Laurenia Elynor Kiser

Laurenia Elynor Kiser's father, who was born a slave, was named "Doctor." Her grandmother was part Native American. Her parents met in Lawrence and married in 1880. They lived southwest of Lawrence in Bloomington. Her grade school was integrated until third grade. She describes the chores and social activities of her younger years and talks about hearing stories of escaping slaves hiding in the Bloomington area of the Underground Railroad and about another lady hiding in a corn field during Quantrill's Raid. She attended Liberty High School from 1912-16. Her brother served in World War I. She discusses war rationing. Mrs. Kiser attended college in Emporia and got her teaching certificate. She taught only in all-black schools and experienced racial discrimination in hiring in the Depression. She discusses prejudiced service of the Red Cross in World War II. Mrs. Kiser asserts that some black teachers lost their jobs after the l954 Brown v. Board of Topeka decision. Mrs. Kiser discusses changes in housing options, theater attendance, and welfare. She was a member of the Ninth Street Baptist Church.

Laurenia Elynor Kiser
June 3, 1977

Interview by Curtis Nether

MR. NETHER: The way we generally start off, I want you to remember I will be asking you some questions that may seem kind of inapplicable or like they don't make much sense, like I will ask you your name and so on, and the reason I do that is just for the record's sake so she can take it down. And what we need at first, I want to kind of give you an understanding of what we are doing. We are doing it for the purpose of publishing it in a book form. We are taking oral history from members of the community with your permission we would like to use this information to one day write a book of the black history of Douglas County. OK?

MS. KISER: Yes. I understand.

MR. NETHER: We will start off here with your name. Could you give us your name, please?

MS. KISER: Laurenia Elynor Kiser.

MR. NETHER: Can you tell us your marital status?

MS. KISER: Divorced.

MR. NETHER: Do you have any children?

MS. KISER: No children.

MR. NETHER: What were your parents' names?

MS. KISER: You want to know the mother's name before she was married or just?

MR. NETHER: Yes. Could we have your mother's maiden name?

MS. KISER: Ellen Fishback. And my daddy is D. P. Kiser.


MS. KISER: Interesting about the name of Kiser. Would you want to hear that?


MS. KISER: We always called him—he went by D. P. Kiser, but his mother--you see, he was a slave—and his mother wanted him so much to be a doctor that she named him Doctor. Now, he couldn't go by the name?he wanted to go by the name of Doctor. That's the name his mother gave him, but he went by Doctor Perry Kiser, but we don't want to get Doctor in there. It's D. P. is all he goes by, Kiser.

MR. NETHER: Many people refer to him as Doctor?

MS. KISER: Oh, yes, everybody called him Doc. That was his name, Doc.

MR. NETHER: And he was born a slave?

MS. KISER: He was born a slave, yes. He was born in Alabama. I don't know just where.

MR. NETHER: Where was your mother born?

MS. KISER: My mother was born in Michigan.

MR. NETHER: How did they both come to Douglas County?

MS. KISER: My grandfather on my mother's side was a slave in Kentucky and he had a family there. And he ran away, got a chance to run away, and he ran away to Michigan. And he was in Michigan and he married my grandmother. My grandmother was part Indian, and her father, I think?my grandmother's father was an Indian chief, so we were told, and he married her. She was just a youngster, probably sixteen years old, and he was a man with a family, and he married her, and they came to Lawrence. That's my grandmother and my grandfather, Mr. and Mrs. Fishback, and my mother and two sisters came to Lawrence.

MR. NETHER: Why did they pick Lawrence of all places?

MS. KISER: I don't know. I never heard them say.

MR. NETHER: Do you know around what year?

MS. KISER: It was very cold there and disagreeable, I guess, and they just started coming.

MR. NETHER: The reason I asked, maybe you have heard, there was a massive exodus that came to Kansas around 1879, 1880. I was wondering were they in that large group that came at that time?

MS. KISER: I know my father married in 1880 here in Lawrence at the courthouse.

MR. NETHER: Probably could be.

