Interview du groupe The Staples ou The Staple Singers à leurs débuts en 1963. J’extrais une citation du père, Roebuck, sur le racisme auquel ils devaient faire face :
Roebuck Staples: This is my land. This is ours. This land belong to everybody. To see it like that, we’d have a better United States. It’s just really rough, what the colored entertainers have to go through with sometime, in the trail. We hit down in the Southern states. It’s hard to get food sometimes. Nobody know, that’s why colored people sang the blues. That’s why they can sing with soul.
With all the integration, and what they’re saying have been done, you don’t know what’s gone on when you get out there and even the police will tell you things in your car, that you know you don’t know what’s going on, either.
Who was it, Jackie Russell? I was reading little piece where they let him go inside a white hotel. He’d let Barbara come in, and then the desk clerk had a fit. You can’t do nothing you know. It’s just so silly.
I was down south last year. I was at a cavalcade and had, how many cars would we have? About four cars. I drive a Cadillac because that’s the best car. I’m not trying to be a big shot. That’s the best car in the world to drive. When you talk about Cadillac, they always give you one. I hope they see this and they can give me a Cadillac, but they’re the best cars in the world. I don’t do nothing but put gas in that car and change the oil. We drove up to Yazoo City, Mississippi, and I never will forget, a man asked me and I told him, fill my car up. Fill it up. I was driving a brand new ’62 Cadillac. Reverend Franklin driving a brand new ’62 Cadillac. And they was kind of mad at us ‘cause we was driving them big new cars and “what about that one back there? Want me to fill up too?”
I said “Reverend you want your car filled up too…? I said “Yeah, fill ‘em up.” “Don’t you say Yeah to us white people down here.” Yes he did. He had fifty cent worth of gas in my car. I said, cut it off. That’s plenty. He cut it off. I gave him fifty cent. Thank you. My son came out of the door, and getting’ a can of something, and he said, okay to him…”Don’t say Okay, you say Yes sir to us white people down here. “
I can’t understand. We went on down the street, and I don’t know what he was thinking of. We went down, he lost twenty-five dollars. We went on down the street, we filled all the cars up.
He lost twenty-five dollars right there. We went on to the next station. We filled up. We had a full car. I don’t see how he can stand to lose that money like that. Twenty-five dollars. When you fill it up, it cost seven to eight dollars. He lost about twenty-some dollars. Right there. Just on account of he abused me like that.
Not an exclusive place. I went in to just a service station. They had a counter there, you know. I ordered, I was driving. We’d gone late at night, real late, and I was going to get something to eat here, get us some sandwiches. Went in there, and I ordered. Well, you go around to the back. Well you keep your food, I’m gone. That’s the kind of stuff. You’d be hungry too, but you don’t feel like eating it after they tell you something like that.
I took my son to get some sandwiches, in a place down there, two ladies was in there. I went to the front, and I was asking, Perv, what you doing back here? He told me, they told me to come around the back. I said, never buy any food like that as long as you live. If my money won’t spend there, if it’s not good enough to spend there, it’s not good enough to spend back here. Lady came, she said, Mr., said we awful sorry. Said we trying to make a living, so I know how you feel, but we got to do what this man said. We can’t do nothing about it. We hate it as bad as you do. Some of them, it’s not all bad white people now. Don’t think that, because she just didn’t see any sense in herself, she couldn’t see it, but there are some, yep, if they didn’t do that, they would lose their jobs, and they’d needed to work.
One girl was coming through going to Cincinnati, stopped in the house in Chicago. CORE (Congress for Racial Equality) convention was in Cincinnati, Ohio. She stopped, and I asked her how was things going. She’s from Jackson, Mississippi, right out where Evers got killed, and asked her how was things in Mississippi. She was coming on from Jackson then, in Canton, and the police stopped her. Let me see your driver’s license, nigger. Who you calling nigger? See all that kind of stuff we have to go through with, that you all don’t, the white never know about...