IN YOUR BEST WORD PICTURES WHAT YOUR FEELING ABOUT YOUR, WHAT YOU EXPERIENCED AS A KID, GIVE ME, EXPLAIN MISSISSIPPI TO ME.
I grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Vicksburg is quite well known uh, for its battlefields and the battles that were fought there during the Civil War. My mother and father divorced when I was quite young and I was reared by my grandmother and my aunt, both who were school teachers, both pillars of uh, Vicksburg society. And being pillars of Vicksburg society and teachers, meant that they did not question uh, at least publicly question, the whole desegregated system in which we lived. I lived in uh, of course, the segregated section of town. It was uh, on a hill, where everyone know everyone uh, people were very protective of each other. We were all quite poor, but we didn't realize that we were. And my grandmother had a very large garden uh, which we survived off of uh, our neighbor next door had chickens uh, someone else had uh, geese, it was a very small, well knit community of black people. But the hardships were there, hardships in terms of being able to get jobs and to make uh, enough money to survive. And being school teachers as my grandmother and my aunt uh, were, was the epitome of success in Vicksburg uh, society. My grandmother uh, was perhaps a rarity insomuch that she went to Hampton Institute uh, as a young girl, and you didn't find too many young black or negro or colored, as they were called then uh, people who went to college during, during that period of time. Uh, my aunt uh, was a product of Tougaloo College and uh, we think of Tougaloo in the sense of the major role that it played uh, du… during the civil rights movement in Mississippi. Some of the things I remember most uh, about my growing up in Mississippi, have to do with the whole desegregated system. I recall only too well how I had to walk miles past the white schools.