MS. KISER: So it could be. Right after the Civil War. Shortly after the Civil War, my father came from Virginia. He was born in Alabama, moved to Virginia, and he always called it Old Virginia, but it's Virginia, new Virginia. Came to Kansas. They came from Virginia here and he met my mother here.

MR. NETHER: Mrs. Kaiser, I want you for a minute to kind of think back to your earliest life here in Douglas County. Could you explain what the scenery was like? What was the houses like? What were the streets like, as far back as you can remember.

MS. KISER: I haven't made it clear to you that we lived 10 miles southwest of Lawrence, so we were a country people, and the homes were just the average homes. We lived in a four-room house. I was born in a little four-room house that we had in the mostly black neighborhood known then as Bloomington. I think they still refer to it as Bloomington. We had a black Baptist Church, black Methodist Church. Every other Sunday there we would have church?the black people?I mean the Baptists would have church first and third Sunday, I believe, and the Methodist second and fourth Sunday. Then we had the black school. Now I am saying what I remember. And I lived just next door to the church, churchyard. And we had a school, integrated school, until I was in the third grade, I think, third or fourth grade. And the last white teacher that we went to, she said there were too many blacks.

MR. NETHER: Uh huh.

MS. KISER: There were too many blacks there. And I think she stayed two weeks and then a white man took the school, and he stayed part of the year. So I was really in an integrated school as far as the third or fourth grade. I don't remember just which. So when he left then we had a black teacher named Corinne Eagleston and she lived in Lawrence. She came to the country and boarded there now for eight or ten dollars a month. I don't remember. Something that was very reasonable. And we had this church. Now, many people think that Bloomington was all black, but it wasn't. Mostly it was predominantly black that I remember, but there was a blacksmith's shop there. We had a doctor. The doctor was white. He was at Clinton, about a mile and a half from us. But I am just talking about the immediate Bloomington neighborhood. We had games and not too much entertainment, of course.

MR. NETHER: Un huh.

MS. KISER: And I think if you would ask me some questions, maybe I could tell you some more.

MR. NETHER: What did you do for fun in this area?

MRS. KISER: Let me see. I think I wrote some of that down. Of course, at home we always had something to do. We had our cows and I loved to milk. It was an interesting thing. I had two brothers and the brother just older than I was always very slow and I was always very alert. I liked to do things and try to outdo him. He would go out and climb a tree and I would try to climb it, and I could. He was fat. And I could climb that tree just as high as he could climb it. Am I telling foolish things?

MR. NETHER: No. that brings up another question.

MS. KISER: And we played games such as checkers, baseball, and now that would be school. And we played at home baseball and games and mostly worked, we had our garden. Each one had a hoe and we would go out and take care of the garden. My brother and I milked. We had older brothers and sisters, but when we got old enough we milked. We had nine cows to milk and I would always hurry because I was so glad I could milk so fast. I would always milk the fifth cow and after I got grown he said, "I just poked around and let her milk the fifth cow." I don't think he did. I think he was just slow.

MR. NETHER: How did most of the men react to your being able to compete with them like climbing the tree, milking the cow?

MS. KISER: He didn't like it. Afterwards he would say, "You don't half milk." After he was grown, he said, "I just played around. I just wanted to make you milk the fifth cow."

MR. NETHER: How did blacks and whites relate to each other, just generally in the Clinton?Bloomington area?

MS. KISER: We were very friendly. That is, we didn't go to one another's homes and visit, but we would see somebody, we knew everybody in the neighborhood, even knew the horses, when we saw them coming down the road, that's Mr. So and So Forth.

MR. NETHER: Did you have a certain place that you had to keep, certain boundaries which you had to stay within?

MS. KISER: No. We had our own farm but we didn't have any boundaries.

Q.. Mrs. Kiser, what I will do now, I am not going to ask you for specifics, but I am going to ask you about certain events that happened in history and see if you can recall something that related to Douglas County during those periods of time. Some of them you won't remember. But we can understand that. Just if you can remember, then, let us know what you can. Can you remember anything about Douglas County during the Civil War? What was it like here during that era?

