Essay Graduation Speech - Original Writing

1144 Words Apr 26th, 2016 5 Pages
As a little boy I always loved going to the festivals with my mama, New Orleans had the best of them. I loved the food, the music, and the mixture of the people from our city. Normally we weren’t allowed to be around the white people, but during festivals they were all over the city, and so were we. At school, we wouldn’t eat lunch at the same table as the white boys, but at the festivals I could be right there and nobody would pay any attention to me. Once during the first Jazz Festival in 1970, Mama gave me some money to buy gumbo with and when I was buying the gumbo I saw a little white boy from my school staring at me. At first I thought he was gonna come hit me and steal my food, but instead he motioned for me to come sit next to him. I shared my bowl of gumbo with the other boy, and we got to talking and laughing about some of the white girls at school, but his mama came running and punished him for “playing with a negro”. I never forgot that next day at school when I went up to the boy and his friends at lunch. He told me to get lost because he “wasn 't friends with no negro” like me. Before the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, the majority of the South was heavily segregated. Public schools were “segregated, but equal” as the African American students were supposed to receive the same standard of teaching and quality of school supplies. However, the reality was that African American students were not given equal opportunities to learn, therefore, the racial…

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