Many people's lives were profoundly affected, for good or ill, by those events. I know a man whose education was destroyed by integration—the schools had not been 'separate but equal' (nor are they now), and in the process of making them a little more equal than they had been, his school was dumbed down with severe impact for his education, and he still resents it. But none of this needed to have happened if the schooling had been fair from the start—of course, that's small comfort to him.
In 2017, as I travel across the South, there's significant interracial interaction between blacks and whites—indeed, more than there is in the North, and I think the reason is simple: in the South, blacks are a much higher percentage of the population than they are in the North, with the result that whites simply see more black people from various walks of life, so there's less stereotyping. Of course, my experiences have been in towns and small cities—not the decaying centers of major metropolises. It has not been a threatening experience. And speaking of that—a bullet or a blade of a hood is just as dangerous, and I would be just as dead, whether the perpetrator was black, brown, white, yellow, green, purple or any other color. And an educated professional is just as educated a professional regardless of what color he is. And a Spirit-filled Christian is a Spirit-filled Christian: like balloons of various colors, it's what's INSIDE them that makes them go up.
I saw several places in Savannah: the burial place of the Native American chief who was a friend of the English and who enabled Oglethorpe to set up the Georgia colony in 1733; the place where the town hall was, where George Whitfield preached in Savannah in 1738; the balcony where the Marquis de la Fayette addressed the crowd in 1825—the same year that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4; the house where Robert E Lee stayed when he came through in 1862; the house where William Sherman stayed when he conquered Savannah—his chaplain preached the Christmas Day message in the church next door. I do NOT recommend the trolley tours in Savannah unless you are taking the trolley nonstop. Don't spend more to get the on-and-off version of the tour—in practical terms, it's almost impossible to coordinate your completion of sightseeing at a particular location and the arrival of the next trolley there unless you waste a lot of time simply hanging around bus stops. the entire area is not that large and has plenty of restaurants and park benches. Just buy a walking tour book, take a day at it and enjoy it. Sit down and rest when you feel like it, walk into a restaurant if you're hungry. Don't waste your money on the never-present-help-in-time-of-tiredness trolley.
A great highlight of the whole Southern trip was Beaufort, SC. I saw the Pat Conroy museum promoting his writing and literacy as a whole, several antebellum mansions in Beaufort, SC, including the one where the first decision was made on Secession before the Civil War/War Between the States began. I fell in love with Beaufort as a town and the area as a whole. I had an outstanding church service Wednesday night--met great people pastoring and attending.
In upstate SC, my hotel manager was named Irina and has a nice, unpronounceable Russian last name. One of her employees is named Hilda. She's Mexican. And just think! They did NOT supply me cheese blitzes and tamales upon my arrival! (the lack of hospitality is appalling). Hilda even told me to go to the nearby Mexican restaurant! I felt so rejected!
Another hotel front desk clerk's name is Hannah. This name, like Anna, Bob, Eve and others, has the advantage that, if you get bored spelling it forward, you can, for a change, spell it backward. Like:
'There was an old bear in the zoo
Who simply had nothing to do.
When it bored him, you know,
To walk to and fro,
He switched it--and walked fro and to.'
And I told Hannah that, actually, the very first sentence ever spoken by one human being to another ALSO had reversible spelling:
'Madam, I'm Adam.'
See? You didn't know they spoke English in the Garden of Eden. You learned something new today.
I visited Cowpens National Park and King's Mountain National Park while driving across South Carolina back to the coast. I enjoyed it and learned new things, but was exhausted. In these two battles, people like my ancestors—Scot-Irish frontier farmers—were part of a force that fought off the English army. At King's Mountain, the leader of a Tory force was killed and his force surrounded and destroyed. At Cowpens, a notorious British take-no-prisoners cavalry general was soundly defeated. After this, Cornwallis' army drifted north until Yorktown.
In coastal SC, I had wo outstanding services in cities where I was last over 20 years ago, with endearing new memories:
1. pastor's grandkid—five years (?) old, was entranced by Easter bunny decorations in the restaurant, so I asked him two riddles I made up:
Q: What is the Easter bunny's favorite game?
Q: What is the Easter bunny's favorite music?
A. Hip hop.
I had met this kid's mom more than twenty years ago when she was a bossy older sister sarcastically going after her younger brother. She is an outstanding wife and mom now. He's an outstanding husband and dad—in Illinois (apparently put a good deal of distance between him and his older sister!).
And after the evening service, a discussion with the pastor and his wife and daughter: the latter likes Christian rap. An older minister eating with us likes country, so I tried to combine bluegrass and rap: in a twang, I rapped 'Great Speckled Bird'. I asked the pastor's daughter how it turned out. She shook her head. Like the circus owner said when the fire-eater's audition resulted in him blowing himself up, 'Needs work.'