MS. KISER: No. I can remember some of the things that my daddy told me.

MR. NETHER: OK. That's good.

MS. KISER: Something that was very impressive. There was a white doctor that lived in our community. His home was still there. I remember his home very well and his relatives, descendents. And he told us that during the Civil War?he was told this because he didn't come until later?during the Civil War that this doctor used his basement for underground railroads to hide the slaves. He told that to us. Of course, he wasn't here until after the Civil War, but that had been told to him, and we would look at that house and say, "Slaves used to be there."

MR. NETHER: This was in Clinton?

MS. KISER: That was not very far from us, right there in Bloomington.

MR. NETHER: Can you remember anything about Quantrill's Raid, maybe something your dad has told you?

MS. KISER: No, I don't. I do remember an old lady here and that's in Lawrence, I was in high school and used to stay with her, said that she was here—do you want to hear that? Her name was Dillard. And said she was here during Quantrill's Raid and they came out to her home and they had to hide in a corn field not very far away, but that's all I remember definitely, other than what I read about Quantrill's Raid.

MR. NETHER: After the war, the Civil War, at least legally, blacks were equal to whites on paper, and many blacks were politicians in the South, but later on the Ku Klux Klan became powerful again and the idea of white supremacy took over. This was the period of time known as Reconstruction. After Reconstruction was over, after the old order took back over, many blacks started to leave. Can you remember anything about this period now after the Civil War, anything about Reconstruction?


MR. NETHER: It was just a time when here blacks became equal and now whites got upset and became the dominant forces.

What about World War I? Can you remember what it was like here in Douglas County then?

MS. KISER: Oh, yes, I remember. I am seventy-nine and I remember that. And I had a brother to go to war and we also had a cousin that lived with us and he went to war. But my brother was in Portland, Oregon. He registered in Douglas County. By the way, I was looking through an old book. We have a lot of old books there. And I found in there my brother Frank's registration card. He was forty when he registered in Clinton precinct, and I think he was just eighteen. I think they registered at eighteen, or was it twenty-one? I am not sure about that. But I believe he was twenty-one on 2-45.

MR. NETHER: It was eighteen to forty-five

MS. KISER: At that time.

MR. NETHER: It first started from, I think, twenty-one to thirty, then it went to eighteen to forty-five.

MS. KISER: Yes, I remember that since you mention it.

MR. NETHER: Was your brother enthusiastic about going to war, going to fight?

MS. KISER: The older brother, he registered here but he married and went to Portland, Oregon. My younger brother didn't say much about it, but he was mighty glad he didn't have to go. He was put in class 4 because he was a farmer. When my father passed, he stopped high school to run the farm, and so he was put in Class 4A or B, whatever he was, and then he didn't have to go. He would be the last one. But he never did go.

MR. NETHER: The reason I asked is World War I was one of our most patriotic wars. It was when a lot of people were excited about it. They wanted to go and fight. They made posters where they have young ladies on it, the soldiers' shoulders and so on. I was wondering since blacks at this time were being lynched a lot and it was a bad time for blacks, were black people still enthusiastic about going to fight a foreign war?

MS. KISER: I think so. As I said, my brother didn't say much but he wasn't too particular about going, but I had?and I still have it?a service pin with one star, and I was so proud of that pin. I was so proud I wore it to school, wore it everyplace. Had one brother in service.

MR. NETHER: They gave you these service pins?

MS. KISER: The service pin, yes. If I can find it, I think I can, I will show it to you sometime. Just a little tiny pin.

MR. NETHER: That's interesting. It's the same thing now where they put a star in the window if you had a son??

MS. KISER: We had a star in the window. We put a star in the window.

MR. NETHER: Can you remember what was it like here in Douglas County at that time? Were people sacrificing a lot for the war or were they?did they stay up with the news on the war, and so on?

MS. KISER: Yes, they did a lot of sacrificing. You could have white flour?you could have flour, but you weren't supposed to use?and you had to have so much white flour and so much graham flour, mixed flour. No white bread. We were in the country. And we made our own bread, so we were just allowed so much flour, so much brown flour, and so much white flour.

