Over the weekend, Glenn spoke about a woman named Falma. She hated him when they first met. Falma thought Glenn was a racist and a hatemonger. But she only knew the cartoon image the media created, not the real man. Since their first meeting, the two have become like family. She joined the show last night to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and discuss what it was like to grow up in the South under segregation.
Falma: During the 60s, and Martin Luther King was talking about his peaceful marches and his protesters. In school, we all wanted to do it. You know, we loved him. You know, we loved him back then. We loved him back then more than the people love him now, but it was exciting just to know that this man wants to change things. We didn’t know the logistics. We didn’t know it was about voting. We didn’t know what it was about. We just knew we liked him.
All of the South was full of racism, and when I was growing up as a little girl, we had gotten accustomed to the white-only fountain, the white-only entrances. You know, when you’re growing up, you don’t notice things. There’s a system in place, so to speak, and what I did notice was that my mother took us downtown to take pictures one day. I was like maybe nine or ten, and she took us to take pictures.
Well, we had to get on the trolley, and we actually had to wait for the guy to get off the trolley, turn it around so that we would be seated in the back.
Well, actually, we lived in a neighborhood, and next door to our house was a bakery, a very small bakery, and we would go there and buy bread and stuff. You could buy it real cheap, $0.25. My sisters were on the back porch. It was a screened-in porch. The owner had employed a black man, and when he employed this black man, I came home, and they said, “Oh, it’s going to happen again. He’s going to do it again.”
And I’m looking at them, and I’m going, “Do what? What is he going to do?” And they’re saying, “He’s going to do it again. Let’s go see.” So, they had seen it before. The black man had done whatever he had done wrong, and this man, the owner, pulled off his belt, and he actually beat him.
We’re standing there looking at it, and I’ll never forget the look on that man’s…the black man’s face. It was shame, because we saw it. It probably wouldn’t have affected me if I hadn’t seen his eyes, because it was total shame.