Southern Illinois University Carbondale Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
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Item IDegyptian 1943 0212 vol 24 #18.tif
DescriptionDiscussing the Jim Crow laws dealing with seats in a theater.
Original Publication SourceDaily Egyptian
Date1943 February 12
Digital File Format.TIF (Tagged Image Format)
Digital File PublisherSpecial Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Rights StatementAll copyrights held by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email:
CollectionDaily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)



Deliberately defying the ruling of the Varsity Theatre that Negro patrons must occupy the seats behind a rail in an obscure corner of the balcony, I mingled with an emotional crowd and saw the picture, Hitler's Children. All about me were typical Americans, and I tried to discover the typical American reaction. After a careful study of the unsuspecting faces, I found that reaction. It appeared as conspicuously as a light in a blackout: It can't happen here!
All about me people were taking pride in the American way of life. They were all proud—- proud to be Americans, to be free, to feel secure in this land of liberty. No shadow of doubt flickered across their faces as they expressed this feeling. No one among them would believe that proof of their error was in the same movie with them. Yet, they were all wrong. Wrong because it had already happened here. In the balcony behind the rail was proof of their error. There my people sat in mute testimony that America, like Germany, taught its people racial superiority. I stood among them, a fugitive from that rail of segregation, to prove that they themselves had been taught, as Hitler's children, that all men were not created equal.
For three centuries the people of this country have bowed down to a ruthless dictator. With a brutality equal to any Nazi demonstration, Jim Crow has ruled
America. Jim Crow. with Prejudice and Hate, has caused Americans to forget God, church, and country. In this country it has been clearly shown that if given the choice between destruction and a complete equality of men, the majority of these people would take destruction. Rather than unite with a people who have been long victimized by soul-crushing segregation and hate, these typical Americans would put the whole of American ideals on a shelf.
The similarity between Nazi and American ideals is a shameful one. In Germany one must be Aryan; in America one must be white. Failure in each case to qualify means defilement, oppression, inequality, lynching, and in many cases, death. In Germany Hitler is supreme: in America Jim Crow holds full sway—Jim Crow, that personification of ignorance and hate, to whom a great nation pays homage.
My heart goes out to those people who pity Hitler's children. They know not that in this country we are all victims as were Hitler's children. In America No One is free. Jim Crow will not allow men to think freely, to act freely and equally. As long as Jim Crow lives America will never be free. As long as he breathes the air of hate, superiority, oppression, and discrimination, freedom cannot live. Freedom will not live until the chains of racial bondage are broken. Before the true, essence of freedom can be enjoyed, men must acquire that vital feeling of liberty, equality. and brotherhood. Then and only then will this be the land of the free. Then and only then will we be in a position to pity Hitler's children.

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