Photograph of Atlantic City

Relationship: Im/migrant

I chose this photograph because it reflects my hometown of Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 1960s. I was visiting Atlantic City for the weekend but I also had lived in Scarsdale, New York as a child. My father worked as a chauffeur and my mother worked as a housekeeper. This photo reminds me of my childhood on the beach as I was growing up. This photo was taken at the beginning of integration which was in the 60s. I grew up in Atlantic City when it was segregated including the beaches, hotels. The black population lived on the north side and the white population lived on the south side.  We accepted the segregation at the time because we didn't know anything else. We accepted it because we lived in our own community and had our own services, doctors, lawyers and ministers. I went to segregated grade school and an integrated high school because it was the only high school in Atlantic City. And this was during segregation. 

When I think about segregation and civil rights, I think that we haven't accepted that the civil war is over even in 2018. We are not facing the fact as a country about our history of segregation. Civil war is a main part of our history. We don't want to talk about it or teach it to kids. This is a big problem. We don't recognize the Indians either as human beings who are on reservations.  My great-great-grandmother was native american in North Carolina. 

Place(s): Atlantic City, New Jersey, Scarsdale, New York, Brooklyn

– Joan Lawson

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant