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I love Charleston. Both are destroying so much of it I think I mean for instance in Charleston hotel they just toe top of the thing and it just hurts every time I go back there was very beautiful. When you travel around Christmas time I went up to Ohio and that was the first time I'd ever crossed the Mason-Dixon line. And then I've been as far as Washington D.C. And then as far as Alabama women call it a platinum plantation and children. And that they have my brother goes to college he goes to college about 10 miles from Michael's plantation. Well you're pretty much of a dad all seven of them in action. Yes. How about your wife. I mean I like being sad. You know. It's sad about something to stand up for. This is Ben park with a program and the series coming of age about American youth today. Our preceding program told of the hopes ideas and
ambitions surrounding a teenage sit in demonstration in Charleston South Carolina. In the voices of five of its participants all of whom are negroes. I then talked to a number of Charleston white teenagers the five whom I've selected for this program seem to me to be representative. Tell me how old are you. I'm 16 and not really in school. I'm a junior in high school. I do go to a private school by the school I go to a private school. I'm 17 and what they do in school senior 12th grade. 17 In what way are you in school. Junior Grade 11 you go to a bar with my school a private school public school 17. And what good is that if you're in school and the senior you go to a public high school or a private school like 18. But you know you're in school to out. How will you subject.
How do I do it. Well I'm always make pretty good grades and I think I'm proud. I'm always. How well you do in school. I'm about to be plastered. That's pretty good. I get no credit. Are you doing your grades. Well I've managed to do fairly well. I make. Mostly A's. How well are you going to subject. Him. That's good enough I guess. That's better. I'm skipping. Great to share our with a freshman like you have always been so. Because for my birthday I was a year behind and I decided to catch up. Cher how are you doing in school without life. Well. I sort of go in kind of in the past month I haven't been studying but been playing too much spring. But I. Feel like I have a B-plus average in both my English is. A B plus and Latin plus
in French and geometry. What about your extracurricular activities in school what to do. I just finished my term as the story corresponding secretary for the State student council. Student Council. Most of the literary society. Just about anything. I end up with almost anything. So much so your high school life keeps a pretty busy and active. The high school life. I don't know how school and church I think that that comes in. Rocket's. Favorite. Pastime. Torn up information and I've been trying to make a few small ones myself. Hope you haven't had any accidents with them. No sir no action expected. No successes either.
How do parents feel about your voting rights. Well they don't mind but my father would make sure that I take all safety precautions. Is your father able to help you with us. Yes he helps me a lot. You chemical engineer school papers and treasure the senior clients. In the teens participate in sports. And I enjoy. Right right right. Manager is running for student council. They take up a lot but I now work. For an advertising agency. With the times but when taken up all right. Yes. I won the missed award this year and placed first in my school and I speak for democracy contest in third in the state this year. That's about it because I've been working for the past two years since
I've been in school. Back to school on Saturdays. I want to live here since 1954 and before that we lived here from up until 1943. My father had been here for years before that and we moved up all one hundred twenty miles from your assumption bishop. And we came down here in 54 years. What do you find strategies I school. Well I'm getting there. That's very nice. It took me a long time to make up my mind when doing course continue working. Yes yes definitely. What kind of work does your husband managed and your husband when he's making career Coast Guard do you think you'll be transferred around a good deal or not. Well about every two or three it depends on where you go
I mean there's some of his buddies here who've been in this one place for four years and usually you know that long but they just actually. So how do you feel about Leo While I don't mind a bit. I mean I like to go travelling. Like to meet new people carried on travelling. I've been to two states and you know and that's why I want to go. Have you traveled outside this area much. Yes our grandparents live in Harlem. We go visit them almost every summer. I've been in Massachusetts. You know and. If you lose you know your life. Yes. I want to. Marry an Army officer and he's going to be an army of them. I want I want to get away and I'm not like most people who lived in Charleston as long as I have questions. Most of them have grandparents and mothers and fathers nearby has always lived in Charleston. Most people just want to stay right here and
I want to get around and see everything you so you like to write what kinds of things you write. I like to write depressing stories. Because my happy funny ones never come out right. So trite. For instance I think that the paper. Written about composition this year that gave me the greatest satisfaction was a description of pale because I imagined it. I like that type of thing I like the first film. Playing. I like to create. A valid image because to me it seems that that kind has a lasting impression on people for instance a movie. On the beach and novel I haven't read the novel I heard and enough about it to know the movie. But I saw the movie. And. It was it was a sort of balance emptiness. Because it was there in there was nothing you could do about it.
