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Martinsville High School Alumni
Class of 1971 Message List
Race Relations at Mavahi in '70, '71 & '72 - 1
09/26/06     Anne (Dunn) Causey  (1972)      Adcinsc@aol.com
Hi Guys -

As you can see by the title, I need some input. I am on a message board that deals with Race Relations, Improving Race Relations and Avoiding Stereotypes - Share Positive Solutions for Resolution. Needless to say, there are many on there from all walks of life, all ages, all races, and a lot of racial slurs, bigotry, etc. which pretty much defeats the whole point of the board. DUH! After posting on there for almost 4 years, I've been pretty much told that "my view" of my growing up years, more specifically, integration and how our classes and educators handled it, is either a downright lie, or I lived in a bubble.

WITH THAT SAID, I'll offer my memories, and would ask that others, from all races, offer theirs. If I lived in a bubble, or am definitely a "true blonde", then please, I need your input.

What I remember most about the Fall of '68, was things changed for all of us and a lot of compromise. The old MHS kept the football/basketball team name, and the new Mavahi changed the school colors to Albert Harris'. At the Cleveland MHS, we could have a JV Football & Basketball team, but were told there would be no cheerleaders. I remember Paula Seagraves, Ann Shank, Kay Helms and quite a few others talking with Mr. Cumberledge and wanting to know why. We were told that a lot of changing was going on, and they didn't want to upset the apple cart anymore than necessary (a nicer way of saying that if too many white girls got on the squad, the black girls would get made, and vice versa). Although these weren't the exact words, but the educators were told "Give us a chance, and we'll prove you wrong." They did, and we did! I remember we were allowed a Homecoming Court, but NO Homecoming Queen - same reasons. If I'm not mistaken, it wasn't until the Class of '72 that we finally had our first Homecoming Queens. It seems we were always so busy fighting the "system" (i.e. educators, school board, etc.), that it formed a bond of sorts between the races - we had a common goal.

In all my years at Mavahi, I never recall a fight between a black guy and a white guy. I remember one almost happened outside of the library in '72, and Mr. Finley walked between the two guys and said, "This isn't going happen, now get to class.", and we all scattered like mice. LOL That's not to say that one couldn't have started in the boys locker room - but I wouldn't have been privy to that. I don't ever remember people calling each other racial slurs.

NOW, all these years later, racism and bigotry seems to be more alive than ever (at least on that board I referred to), and I'm sitting here scratching my head wondering what in the world happened . . . or was I simply very naive. So I'm back to - what were your memories or recollections during those years? I really would like different perspectives. I'm posting this same question on the Class of '70, '71 and '72 message boards, inasmuch as we all were there around the same time. Thanks ahead of time.
ADC
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