by Bishop John Ricard, SSJ
I grew up in the Deep South, at a time of even deeper segregation, a convenient term used to describe the complete separation of the races. It defined every aspect of our lives, where we lived, worked or went to school, and, especially, where we worshiped. (Martin Luther King, quipped, that Sunday morning church services were the most segregated hours.)
For families venturing out for entertainment or recreation it meant figuring out what was opened to us, and staying away from those that were restricted. We were cautioned at an early age to not cross those boundaries. As I look in retrospect it became clear that our parents tried their level best to protect us from the harsh realities of this situation. I can remember in particular, that we were taught to say “yes, sir” or “no, sir,” in public when addressing white adults, to assure that the proper deference was shown.