Utah: Looking back at Racism

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pictured above is Allan C. Jackson - I hope I look that good at 104 - who was in attendence for the showing of the documentary, The Wisdom of Our Years: Stories of African American Utahns, taking a look back at some of the stories that have encompassed the African American experience in the state.

Here's an excerpt from an article about the documentary from the Salt Lake Tribune:

Eva Sexton's late husband worked as a waiter at a restaurant called the Coon Chicken Inn that featured a sign with a cartoonish black man with exaggerated lips. Her grandfather was a slave.

Frank Satterwite spent a career in the U.S. military defending his country yet could not live in many places in Ogden. And James Green, 104-year-old Allan Jackson, Florence Lawrence, Anna Belle Mattson and the late Dovie Goodwin all experienced the kind of Utah racism that forced them to sit in the balconies of Utah movie theaters, refused them service at many restaurants, only opened a public swimming pool to blacks in Ogden on the day when the lifeguard was off duty, and forced them into taking jobs well below their education.

Yet, if the 40-minute movie that premiered before a multi-racial crowd of hundreds in the Calvary Baptist Church gymnasium Sunday conveyed one message, it was one of hope.
Read the full article down at the Salt Lake Tribune.