I was recently asked by a group: Why did I continue attending Central High School when I was so deeply wounded every day? Once again, the concept of personal freedom had taken over my life that I had no choice but to do whatever was necessary to be able to claim even the smallest bit of it. I so hated living in the south during the 40’s and 50’s when I was relegated to the back of the bus, assigned to the yucky water fountain marked COLORED and could swim in the public swimming pool. I wanted choice, voice and inclusion. Those three words are how I define personal equality.
I wanted to be able to choose where I went to school, how I shopped for clothing (I wanted to be able to try it on.), where I drank water and where I sat on the bus. I wanted to speak up and say what laws I thought were fair. I wanted the opportunity to vote when I got older. Most of all, I wanted to be included in the Little Rock, Arkansas life process. This was something I had never experienced before but somehow I understood intuitively it existed.