Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Emerging from segregation

Segregation existed in much of the South during the 1950's.

 And was still hanging around in London, Kentucky for some reason  .

At sixteen years of age, I remember going to London to get myself a hair cut.

I wanted one like the rest of the teenage  boys  were wearing....  and  I didn't trust dads  skills...for the task .

Crew cuts... flat tops...or the more rebellious favored "greaser" comb-backs... were famous at the time .

 Teenage girls were wearing ponytails .

A hip hop generation we were, I must say.

I decided on the Flat Top for my new cut.

While I was getting my hair cut, I noticed a tall lanky Afro-American man...  nick named... "Rail"  working at his shoe shine stand, near the front of the shop.

"Rail" was shinning shoes for 25 cents, and from what I could see ,  was  doing a really good  job .

 When I  finished with my hair cut... I just had to see if he.... could do anything for my shoes .

 To my surprise, "Rail" was able to make them look really good, much better than I expected.

 I left the barber shop that day, with shoes shinning well enough to see yourself in...a flat-top hair cut second to none... and a sense of pride... that was hard to measure.

"Rail's" family, A plumber and his family, were about the only Afro-American's living in London at the time, as far as I knew .

Our Town was predominantly white ,and had been that way for a while.

 On the way home, I noticed a sign in  a restaurant  window, which read, "We serve Whites only".

I had never seen a sign like that before,  It was hard to believe our city was,  practicing segregation .

I pondered the thought in my mind for awhile ... coming to the conclusion...  it really was going to take London some time and a lot of love... to overcome this matter.

 Today some 60 years later... I'm convinced ...Time and Love have prevailed, and that our beloved little town of London, KY has emerged from its passed forms of segregation.

And is now a place, where all are welcome, and signs like that one in the restaurant  window, are long gone.

Flat-top haircuts like the one I received are seldom seen, shoe shiners  like "Rail" rarely found ."My, My, how time changes things".

Until Next Time. God Bless.

My Meditations by,  Coleman

No comments:

Post a Comment