Will you still talk to me?

Susan Duncan,
Bristol, NH.

When I was in the fourth grade, my family moved from Concord, North Carolina, to Leaksville (now Eden), North Carolina. Our street, Patrick Street, was parallel to Henry Street and the dividing line between the “white” neighborhood and the black/African-American neighborhood. Our next door neighbor, Miss Mary, had a large yard and kids would gather to play ball. Even though this was the late 1950’s, our ball team was mixed with both black and white kids. We just played ball. One day, one of the young men asked me: “Susan, when we are able to someday go to school together, will you still talk to me?” This was absolutely a defining question of my young life — even though at the time, I had no idea whatsoever of the significance of the question. I was in high school in another town when North Carolina schools were finally integrated. My senior class of 333 students had 3 black students! I have so often thought of this young man: what did he go on to become in life? did he even survive the south of the 1960’s and the Vietnam war? It haunts me that I do not remember his name. But I so remember his question to me.


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