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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Leroy Beavers, August 8, 2002. Interview R-0170. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black children excluded from stores

Beavers recalls waiting outside stores as his mother did her shopping, sitting like a dog on the sidewalk. Shop owners' discomfort with black children is one example of what Beavers calls a "crazy" way of life.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Leroy Beavers, August 8, 2002. Interview R-0170. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

LEROY BEAVERS, JR.:
Well, my mother would take me up to Broughton when she would go pay her bills.
KIERAN TAYLOR:
Pay the light bill or something.
LEROY BEAVERS, JR.:
Yeah, that was it, telephone bill, gas bill. That's the only time. Now we would go up there, I'm trying to think at that age, I'm talking about the age of six and ten. Because after ten years old we started going up there, but we couldn't go into too many places. We had to stand outside while Mother go inside. They didn't like too many black kids in the store. So my mother had brought a child down there. Somebody, you had to curb your child, take care of your business. We had to sit down obedient like that a dog or something, an animal on the side to wait for mom to come out. We'd better not move either. Mom either, like purchase shoes from the shoe store. Mama had to already know my size, and she'd go in there, and she'd come back out and try them on outside, things like that.
KIERAN TAYLOR:
Unbelievable.
LEROY BEAVERS, JR.:
Yeah, well. That was the way of life then. Just sitting and think about it, it would run you crazy. You've got to just put that on the backburner and say that's the way it was. You have to think like this here. You know about caveman days. You know caveman started on the god damned [unclear] . We couldn't live like that now today. That's the way it was. That had to start out, like you think about when they didn't have any air conditioning. Can you imagine no air conditioning in the house? I can't. No. No.