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  • ♪♪

  • When he was nine years old, Ron,

  • without my parents or myself knowing his whereabouts,

  • decided to take a mile walk from our home down to the library,

  • which was, of course, a public library,

  • but not so public for black folks

  • when you're talking about 1959.

  • So as he was walking in there,

  • all these folks were staring at him

  • because it was white folk only

  • and they were looking at him saying, you know,

  • "Who is this negro?"

  • So he politely positioned himself in line

  • to check out his books.

  • Well, this old librarian, she says,

  • "This library's not for coloreds."

  • He said, "Well, I would like to check out these books."

  • She says, "Young man,

  • if you don't leave this library right now,

  • I'm gonna call the police."

  • So he just propped himself up on the counter... (laughs)

  • and sat there and said, "I'll wait."

  • So, she called the police and subsequently called my mother.

  • The police came down, two burly guys,

  • come in and say, "Well, where's the disturbance?"

  • She pointed to the little nine year old boy

  • sitting up on the counter.

  • He says, "Ma'am, what's the problem?"

  • So my mother, in the meanwhile, she was called

  • and she comes down there praying the whole way there,

  • "Lordy, Jesus, please don't let them put my child in jail."

  • And my mother asked the librarian,

  • "What's the problem?"

  • "He wanted to check out the book.

  • You know your son shouldn't be down here."

  • And the police officer said,

  • "Why don't you just give the kid the books?"

  • And my mother said, "He'll take good care of them."

  • And reluctantly, the librarian gave Ron the books.

  • And my mother said, "What do you say?"

  • He said, "Thank you, ma'am." (laughs)

  • Later on, as youngsters,

  • a show came on TV called, "Star Trek."

  • Now, Star Trek showed the future where there were

  • black folk and white folk working together,

  • and I just looked at it as science-fiction,

  • because that wasn't gonna happen, really.

  • But Ronald saw it as science-possibility, you know.

  • He came up during a time when there was

  • Neil Armstrong and all of those guys.

  • So how was a colored boy from South Carolina, wearing glasses,

  • who never flew a plane, how was he gonna become an astronaut?

  • But Ron was the one who didn't accept

  • societal norms as being his norm.

  • That was for other people.

  • And uh, he got to be aboard his own Starship Enterprise.

  • ♪♪

  • Closed Captions by CaptionLink www.captionlink.com

♪♪

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A2 librarian folk library mother police star trek

Eyes on the Stars

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/01/29
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