Kathy E. McCabe
Yes, these were the words running through my mind back in 1968, while standing outside amongst the rest of the junior high school student body. I watched with curiosity as the two black students made their way ever so cautiously off the school bus. Oh, we had been forewarned of this “dreaded occasion.” So much so that on this particular day in West Columbia, SC, it seemed the entire student body had readied themselves to witness the momentous event. As these terrified two exited the bus, I swear, you could have heard a pin drop. I recall searching the faces of the student body and finding open mouthed, gaping stares. I don’t think a word was spoken. This historical moment was forever etched in my mind. I’m embarrassed to admit I grew up with a very racist father. I had been programmed to resent this change and to hate all who were a party to this change. Nevertheless, my heart cried for these two children. I could not fathom the fear of these newcomers. I just saw them as two scared kids, so much like me on many first days of school.