Interview with Virginia Durr
QUESTION 7
INTERVIEWER:

UM, NOW, I'M WON… I'M WONDERING HOW WHITE MONTGOMERY REACTED TO THE NEWS OF THAT VERY FIRST DAY OF THE BOYCOTT. DID THEY THINK IT WAS NOTHING IMPORTANT?

Virginia Durr:

Well uh, it was uh, you know a matter of great concern it was on the front pages of the paper, and uh, but the strange thing that happened was a kind of a play between uh white women and black women in that uh none of the white women wanted the older mayor of the town issued a, all the black maids had to be dismissed. Break the boycott and such. Uh, well the thing is that white women didn't want, and their reply was well tell uh the mayor to come and, you know, and do my work for me then, etc. So the white women would all, is the black women, uh, you know, they went and got ‘em in the car, which they did. Uh, they said they did it because the bus had broken down, or any excuse you could possibly think of.** And then the black women if you pick one of them up who was walking they'll tell you that they were walking because uh the lady that brought to work with her child was sick so here was this absurd sort of you know dance going on. The uh white women wanting the black maids and the mayor of the city wanting them to refuse to, to ride em back and forth. And of course a lot of them did walk but then a lot of them couldn't walk it was just too far. And it was such a curious kind of, I saw a woman that worked for my mother-in-law and uh, I, they were asking her, "Do any of your family take part in the boycott?" She said, "No, ma'am, they don't have anything to do with the boycott at all." Said, "My brother-in-law he has a ride every morning and my sister in law she comes home with somebody else and uh they just stay off the bus and don't have nothing to do with it." And so when we got, got out of the room I said to Mary, I said, "You know you have been really the most uh, biggest storyteller in the world you know everybody in your family is involved in the boycott." And she says, "Well you know when you have your hand in the lion's mouth the best thing to do is pat it on the head." Always thought it was a wonderful phrase, "when you have your hands in the lion's mouth."