MR. NETHER: How did you feel about sacrificing for the war cause?

MS. KISER: I don't know. It seemed like to me I was old enough to, but I didn't think too much about it. I just thought everybody had to do it and we just had to do some of those things.

MR. NETHER: Is there anything else about World War I that you would like to mention here?

MS. KISER: No, I don't think so.

MR. NETHER: After World War I many of the soldiers came back and you had a period of time where many say was a very prosperous time, but actually it was only prosperous for you if you were a big businessman. If you were a farmer or laborer, times weren't so good for you. These times were known as the Roaring 20s. Can you remember anything about the 1920s? What was it like? Also during the time of Prohibition here?

MS. KISER: Yes. Roaring '20s.

MR. NETHER: What did you do for fun during the '20s?

MS. KISER: Just a minute. I am just thinking. I came to Lawrence in 1912. I had finished grade school, elementary school, and that was the time when they had the eight-four system?eight years in elementary schools and four years in high school. So I was in a high school from 1912 to 1916, and I finished high school then, and things just went along just fairly smoothly. I remember during that period or before then that our family was so many of us we added on four rooms to the home. That was before then. I was thinking that was even before my mother passed and my mother passed in 1911, so that was before then. But I was born in this four-room house and it was before 1911 that we built on these other four rooms, and the people were fairly prosperous.

The farmers, you see, we had our garden, we had our cows, we had our butter, and so many times in the fall of the year we had a small orchard that I can remember we would hitch up with the lumber wagon and we would go, maybe for four or five miles to another farm where they had apples and we would buy apples by the bushel, just have almost a wagon load. That wouldn't mean anything to you, a wagon load of apples. You have never seen a wagon. And we would go home and we would peel these apples and my mother would make apple butter. I am going back. That's before 1911. She was ill, by the way, what you call it. Stone. Big white jar, held several gallons, and she would make that into apple butter. Then we had several small jars. So we always had food to eat and we would come home from school and go get out that jar of apple butter. And she always made jelly out of peelings, so we had just fruit and jelly piled up in our basement. So we weren't hungry.

MR. NETHER: Did this now last all the way over to the '20s where you could still eat it, it was preserved for you?

MS. KISER: No. After she passed, there wasn't too much canning, and we were all practically grown and some of us went away from home. I had my oldest sister named me and I think I figured up she was something like sixteen or seventeen years older than I was. She was in high school when I was born. So we just gradually pushed on out. And my other sisters, I hardly remember them being at home, those two older sisters, only when they come home on vacation, I remember. And this oldest sister, after she finished KU she taught in Oklahoma, but we had always gotten along fairly well.

MR. NETHER: Did you ever go out of town at any time during the '20s?

MS. KISER: Oh, I was away teaching during the '20s, yes, going away to school and teaching.

MR. NETHER: Where did you teach?

MS. KISER: Let me see. I was away at school at Emporia, because I finished Emporia in 1921 with a certificate. I was teaching in the '20s, and then I went to Beloit. Ever heard of Beloit, Kansas?


MS. KISER: Industrial School for Girls. And I taught there one year. Then I went from there?that must have been 1922 and 1923, I think I'm getting these practically right?to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and I was there for three years, taught there three years. Did you want to hear more about mine or did you want to hear more about the community? What I mean to say, I was away so much of the time.

MR. NETHER: Anything you want to say is interesting.

MS. KISER: I don't want it to be on myself. Of course, I would come home during every vacation and then until about '27 I was teaching in Kansas City, Kansas, and I taught there for five years.

MR. NETHER: So most of the '20s you spent outside of Douglas County?


MR. NETHER: What about the Depression, Mrs. Kiser, which started in 1929? Can you remember what it was like?

