XXI-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

XXI-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

What Does the Negro Really Want?

by: Ray Sprigle | publication date: September 1, 1948 | Publication: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | pages: 1

 All my life I’ve regarded Eliza’s stunt of crossing the Ohio on the floating ice floes, with bloodhounds baying at her heels, as a pretty heroic adventure. Not any more. The night I came up out of the deep South in a Jim Crow bus, I’d have been glad to take a chance crossing on the ice if anything had happened to stall our jolting chariot on the Kentucky shore. And there’d have been no need of any bloodhounds to put me into high gear. We rolled out of Kentucky across that old Ohio River bridge into Cincinnati - into safety and freedom and peace. Again I was free with all the rights of an American citizen. Again I was no, not white. Not yet. It wasn’t that easy. Down South my friends had done too good a job of making me into a Negro. For many days I’d been looking forward to an elaborate meal in a luxurious restaurant with fancy food and prices and service and attention. I found one. And then -take it or leave it-I didn’t go in. I found a little lunch counter and ate there.  

Sprigle finishes his time undercover as a black man in the south, and pleads with his audience to seek reform.

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