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Q: I understand that there was a lot of prejudice in New Mexico in those days

A: Yes, there was. There was, in some ways they tried to segregate the movie theaters. Ralph loved telling the story of how he and his mother would go to the movies on Saturday afternoons when they could spare a little money... She wrote poems and when they'd get published, she'd use this money to take him to the movies and the first time they went, she refused to sit in the back of the theater where they always seated the African-American clients. She just sat in the middle where she wanted to sit and the usher came up and said to her that they had to move in the back and she says, "my money is the same color as everybody else's, so I'm staying here" and that was the end of that. They always sat where they wanted to sit and this was a characteristic in the family. You could see it in all of the members of the family, you always confronted, resisted prejudice when you could, in a gentle way. You're never violent but you always confronted it.


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