Next Town by Storyteller Diane Ferlatte
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In “Next Town,” storyteller Diane Ferlatte describes one of her family’s...
In “Next Town,” storyteller Diane Ferlatte describes one of her family’s
summer trips, driving cross country from California to Louisiana to visit family.
Ferlatte’s parents had migrated from the American south to escape Jim Crow
laws and segregation. Ferlatte remembers her father responding with increasing
frustration whenever her brother asked if they could stop to get something to
eat, each time promising “next town.”
Finally, the family stopped at a restaurant, Ferlatte and her brothers tumbling
out of the car in their excitement for burgers, fries, and biscuits. Just as she is
about to open the restaurant door, her father stops her. There is a “whites
only” sign above the door. Ferlatte’s family must go around back to eat in the
kitchen. The African American cook sees Ferlatte’s frustration and makes sure
that the family gets the first biscuits of the day, fresh from the oven. While
Ferlatte learned about prejudice that day and that people could hate her
without even knowing her, she also learns about how people can help one
another and she admires her father, who even in the face of prejudice looked
“on the sunny side of life.”
Visit www.racebridgesforschools.com to download the
corresponding audio (MP3) and video (MP4) files.
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