Growing up during the civil rights movement. First hand accounts. Northern vs. Southern perspective.
I was in secondary school and would have daily conversations with a girl who sat in front of me in one class, and who had moved to Massachusetts after living in the South. We talked about all kinds of "big, serious" issues (rather than paying attention in class).
Having been born and raised in the Boston area, I had been fairly oblivious to any need for the Civil Rights movement. It was when it began to show up in the news each day that I first became aware of it. I mentioned to my friend in class how I "didn't get" why White people were having such a hard time just accepting that African Americans were equal; and that I didn't understand why there had to be so much anger. Her reply to me was, "That's because you've always lived up here. You don't know what it's like down there."
She was right. As a kid from the North, I had just grown up, taking it for granted that everyone was equal and worthy of being treated with respect and having equal rights. So, for me, the Civil Rights movement was more something that made me aware that the whole U.S. was certainly not like Massachusetts and New England; and that the Nation was far more torn than I had ever grown up realizing it could be.
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