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The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow A Century of Segregation
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Jim Crow Stories

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Edwilda Isaac
Edwilda Isaac Audio: Listen to this personal narrative

I think the biggest thing when I went to college -- there were only six African Americans there. And there were people there who had never seen African Americans, and they had heard these tales about, you know, how they had tails and how we were animal-like. And I remember this one girl from Nebraska, she would come in my room every morning and just sit.
There were people lined up on both sides of the street. My friend said,
And finally I said, "Why do you come in here every day?" And she said, "Just looking." And I said, "What are you looking for?" So then she proceeded to tell me the stories that her brother, you know, had told her about us. So I sat down and I proceeded to give her a lesson in how we really were, and that, you know, all of this was false information.

And we couldn't come home on holidays, because it was just too far and too expensive, so she invited us, me and a girlfriend of mine, to go visit her family at Thanksgiving.

So anyway, we kept asking her, "Are you sure your parents know about us and are they ready for us to come?" And she said yes. So when we got to her house, there were people lined up on both sides of the street. And I'm looking down the street. Did they have an accident? What happened? And she laughed, and she said, "They are waiting to see you." And I said, "For what?" She said, "They have never seen a black person."

Then I said okay. Then we got out of the car and we went into the house, and as many people that could followed us into the house and just stood all around the walls and they looked, and they asked questions. And I, you know, I just tried to be honest. You know, they wanted to know about hair, my hair. And my girlfriend is much browner than I am, so they wanted to know why we looked different. So I just spent a lot of time educating them to my humanness and our differences, and how we are all the same.


Listen to this Personal Narrative

While at college, Isaac spent much time dispelling lies and revealing truths about black people.

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