"Growing up here, we had hogs, cows, and chickens. Yes, right here in Orange Mound. Gravel roads too, not like streets and sidewalks like we have now. That was before they extended the boundaries of Orange Mound. We had a lot of stores and businesses here too, all owned and operated by black people. There was a doctor on Hamilton Street. Back then, Melrose had all of the grades, and I went there from 1st grade all the way to 12th. All of the teachers were black of course.
"Orange Mound was very safe back then. We could walk down the streets at any hour. If you needed to run to the store and get milk at 11:00 at night, you did it. Everybody spoke and went on, whether you knew each other or not. You can’t hardly sit on your porch now, but then, you could sleep out on your front porch all night and be safe.
"I’m very grateful for integration because I could carry my kids to the places I couldn’t enjoy when I was growing up. We could go into restaurants and they could sit and eat. Before, I could go into and Five-and-Ten-Cent store, but I couldn’t sit at the lunch counter. "