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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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Sharing Stories: One Family's Story
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STORYTELLER LOCATION YEAR TOOK PLACE TELLER'S PLACE OF ORIGIN HOW YOU HEARD
my mother Talladega Alabama 1924 Alabama from my mother

My maternal grandparents were Teachers and my grandfather was a Minister of the Congregational Church. Rev. George W. Hannar and Ada Elizabeth Rush Hannar. They were sent to Talladega to establish a school and church. They had four daughters at that time, Nannie, the eldest, Mary, Sarah, and Georgia, the youngest. My Aunt Ada Was born years later. The church and the school was doing quite well. The Ruling Body of the congregational church decided to send them another teacher. They also sent more books and some donated clothing. This was a very rural community, the people were poor and mostly uneducated. The clothing and shoes were passed out to the needy.

The people had a sense of pride. They had a school. The church was starting to grow, mostly sharecroppers, there was hope. The new teacher arrived, she was very fair skinned, with light brown hair. She looked like a "white woman". Her name was Miss Terintine. My mother said that she was a real asset to the school. The outside community began herassing the people because they started wearing shoes, or because they had on pants with a shirt and tie. One man had his shirt torn almost off and was told that a "nigger wasn't fit to wear anything but a deck of overalls". With the people appearing to prosper, and the arrival of this seemingly "white" teacher, my grandparents started getting threatening notes wrapped around bricks thrown through their windows. Momma said that one evening they were having dinner and a brick was thrown right through their dinning room window. This note told my grandfather that they had better leave town by a certain day, by a certain time and by a certain road. My mother said they hardly had time to pack their belongings, only essentials, the rest would b sent by church members. My grandfather was outraged, he was told by several men in the church who had stood guard nights outside of his home that for the safety of his family and the teacher, they had to leave. My mother never told me the date, but she said early one morning, she, my two aunts, (my aunt Nannie was away at college) and Miss Terintine got in the back seat of their car, my grandmother got in the front seat, my grandfather cranked up the car, then he got in. They started down this road, after they had gone so far ahead, they could see both sides of the road lined with shouting fist shaking white folks. There was a policeman to keep the peace. As they drove along, people threw eggs, rotten tomatoes at the car, they were cursing, calling my family dirty names, and spitting. The car stopped because my grandfather had to get out, go to the front of the car add crank it up, the policeman did stand close by to keep anyone from hitting him. He was a nervous wreck, he got the car cranked up. They drove to Savannah Ga., then to Thomasville, Ga. My mother was 10, my aunt Sarah was 8, and my aunt Georgia was 4.

This information is supposed to be recorded in the Congregational Archives. In Thomasville, my grandfather was Pastor of the Evergreen Congregational Church, and he and my grandmother taught in the school.

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Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
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