Interview with William Simmons
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

OK WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP IN THE LATE 50S EARLY 60S OF, DESCRIBE THE CODE OF SEGREGATION SPECIFICALLY FOR SOMEONE WHO'S NEVER BEEN DOWN HERE AND WE'RE IN THE LATE 50S EARLY 60S. WHAT COULD AND COULDN'T ONE DO?

William Simmons:

The practice of segregation uh, that prevailed throughout the South, um, really operated primarily in social spheres. That had to do with social events um, and social type institutions, that was true. Uh, it extends to, or did extend and still does, to churches, to education to all facets of life that involve a social type exchange. There were actually state laws on the books regarding segregation in schools and in public transportation. These had been on the books in all of the Southern states since about the, the eighteen ninety's when the restoration of home rule occurred after reconstruction. It might be mentioned that segregation itself was an outgrowth of the reconstruction period following the Civil War. When all of the South was under black political domination and it was that historical experience with the excesses of the reconstruction legislatures maintained by uh Yankee bayonets that led to this result and it might be added that the whole legal concept of segregation was based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1896 called Plessy vs Furgeson.