In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
A White Addendum to Black in America

White Can’t remember if I have put this on the computer before, but it’s worth another go.

As a daughter of a rich family in Wyoming, I was sent to a rich girls’ boarding school in Virginia from 1939 to 1942. My next door roommate was Edsel Ford’s daughter, Dodie. You get the picture.

In the evenings, the students would sit in our windows listening to the black employees singing old Negro hymns as they finished their long hours of work. Several times a week the staff would take the students on horseback rides through the countryside.

On one such ride, with 20 or so horses in a long row, we passed a decrepit old house that had never seen paint, and an old black woman came out on her porch to watch us go by. She swung her trunk out using her arms, because her legs had been amputated at her body.

I do not know what she was thinking, but I know what I was thinking. Here were the rich white girls from the boarding school, riding their steeds English-style, parading their privilege past HER HOME and CONDITION, chatting with one another and enjoying the day.

Nor do I know what the other girls were thinking. But I DO know that almost 70 years later I remember that day with shame.

6 comments:

an average patriot said...

Little Bill
Hi my friend! Yes you have but I never tire of hearing any of your stories! I would like to hear more about Bass Rocks if you remember. Your memories are enriching me and an important but of our History. Keep them coming. Hope you are well!

Soros' Proxy said...

It's not where we come from, Little Bill, that counts very much. It's how far we have come. Your life, as reflected in your columns, counts hugely.

Yellow Dog said...

Yeah, what Soros said....

Beach Bum said...

If its any conciliation Little Bill the south has changed greatly in those following years. As much as I may whine about how crowded and over developed the south is now much, but not all, of the insipid poverty is gone. Traveling between Charleston and Georgetown, South Carolina when I was a kid it was very easy to see shacks that were not very different from slave quarters from before the Civil War. Now many of those same African-American families that can trace their roots to that area for centuries live what I would have to call decent middle class lives. But I would be remiss if I didn't add that with all the upper class subdivisions that have gone up in that area since the 80's property taxes are now driving those families out. But this time its both working class blacks and whites being pushed out.

an average patriot said...

Hi little Bill
Just looking in on you hope you are well!

LittleBill said...

So glad to hear from you, Beach, and very interested in what you had to say about the changes since then.

Love to you all.