Interviewer: Jeffery Trimble
Interviewee: Gene Dodson
The time was on a Sunday Afternoon after church, and Gene Dodson was heading back to church for Easter Dinner. We were sitting in the dining room, and across from me sat Gene Dodson with her African Church Clothes, hat, and shoes. While having conversation, she was very comfortable because I have interviewed her before, but it seemed as if talking about this topic bothered her.
This interview happened in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the home of Gene Dodson. Her dining room is full of art and family pictures because she is very deep into her African-American culture. While I was doing this interview, my Uncle was also present. First we talked about some specific questions, and as we were talking about this, she started to get a little emotional, and then soon we wrapped up our conversation.
One thing that stuck in my mind was her saying that “Black people wanted to hurt whites but they couldn’t because they were intimidated and blacks had to accept it.” The racism mainly took a toll on her when she was in High School.
One day she was at school, and in the Girls and Boys restroom a White young man had written graffiti with racial slurs on the walls of black schools and never got caught. Examples would be “monkey”, the N word, “shine”, “smut-bucket”, “color”, and “mandengo”.
And it was a sad situation because I saw how her eyes started to get teary and her gestures became bigger. She also had different levels of her voice. Maybe for instinct, she had a happy voice, sad voice, worried voice, and disappointed voice.
This story relates to Civil Rights because it is a constant struggle to be treated as a human being, and it is becoming harder and harder each day. When I asked Gene Dodson how this experience relates to Civil Rights, she said, “It was innocent human beings fighting for their Civil Rights.” I totally agree with the statement because every citizen of the United States deserves every civil right they have, unless they break them constantly. I think that any story having to do with discrimination has to do with Civil Rights.
My interview was very successful with Gene Dodson, and she was very informative and helpful when it came to this project.