“We would drive into whatever was the closest town and approach the police and ask, 'Where is the colored section?'”
Patricia Adams tells her friend Louisa Stephens about traveling in the South during segregation.
Click here for the transcript.
Patricia Adams: When I was quite a little girl before black people were allowed to stay in hotels we would drive south every year, every winter. When it was evening and we decided we were ready to stop, we would drive into whatever was the closest town and approach the police and ask, Where is the colored section? because that's what we were called in those days. And the police would direct us, Well you go over there, down the road, across the tracks. And we'd drive around those neighborhoods until we found the largest house on the block. And mother would get out of the car and she would go knock on the door and she would introduce herself, I'm Mrs. Jesse Adams. My husband, Reverend Adams, and my daughter, Patricia, are traveling south. We're ready to stop for the evening . And we wonder if you could recommend someplace where we might spend the night. And inevitably the answer was always the same, Oh, Mrs. Adams! Bring the Reverend and your daughter in. You must stay with us. And for years we traveled like this I think even after the hotels opened up! [laughs]