I was born in the south at the very start the the 50's and raised in Los Angeles. I'm sure there was segregation in California, but the flavor of it was different.
In Los Angeles one thing I learned early and that was you had to have a car. I always loved riding and seeing all the sites in and around this exciting city. My father would take the family on different site seeing tours just about every weekend. Gas was cheap and we would just go. Feeling the wind in my face at such an early age gave me courage. I learned to drive when I was about 10 years old.
I was really blown away when my uncle drove from Chicago to LA in his new 1954 Cadillac. I thought it was the most amazing thing I had experienced up until this time. Wow! I had to have one. I made my daddy promise me that he would buy me a Cadillac. He never bought me one, but I never forget that car. Traveling by car seemed so romantic. That 1954 Caddy gave me restless feet, I knew I would travel when I grew up.
In the mid 50's I started school. My elementary school was integrated. I was only 5 years old and didn't really know anything about all the things that were going on around me. I had not learned about the hate going on around me yet. I am still learning how awful hate is and how deep the roots of hate can grow.
I was aware of music on the radio and the television news each evening. George Putnam and Edward R. Morrow were on the television news. I had been weaned on country music and the Blues, yet on the radio, I was hearing something really new.
I heard people talking about the devil's music and saying that kids were gonna go to hell if they kept listening to this new stuff.This new stuff was getting a name and they started to call it Rock and Roll. I was afraid I was going to hell, because my young ears couldn't wait to hear the hard hitting and gritty sounds of Rock N Roll.
There were some new words I was starting to hear, words like Civil Rights and Integration. There were things to come that would affect me for the rest of my life. I have never cared that I am Black, but it sure upset a whole lot of other people.
By the time the 60's were rolling in, "The New Frontier" was being set in place. The US was going to the moon...
By Tallulah Dancier