Once I started taking the bus into Memphis, segregation was impossible not to notice. On the bus, I'd sit with the other white folk. Blacks went straight to the back of the bus, obediently. It struck me how strange it was that the front of the bus looked neat and clean, yet the back of the bus always seemed ill cared for and dirty. Once in Memphis, I couldn't help but notice the different drinking fountains and washrooms for black and white. To say I was shocked, was putting it mildly. Even Soda Fountains had different areas for blacks and whites.
Driving through the country you would see the homes that blacks lived in. Most were wooden shacks that were very small. You would see a group of shacks with boys outside, playing sports, mostly basketball. There were cotton fields where you would see families of blacks picking cotton. The wages for this back breaking job were minimal, each bag of cotton picked was worth a small salary of less than a dollar.
The segregation was something I had a problem dealing with, but while I was still in high school, I chose not to deal with it. I watched, listened and learned.