MS. KISER: I should say so. At that time I was teaching, and then for a year I was ill and out of school, and then I was at home, and things were pretty rough. Of course, we had our chickens, but it was hard to get food and seemed like to me the farmers, the crops weren't too good. At that time, most of us were away from home. I would just go there?I was just there for a time being, but things were pretty rough, then I remember that I had tried?that I attempted about 1928, I guess it was, anyway—I finished school, teaching this length of time, and I had decided to try to get a job. And it was very difficult and I came here, came to Lawrence, to an employment office. And I came in and there was a white man, of course, there. He looked up and saw that I was black and he just whirled around in his chair. I don't know whether you know those swivel chairs, whirled around in one of those and turned his back into doing something.

And I was determined and I stood right there. I don't know how long I stood right there. I said, "Pardon me, can I speak to you?" He said, "What do you want to speak about?" I said, "This is an employment office, isn't it?" He said, "Yes, it is, but we aren't employing you." He said, "All the cooks are taken and all the maid jobs are taken. No jobs for you." By that time I think I swallowed. I said, "I wasn't going to be interested in being a cook." He said, "Well, what else can you do?" And I just told him. I wasn't being boastful, but it made me so angry, all the cook jobs are taken and all the maid jobs are taken, and I said, "I wasn't the least bit interested in that." He said, "Well, what else can you do?"

And I told him what I had been doing, and I said, "I had hoped to get in as a social worker," because people were working socially?he said, "Oh, you don't want to come here." I said, "Well, it's an employment place." Well he told me where to go. So I went down to the courthouse, and I don't remember her name, the woman was very nice to me. She wouldn't say they weren't hiring Negroes. She said, "Your people are very proud people and they don't want a black person, they don't want them to know their business." Said, "You are a very proud race." I said, "Oh, I think I could be very helpful." She said, "I don't doubt you could do the work, but," she said, "we have another black teacher." Everything was Negro then. "We have another Negro teacher that is an older woman," and said, "she is Miss Dillard." I know you will hear of her. Said, "She has applied for the job." But said, "Your people don't want them." Now, I had never thought about them that way, but that's what she said, and she said, "I have been with them and they don't want them."

At that time one of my aunties was trying to get on welfare, but she was single. That is, her husband had passed, and she was living with her sister and her sister had a home here, and she felt that she should be on welfare because she was too old to do much work. She did a few little washings and these people wouldn't let her, so I thought to myself that was unfair, her sister couldn't take care of her. She was washing to take care of herself. She had no small children, but she had some young children and grandchildren, and they wouldn't let her get on welfare. Never did.

MR. NETHER: So to kind of back up a little bit, you say at the employment office they seemed to only want blacks for certain types of jobs?

MS. KISER: And he said those were taken. He said no, I don't even have any jobs, not even for the black jobs, but he said the white people have the jobs.

MR. NETHER: What about when you were going to school? Did you choose to be a teacher or did they kind of mold you to be a teacher?

MS. KISER: Truthfully speaking, and I want to be truthful about it, I had this sister teaching and she would come home teaching and I had dolls, I was the youngest, and I would have dolls and candy and an orange meant so much, and we would just have a big family affair, and I thought, oh, she was just loaded with money. But she wasn't making but $45 at that time. She was in Oklahoma. But I thought that was a lot of money, and I thought, when I grow up I'm going to be a teacher like you, and I just kept that in my mind. And I went to school to be a teacher, and that was my purpose for the money because she was so rich, I thought.

MR. NETHER: Who did you mostly teach? Did you teach integrated classes or was it mostly all black?

MS. KISER: All black. All black.

MR. NETHER: Never at any time in your life when?

MS. KISER: Never at any time in my life.

MR. NETHER: So they hired you for that purpose, to teach black kids?

MS. KISER: Yes. May I say this? My teacher taught here in Lawrence and she had a black room. That was called the black room. She taught the first three grades of black children, and then there were three teachers. You will find that out otherwise, I mean someone else could tell you more about it. At that time there were three black teachers. Each one had a room. My sister had the first three grades, but they were black children. There was a man here in Lawrence that he always said, "Oh, I just love Mrs. Kiser because she taught my children." I thought to myself?he said, "You are Mrs. Kiser's sister?" I said, "Yes." He said, "She taught my children. I just love her." But I found out she was poor in music. She would go over and teach this class in music, this white class of music, of course, white and black beyond the third grade, and this white teacher taught her?I don't mean music, the white teacher?I'm sorry. The white teacher taught her music and she taught English language, it was called then, for this teacher. But that was the only way.

