“Interview with Jean Martin”

April 21, 2010

This country we all know as America, has not always been so independent for everyone. The Civil Rights Act brought America together. For a very long time black and white was more than just a color. People of a different race did not always get along. Then this country made a major change. Everyone began to be treated equally.

My great grandmother Jean Martin seen the Civil Rights times first hand, and living in South Carolina it was one of the toughest parts of the country during this time. She was born and raised in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, and she still lives there today. She was a mother to three children who were all in school at this time.

First, I started of by asking ” Do you remember when the schools integrated?” She said “Yes. When the school integrated in Calhoun Falls things went a whole lot better than most would have believed.” This seemed unusual to me from the stories we hear about others schools that integrated.

My great grandmother was very quick to answer the question, “Were you ever afraid of racial violence?” She said” All through my life I had been very afraid of the Ku Klux Klan, for the reason of my friend in elementary school’s dad had been killed by them because he was friends with a black man.” Even then some white people had to fear them because of them not being racist. My great grandmother went on to say that she had never know her parents to be racist they were nice to anyone no matter the color of their skin. She also told me that the Ku Klux Klan ws a major part in this area of the state, that many men were in the “Klan”, and they were never scared to come out and say it. The Klan started to fade when everyone began to have egual rights.

My great grandmother said that everyone around here followed what Civil Rights activist were doing such as Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King. Everyone knew especially in this part of the country they would bring major change. In Calhoun Falls, every Martin Luther King day there is still a march through town to celebrate what he had done for the country.

Times like these would have been very hard for me, because I am friends with the person they have on the inside, not the color on the outside. In the time I have grown up in I could never imagine them being any different. That just goes to show how things change.

Chase Charping


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