Interview with Vanessa Venable
QUESTION 15
INTERVIEWER:

WHY DIDN'T BLACK PEOPLE JUST MOVE OUT OF THE AREA?

Vanessa Venable:

The black people couldn't exactly move because quite a few of us had our roots established there. Most of us owned our properties, owned our homes, and so for that reason we couldn't move. Most of us did go elsewhere seeking jobs—all of the teachers for instance, had to go looking for other jobs and they went elsewhere, but it was just, it made suitcase teachers out of us. We went someplace to work during the week and Friday evenings we wanted to come home again because that's where our roots were. I was born in Prince Edward County, I owned property there and I wasn't going to give property and leave if I didn't have to. So I went so that I could work and come home on Friday evenings—stay there until Sunday evening and jump in the car and run again.

CAMERA CREW MEMBER:

ROOM TONE. MARK 10.

Vanessa Venable:

I think that back in 1950s and ‘60s the white people were very much opposed to having the schools integrated. They had no reason other than the fact that they thought that they just didn't want the children to mix. They were afraid of social repercussions. They were afraid that if these children were integrated that some little white girl would bring a little black baby home and they didn't want that to happen. They wanted to keep the race as lily white as possible, and so they thought the best thing to do was to keep them separate in schools. Even after the schools were integrated, there were many occasions of various discords because some social act, some little white boy had found favor in some little white girl, black girl or vice versa and that was one of their big reasons for wanting this thing to stay as it was. They seem to have been able to work together all right. In other words, there were jobs around town where blacks and whites worked together and there was nothing wrong with it, but it was just something against going to school together that they couldn't exactly settle on.