Interview with Kathy Stapleton

Now, you just now when we weren't rolling talked about how there were some people who saw this as a heavy duty political cause and you said something about how you resented it when they tried to tell you what to do. Can you think of any, um, exchange when someone was trying to tell you what to do back then?


Well there was, there was pressure from all sorts of people from the media. The media, as well as the civic groups, the media went up there hoping, you know, they, nobody said, "Don't do this. Don't act up," you know, "this, this isn't nice," you know. Ah, they, they, people wanted to see a story, you know. People en--encouraged it, you know. Nobody said, "Don't do this." Ah, political people said you know, let's, "You children should boycott. You children should not do this." You know, "This is not right." You know, "This is the mayor or this is the police," you know,"don't do this." And so it put pressure on everybody. No one knew the right thing to do. I mean I wanted to go to school. You know I was trying to go to school but I resented people telling me I shouldn't be in the school. I resented people telling us where we should go to school. You know, it just, ah, and I hated, and I hated picking up the paper every day and seeing it in the paper, you know. It was really kind of a disgrace. I, I'm very proud of my community but I did not like what I saw on the media. I think, ah, I think it hurt us all, you know and, and, the attention, you know was, was negative. The kids were the ones being hurt and being told what to do. I mean kids will do what they're told usually because they think these adults think we should do this so we really, you know, they say we shouldn't go to school. Let's not go to school today. Or you know we should do this, or we should fight or we should, you know, stand up for ourselves. But it was not coming from the kids within. I think they were being pulled many, we were all being pulled many, in many different directions. You know, between what was right and what was wrong.