Sometimes I think I grew up very much because our dream. I have nightmares about Rowan. And. Being stranded away from my family away from the people I loved. And I can't get back to them there's always something hindering me you know. And when I worry about. Other people too because I had a dream about some Germans that were being persecuted and I don't like the shame that song. Prejudice people in Hollywood of a loud situations to get out of control. Produce. Quality. You know places. And also. The backward countries people starving. I think I feel it. More and more. Civilized countries should. Teach them better methods of farming. How to weld
with. Normal Brotherhood. I think Iraq situation could stand a lot of improvement. What do you feel about it. Well I think we have a big fight. To maintain democracy I think there's a battle between democracy versus County and also the right problem. It's certainly. An important win today. What are your feelings about that. Well. I. Suppose we are supposed to go. How. Would you say that your advisor or a shoe store. Well I.
Am. Not for. Peace. I don't feel. I feel.
Friends. Really. What is it about an issue for you. They dirty. I mean they are clean. Colored people call us. But. Not many. I don't think it specially in Charleston. We have a. Greater population of colored people white people. And places and they are filthy. And they're places and I wouldn't want to be around. Even in the daytime. That's when I know that there. Are good colored people I mean there are problems and there are these. Radicals. But. You never hear anything it's just the same thing as juvenile delinquency and you never hear anything about well one
more than you do but it's very often that the. Juvenile delinquents get headlines and the good kids on the back page. What do you feel about your point of view on all this is a prejudiced point of view. Definitely I think I'm very prejudiced I've been brought up prejudiced. I mean my father's against segregation integration and my mother says it never says anything about it but I know I know I'm prejudiced. Well not only is no Utah going against racial integration. Neurons I think will some of the few people in the South I've always been taught that you never discriminate against anybody no matter what color they are. But ask think the main thing that people understand here in a marriage which. After being in New York. I I can see what they mean because of those artsy I have seen at least I know five. Couples who were
married negroes in white and I know that's one thing they fear and I was saying years Moratti I mean I think that's what the parents are afraid of. But they are afraid of morality who are afraid of marriage. It's not afraid of their children standing next to the other children because they really are. But I really don't think it's a question of serving the gale. And if that doesn't worry people. I think is are things in oil. And Iraq are saying when the ratio of children is to new one it's if you don't just throw yourself into a situation where are they going to be more of another kind of person than it was of you. It would solve. Our thing. Well. I feel it. For the time being anyway the school should be saying not for the principal. Just because you know Gratian as it stands now just doesn't work in. The
schools. Right is that. The. Way. I feel. If it causes lung rust and friction it takes everybody's mind off. Curricular activities. And the whole school is on you you. Are. In Trouble may break out and you know a few hotheads on both sides of course would start trouble. And. Also. I think the average new girl down here is not quite up to the. US standards. Other whites the average. You know you could pull down. Our. Level. Of Education. Oh yes. You have. Definite and sort of thoughts about. You talk about this
with your friends. No it's not discussed too much. I've read records. In the papers and. On television and I've read a few books. It's the actual mixing because there's a verse in the Bible it says each. And when the children visual had left Egypt and they come into the Promised Land they were marrying into the different tribes and down command though not to. That that's the biggest problem I think is the actual mixing of the races. Because that's going to cause more strife in between families than anything else. I mean I don't condemn Lego and I don't hate him and I don't think people should. It's just that I think people should let well enough alone and not try to stir up trouble. Trouble has been stored. Definitely. We used to have skinny all this guy is
picketing of the stores and the clashes on the beaches and it just never used to happen to us and the past six years I read in my magazine also years ago. This Kobe said his son didn't want to go to a white school and he had wanted to go to Weiss when he died fighting for the right and the girls all white school. And I think that's more or less it. Like some people you say you can't do this and you say it's only a term and they're going to do it. Yeah I think that that's true of all the money we were getting along fine until the last five or six years without any problems and I mean. I don't know who's died you know but he sure made a mistake. This country is in such turmoil with that. They are going to be ready for anything else that happens. Now recently 24 of the.
