Interview with Edwin Pope

I grew up in the South, in Birmingham, Alabama in a Black high school and we used to say, "Well, the White kids don't want to play us because they know we're good." How did you, how- how- how did you guys, as a White child, kid, at that time, how did you feel about the talented Black stars like--?


Well, I didn't feel anyway because we never saw any Black stars. They weren't allowed to compete on the same level so we were totally ignorant of, ah, of how good Black athletes were, or Black scholars or Black anything or anybody. Because the only contact we would have would, would be social, ah, something like running a soft drink stand and one of our partners, there were two of us boys that were White, and, ah, one of the guys was Black and, ah, after he finished he'd go back where he lived and we'd go back where I lived so, there was really no perception of, it's hard to realize now but no one even, none of us, even thought about it. Now, it came up in the fight business because, ah, a lot of, ah, fine White fighters ducked a lot of great Black fighters through the years. But if you were a, living in a small town in the South in the 1940s, it would have taken a lot to make you think about it.


Let's stop down.