Virginia to New York. In 1940s, ten and thousands of African Americans moved to the Northern cities in the promise of a better life from the South. Her father worked in Ears Roebuck and Co. as a metal sheet worker. Jessie along with sisters Emma and Mamie would go see him at the shop on Friday afternoons. “Not Emma, but at one point Mamie lived near me one time, so Fridays was the only time we got to see each other”. Jessie does not remember life being better recalling the 1943 Detroit riots where whites went over to blacks' neighborhood and beat them up, as a result twenty four African American lost their life. The riot was over racial tension for jobs, housing and access to free public space....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document