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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: Sharing Memories of Years Ago
In Response To: Sharing Memories of Years Ago ()

In a message dated 01/17/2002 11:22:14 AM Eastern Standard Time,
Robyn.Smith@GetronicsGov.com writes:

<< One woman in the book recounts how in

her town, they never sold COKE to blacks, only PEPSI. Now that blew my

mind. >>

This was rather common from what I have heard, especially, in the South.

Interestingly, H. Naylor Fitzhugh, the first Black to get an MBA from
Harvard in 1933, was also the first Black executive at Pepsi. He was nearly
60 years old before he broke the color barrier. Can you imagine, a Harvard
MBA, locked out of corporate American for more than 30 years?? In addition,
Fitzhugh, graduated from Howard University as an undergraduate, was also
responsible for helping to create the Business School at Howard.

Fitzhugh was also responsible for creating targeted ethnic marketing. In his
office, hung a photograph of a white police officer beating a Black man with
a night stick in one hand and a Coke in the other. Apparently, he had some
strong feelings about Coke, too.

My great aunt, who raised me until she died when I was 7 years old in 1959,
so hated Coke that she did not allow it in the house. This was because she
was not allowed to drink them as they were reserved for whites only.

Jim Crow laws were abolished when I was 13 years old. I distinctly, remember
drinking from the Colored water fountains, riding in the back of the bus,
buying hot-dogs from the take out at S. H. Kress and Woolworth's, and
Grant's, and not be able to try on clothes in certain department stores. I
also attended segregated schools, being among the first groups to desegregate
public schools in Roanoke, VA.

There was also a certain upside to Jim Crow. I remember strong Black
businesses, such as hospitals, hotels, motels and guest houses, shoe repair
shops, dry cleaners, restaurants, plumbers, service stations, funeral homes,
movie theaters, night clubs, and yes, we even had a Black country club. You
name it and we had it. Whatever services were needed, we operated the Black
counterpart, including a Black lifesaving crew (today's paramedics), a Black
YMCA and YWCA, and even a Black branch of the Public Library!

Thanks for the stirring up some fond memories as I recall the horrors of Jim
Crow.

Peace, blessings, favor and grace, Alta

"I have learned that no one can experience true love, or a joyful presence,
or create an optimal future until one makes peace with one's past. Genealogy
heals the soul!"


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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