Interviewer: Ben Adams
Interviewee: Jean Sigler
The room that the interview took place in was the living room of my grandmother’s house. Her name is Jean Sigler; she was dressed in one of her jump suits. She had her glasses on and some of her jewelry. She is a very old woman that loves all of her children and grandchildren. The one quote that I will always remember that she said was “it’s hard for people to change.”
She grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. She went to Central and graduated there in 1954. She never went to college, instead she married and man named Jim Sigler. He went to college; he started a trucking company. She became a secretary there, that was all that she ever did as a career her whole life. After the company went bankrupt she was old enough where she didn’t need to work any more. She has lived in Little Rcok all of her life, she has also only lived in one house her whole adult life.
The purpose of this interview was to know what happened during the time that the civil rights act took place and what my relatives did. The main topic that she talked about in the interview was that my grandfather wanted to be part of the segregationist that went and protested down at Central but ser never got the courage to actually go down there. We also talked about how she never cared that what was happening, she had a black maid and treated her like she was a white made.
She did, however, get scared of African-Americans later on when her daughter, my mother, went to Hall High School. This occurred in the late 1970’s. I believe that since black citizens have become more adapt and from what she heard from the radio and saw on the television that some black people are a danger to others when put in a certain situation. She thought that from all of the media that was thrown at the world, manly an attack to black Americans. She never had any words that she used to talk about the situation and the stories that she told me. When she told me this story her body language was more tof a stern women then a loving grandmother that I have always seen.
This experience never changed anything of my grandmother’s life. Nothing happened while my mother was at Hall High School, so she never changed her life away from black people. In my opinion she should have been more open to all black citizens. I believe that she still feels that same way towards certain black people and also some certain white people and Mexican people.
The story and worry that she told me is really related to the people of America. Since some of America is still segregationist but not out in public, it seems close to that my grandmother was scared for her daughter to attend Hall High School because of the media telling people about how bad African-Americans are. Since the media gives these strikes against races its hard for many different races to be trusted by others. So those certain races won’t have the liberty that some other races have.
This story and interview didn’t really change my mind about the struggle for civil rights. I say this because I figured that some white people didn’t really care what was going on. Also that some white people like black people just as much as other white people. I have heard stories about how some white people were nice to black people during the time. I have also seen parts in movies, in the Ernest Green Story. It showed that some white people were nice to the Little Rock Nine as they attended Central.
I would tell someone that was doing an interview or a Memory Project a few things. I would tell them to do more then one interview so you can see more then ones mind on what happened during that time. I would also tell them to try to go deep down into that persons mind to find out what exactly happened. That is what I would tell a future person if they were about to endure this project