Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer 1917

Tantie wrote of her brush with racism during a visit to Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, in the summer of 1917. She had been in Asheville for a teacher's conference and was staying with relatives. The "Dr. Proctor" mentioned in this letter was the Rev. Henry Hugh Proctor, who had pastored the First Congregational Church in Atlanta. As a student at Atlanta University, Teddy had attended the church. Rev. Proctor would officiate at Tantie and Uncle Teddy's marriage three years later.

Asheville, N.C.
Aug. 7, 1917

Dear Ted,
Your second letter came this morning, surprising and cheering as nothing else can do.

Am so glad you enjoyed your launch party and sorry I was not there to enjoy "our" island once more with you. Perhaps, someday, we’ll go again together, at least we can hope so. I hardly think a day passes I do not think of our first trip there and all the memorable instances pertaining thereto.

If this weather holds up some, we may have a hike or two to the mountains. Friday a week ago, the Teachers summer school closed and a party was made up for a trip to Mt. Mitchell. A private concern runs the road up the Mt and none but "white" have been allowed. But the R.R. agent said if we were twenty-five in number he could accomodate us. There were nearly fifty of us willing to spend $3.05 to visit "the highest point east of the Rockies" but our money happened to be black, as some of the white people hearing of our party refused to go, which caused the agent to notify us that we could not go that day but could go some day when the white people wouldn’t. This we refused to do, and so we didn’t go up on "the highest point east of the Rockies."

Last week the Sociological Congress met here with several prominent speakers white & colored. I got to go Friday afternoon to hear Dr. Proctor of Atlanta. Mrs. DeMond and her mother & sisters were there. Am enclosing newspaper report of that day & night. It got torn before I had a chance to clip it. You may paste it for me and put it away, after reading it of course.

That same night I went to see "Christus" [an Italian silent film] at the auditorium. Colored people have accommodations in half of balcony. ...

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