But in Fort Smith, Arkansas, there was only black and only people there would say, "Why don't you come here? Why don't you work up there?" I said, "I can't. I can't find jobs." "I don't see why you come here." They seemed to feel kind of, "Why do you have to come down here?" Like an outsider, but they were nice to me.

MR. NETHER: Like you were an outsider?

MS. KISER: Like I was an outsider.

MR. NETHER: How about your facilities? Did you have enough books? Did you have good books? Did you have to have pencil and papers for the students to use?


MR. NETHER: Were they comparable with the white classes?

MS. KISER: No, they weren't. We didn't go to the library, in Fort Smith, couldn't go to the library, but they would bring us books, supplementary books, but we couldn't even go to the library to study. The kids couldn't go to the library to study. I don't know how it is now, but it was then.

MR. NETHER: So education wasn't equal as far as black and white then because?

MS. KISER: No. Now, that's Arkansas I am talking about, of course, people go to the library here, but I was there for three years.

MR. NETHER: Was Douglas County more lenient with black children as far as teaching them than it was in Arkansas?

MS. KISER: Yes, because, you see, we had the integrated schools.

MR. NETHER: Uh huh.

MS. KISER: See, Lawrence High School is integrated, always been integrated, and of coursed we didn't get to take part. We did have students who were eligible to be in programs and things like that. Once in a while we would have maybe once a year they would have a class program for blacks. Now, I was in the class with a girl who was very talented in music and she would sing and play and then maybe give a reading, some of the better students would.

MR. NETHER: So as far as relating the blacks and whites, Douglas County was a lot better than Arkansas?

MS. KISER: Yes, it was.

MR. NETHER: I want to move on from the Depression. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but the Depression was bad, but you were able to still make a living for yourself, but you were a teacher?

MS. KISER: Yes, teacher and farmer, you see. My brother was farming. He still raised quite a bit.

MR. NETHER: In December of 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Can you remember what effect this bombing now which would start World War II had on Douglas County? How did the people react to this? What can you remember about this era?

MS. KISER: Everybody was very unhappy and yet 1941, I'm just trying to think, I worked at the plant, I think, from '41 to '45. I don't want to be confusing saying I think this and I think that, but I am trying to remember. So I wasn't at home too much, but I got the reaction from many of the people at the plant. '41 through '45—must have been '42 to '45. Some of them were glad the war was on, and I remember that I was a maid there and I remember a woman came in the restroom and she said, "Now, if the war will just last three more years I will have my farm paid for." And I looked at her and I said, "Well, what about the boys that are" ?I had some cousins in the war then. I said, "Well, what about the boys?" Oh, well, she was just very?people are dying away and if it will just last three more years. She was almost praying three more years. And that was the attitude of many. But most of the people, I think, I say many, most of them I think were happy about it, you know, but they were so busy making money. Money seemed to be the foremost thing, but that was the most horrible I thought I ever heard, for her to come in and say if it would just last?that was when they were talking about peace. She said if it would just last three more years. And the people were just money, money, money, money, money. I stopped school to go to the plant because I made more money.

MR. NETHER: That's the thing. That's where a lot of blacks came from the South to the North to get involved in those factory jobs and so on.

MS. KISER: And I began to notice or we began to notice that many of the people, I'm not saying the people here were so much better, but they were at least more thoughtful, more?what's the word I want?more tactful. That's what I want. If they didn't want you, why, you didn't know it, but you heard through someone else. But people came here, many of the whites came here from the South, and they said, "Well, we don't want our children going with the black children." Only they didn't call them black. They didn't want their children going with black children. And I understand that at Eudora that some of the whites from the South asked the President of the Board?the superintendent?that why not send the "niggers" on up to?and that's the word they used?on up to put them in one school, and he said, "The black people were here before you came and they're going to stay right here." Said, "Now maybe you need to go back."

