By Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher
An issue of Black and White is the non-public tale of an Oklahoma lady whose struggle to achieve an schooling shaped a vital episode within the civil rights move. Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, of folks just one iteration faraway from slavery, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher turned the plaintiff in a landmark U.S. perfect court docket case that laid the root for the eventual desegregation of colleges (and a lot else) in America.A subject of Black and White resounds with virtually common human themes-childhood, college, pals, colleagues, group, and a love that lasted an entire life.
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Extra info for A Matter of Black and White: The Autobiography of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher
And, of course, she was expected to come by way of the back door, like the rest of the colored help. As many times as I heard her tell that story, Mother never told me what her own answering words were. In fact, she sometimes ended it by saying that she lasted one day, sometimes that it was a half day. Either way, Mrs. Sipuel never darkened Mrs. Kelley's door (front or back) again. Our family did not suffer by Mother's not working outside the home. She worked hard enough at the church, in the community, and in the home.
Page 24 My mother was one of the few women in the community who did not work outside the home. Only once did she even try. One of the church women kept telling her about the fine, Christian white lady that she had once worked for. "Mrs. Sipuel," she would say (no one outside of her best friends and immediate family ever called my mother by her name, Bell), "Mrs. Kelley is so nice, and she does need help so. I've told her all about you. " Eventually Mother agreed to take the job. She walked up the front sidewalk, climbed the steps to the sprawling porch, and rang the doorbell.
After finishing Dermott's public schools, she graduated from the little two-year teachers' academy in the town and became a schoolteacher herself. Stunningly beautiful, with light skin, hazel eyes, and hair that bore the slightest curl, she was teaching when she met my father, a handsome, very dark-skinned railroad man nearly fifteen years older than she. He was smitten hard and imme- Page 10 diately. All of Grandma Cindy's fair-skinned children married extremely dark spouses. His greatest drawback seemed to be his age.