Brown v. Board of Education: Witness to segregation's end
SPECIAL TO THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR
May 16, 2004
A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star
"The black kids were more aware of segregation than the others. We could go to the stores and shop, but we couldn't eat in restaurants, and at the Fox Theater we had to sit upstairs."
 
http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/education/22253

The Tucson native graduated from Tucson High School in 1954, and was in the last class to graduate from Dunbar School, just north of Downtown. Dunbar was Tucson's segregated primary and intermediate school for black students from 1918 until 1951.

 
The black kids were more aware of segregation than the others. We could go to the stores and shop, but we couldn't eat in restaurants, and at the Fox Theater we had to sit upstairs. We went to Mickey Mouse Club on Saturdays and all of that. There was no segregation of the line of the kids going into the theater. We lined up first-come, first-served
 
(Morgan Maxwell Sr.) was my principal when I started first grade and the whole nine years, and he lived in the neighborhood. That was the good part of segregation; we'd see the teachers and principal at church and at the grocery store.
 
Mr. Maxwell, anytime there was a noted black who was anywhere near Tucson, he would snap up that person and get them to come over to the school and speak to us. He wanted to expose us to blacks who had made a success of their lives. (Opera singer) Marian Anderson came to speak to us and sang once. She was already famous and couldn't stay in the hotel. Someone in the community took her into her home. The black baseball players couldn't stay in the hotel, so they stayed with the Willis family over by the school.
 
When the Dunbar School, named for the famous black poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, became integrated, the district changed the name to John Spring. The students and parents didn't like the idea the name was being changed. My brother was in the year behind me and he went to Spring. When we were at Dunbar we got used textbooks from Mansfeld and Roskruge, and my mother said when they changed to John Spring they threw out all the old text books and brought in new ones. We never had new ones.
 
- Inger Sandal