“I graduated from Indiana State University in nineteen sixty… eight? Something like that. And I was the first black teacher hired out in Alsip, Illinois.”
We’re sipping sugared green tea in a kitchen in a house filled with photos of family.
Barbara had shown me the photos, shown me her uncle’s pictures from the Tuskeegee Airmen, shots of her parents handsome and smiling at military galas, showed me a collage she was working on from her grandkids all the way back to her great great great great great (five greats) grandparents, who they think were slaves-turned-sharecroppers in South Carolina.
In a future story for this site, I’ll tell about why I was there. Since the 1980s, Barbara has run a black history tour company. It’s amazing. But that will be later.
Right now, I’m transcribing the unedited and verbatim story Barbara told me over tea, memories and gospel music in a kitchen in Auburn Gresham.
Do not read it. Instead, listen along here.
It starts with the oil crisis of 1973. » Read the rest of this entry «