Negro high school students staged a sit in demonstration here. Did you know about that. Not until I saw it in the paper the next day. What is your opinion though. Well you know. It's hard to say I I do believe the negroes should still be used to be. In the stores. They shouldn't even. See excuse. To race. Why do you feel about this demonstration that this is conducted. Well. Clearly. That that isn't the best way to go about. It can only lead to more trouble. I don't actually think that I really don't think they don't get the Way beyond all that we realize but. That. Is that when they have all these
things is to make these very very tiny group people say when we're sure we're going to show they'll never see it. Whereas if you swear you don't write I don't know I don't know what the answer is but I mean I just can see for for they m in front as far as as concerned is being injured on the part of some of these young people. Don't think they're going examples of other peace something. You know you don't feel the tickle you have really strong drives to be doing this of themselves but it's something that's just kind of a thing to do. I think. How do you think someone's. And those two
factors together I think. I think that the racial outbreaks I think maybe Carol those I don't think they if they would prove anything. I think there would be a poet to them. But I don't think there's a point to it. I mean it doesn't prove anything it is just so different raps. And if they if the Negro could go about in a choir and truth to bray Here's what he feels. He's his go. I've been I think that it would be a time for segregated integration of the school put him up to it to try and cause trouble. I mean because if they had wanted service before. They could have asked for it without a whole bunch going down and asking for it one time and causing a lot of to do a lot of causing a lot of notoriety. But that's what they might mainly interested in I think is whoever's behind it all it's interested in
travel and no riding. Have you ever had occasion to talk to colored people your own age. No not really. If so people then who saw you talking to children your own age where they get off in the air about it and know what you are doing. I don't really. Talk to any of them I don't think. I mean I don't know whether they want to go to school with us and. I really don't. Want to. Know. Your heavenly desire inclination to know. Do you know only rose if you want. I've talked to so much. I've talked.
With People. But of course it's unreal. Unfortunately. You don't talk too much. I just wonder if you might talk to. Any less your own age about their feelings about all of this. Right. Do you know any Negroes of your own age. Notion. Not personally. Have you ever thought to really grow your own age. Yes yes. We'll talk to you about this business of the race question notion we've. Never discussed. Do you have any teenage negro friends. No. No. No. There wouldn't be any. I mean I couldn't have any I could have.
But there wouldn't be we wouldn't have anything in common there would be anything we can do to get out. I mean there wouldn't be any power in it now and I know some certainly. But. Yes talk to them about amoebas them. Well no I like to say that. There really isn't any any any any of them that would talk about it. When you get through with your college life to get married you have jolly around. What will be your feeling about sending them to an integrated school. I really don't know. Just a parent don't you know. I guess I'd probably just send him. It seems to me I'll. See any reason why not to because it would depend on the situation. If. It would I wouldn't say much of an integrated school in the South that I would descend into one in New York where gangs and things and
people you know I rather send an integrated school here when I was. A segregationist. I do not believe in integration but I know that someday it will come. I don't think that the Negro race is advanced enough in several stations because so I mean. To civilization they are a new race. I don't think they advanced enough to be equal I mean equal in the sense of I know that all people are supposed to be created equal cost but you know but I don't think that the South and Negro in particular has ready for integration. Another was about school desegregation. You don't want to go to the segregated school. Actually I think it would retard. Everyone in. Connection with the school I mean academically Yes academically Actually
I think that. I know that when I went to a public school for six years and I know that there were slow. Slow. People in the choir. And I think that our Southern negro. Now. Is teen middle aged. People that I've been associated with. Because I mean they're. Also. White people that I think are. The same. If your leaders are not as keen mentally you simply because of social or cultural reasons or you have something that I think so I think they've been retarded. About slavery I mean slavery wasn't right I mean I don't think I would want to go back to slavery. It just isn't right. I don't think but I think the trouble started back yonder with old Johnson or whoever. I think that if Lincoln had. Been able to put through his.
Movement his refer to the things he meant to do that this country would be in a lot better shape because Johnson was a good hearted man and he tried. To do. He tried to do the right thing but he didn't have the right methods. Well I think reconstruction from Gone with the Jewish family background I think it was. The general opinion of everybody if it wasn't carried on to well the carpetbagger certain people that came in and tried to. Make the most they could for themselves out of the room. You say your own family background you mean. Just when I had. Cancer and she died several years ago she must have been about 1996. Somewhere. Between 6 and was mentally alert. Which was up until she was about 80. I think. She.
Would tell me that when she was born she remembered her forehead. Her. Family home. In South Carolina. The fact she was disintegrated by the war and. The home was abandoned and. The whole family that not well they were. Financially. Broke. I know that. So you have a fairly close time with all that. Yes the program you've just heard was one of two made in Charleston South Carolina for a coming of age on the preceding program the story of the events and the feelings leading up to their sit in demonstration was told by five of the teenage negro participants. Next week a recording executive a folk music authority and a young popular performer expose the meanings
Coming of age
Five for segregation
Producing Organization
Columbia University
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents a capsule view of upper class, articulate, southern youth and its world.
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Explores the thoughts and feelings of American youth in the 20th century. Writer-director Ben Park talks with teenagers and parents, teachers and friends.
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Social Issues
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Director: Park, Ben
Producing Organization: Columbia University
Writer: Park, Ben
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-21-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:10
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Chicago: “Coming of age; Five for segregation,” 1961-03-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 17, 2021,
MLA: “Coming of age; Five for segregation.” 1961-03-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 17, 2021. <>.
APA: Coming of age; Five for segregation. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from