Latrelle McAllister:
It must have been 1962 or '63, my grandmother moved to California. And, my mother and I, along with one of her friends, took the bus to California. It took us four days and five nights, a very memorable trip. We got off the bus in Jackson, Mississippi. And a lady at the lunch counter didn't want to serve us. And to really appreciate this story you'd have to get a sense of what a strong willed person my mother is. She's very strong willed and very outspoken and she would not tolerate not being served. She stood there, with the bus driver's support, until the lady at the lunch counter cooked us a hot meal. She didn't want to - she wanted to have us eat cold sandwiches. And my mother raised quite a ruckus in Jackson, Mississippi.

[laughter]

So, when we got to California my grandmother just almost had a fit. She said, "Oh no. Anything could have happened to you all." I remember my father and our neighbor's husband cautioning us, "Don't y'all get off the bus in Mississippi." They just might as well have told my mother to get off the bus and raise a ruckus because that's exactly what she did. So, that was, I guess, my first sense ever of the difference or the polarization.

- Latrelle McAllister, West Charlotte High School, Class of 1976


Interview with Latrelle McAllister by Pamela Grundy, June 25, 1998, Interview K-0173, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Full text of interview.