Interview with Melba Pattillo Beals
QUESTION 19
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY, DESCRIBE FOR ME THAT SCENE IN THE CAFETERIA.

Melba Pattillo Beals:

She is walking with this chili, Minnie jean. There was this huge cafeteria, and this cafeteria was always the time to get us, you know, if you're going to get food splattered on you, you're going to get tripped. I mean, it was almost not worth having lunch, because the cafeteria was fair game, because it was a big place and you had to walk among these lines of people, you were always going to get heckled, called nigger, by then you didn't even hear it, you know. Who cares, just let me sit down and eat my food, you know? And she was carrying this chili and this guy went for her, tripped her, and worked on her. And she let go, I mean she couldn't go, and I know how she felt, she couldn't go any farther. That was it, better she should stop then than go farther and snap.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

TAKE ELEVEN.