MR. NETHER: That's good.

MS. KISER: Now, that I heard. That happened in Eudora. Then the town, you could just see. I had one friend here that lived out on Indiana Street and they had, they didn't call them mobile homes; that's what it was, just a mobile home, across the street, and whites from the South had come and she said, "I was afraid to go outdoors." She said, "I was afraid to go out and sit on my front porch, because they called her names, and seemed like just beginning to bring up from that.

MR. NETHER: How did the young men here at this time feel about going to World War I to fight? Were they enthusiastic about this?


MR. NETHER: Fighting for their country?

MS. KISER: I mentioned the fact about my brother, but they just thought it was matter-of-fact. They just had to go. In the country there weren't too many of the black men around then. I think there's two from our community that went.

MR. NETHER: Did these men?did you ever hear stories that they told about the war? What was it like for them to be black and in the service?

MS. KISER: Oh, yes. My brother, as I said, was in Portland, Oregon and he went from there and when he came back he said by no means?if you could help the Salvation Army, by no means, help what the other society was there.

MR. NETHER: Red Cross?

MS. KISER: Red Cross. By no means help them because he said they were terrible to them. They wouldn't even feed them. And then he mentioned here in Fort Funston, why, am I getting off the subject? Just let me know. Just stop me because I am an awful talker.

MR. NETHER: I love?I could tell teachers.

MS. KISER: We have a lot of mouth. Too much. And Funston, my brother, came through from Portland, Oregon and he ran away and came home, that is he left the camp over Friday. Says he wouldn't be in any danger. We were scared to death. And he came home and he told us a lot of things about it, but right here Funston, he said if they had a business, you know, candies and ice creams, so forth, and he said that some of the men, some of the black boys went up to get this and they said, "We don't serve you," and he said one of the boys said, "OK, boys, hands on rocks." And he said each one was running around getting a rock, "Hands on rocks, place." And he said each one ran around, got a rock or clod or something and tore the place all to pieces. I said, "You were in it?" He said, "Yes, I was in it." He said, "Everyone was running around, got a rock or something. We tore that man all to pieces. He just begged." Then they went in with their hands, scooped and ate the man's ice cream.

MR. NETHER: I think I would have done the same thing. We mentioned the Red Cross. They said never support them.

MS. KISER: Never support them?

MR. NETHER: What kind of groups did support the blacks?

MS. KISER: Salvation Army. He said the Salvation Army is very good. Until today when I go by the Salvation Army I give them something. I don't say I don't give to the Red Cross, things like that, it's a different time. I don't say largely?but I give to the Salvation Army.

MR. NETHER: The Red Cross?

MS. KISER: Sometimes you become prejudiced.

MR. NETHER: They were like that for what I found out about it too, that they would only help the white soldiers and they expected blacks to form their won Red Cross to help the black soldiers.

MS. KISER: And when they would go through, why, the Red Cross would be out there giving coffee, but to the white boys when they were going through on the trains.

MR. NETHER: I couldn't understand that.


MR. NETHER: OK. Anything else at all that you can remember about?

MS. KISER: You get me started and I never will stop.

MR. NETHER: I'm going to back up then. Can you remember the Brownsville affair? This happened in Texas and a bunch of soldiers came into town and they were being discriminated against and they shot at the town.

MS. KISER: I remember my dad telling me that. Just like Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt. He was a politician in his day. He was always going around trying to?but, oh, he didn't like Roosevelt. He didn't like Roosevelt. But I said, "What are they going to do?" He said, "The thing to do is find out who did it. Couldn't find out, let them all go. Let them all go." And I remember that when I was in school. I remember that a teacher was kept and I was?and I was a quiet child, you don't think so now, but I was a child that would listen and I would mind, and my brother was in something and I saw him, and she said, "Laurenia, you saw that." She said, "Laurenia, what did he do?" And I refused to talk and she asked Grace and she refused to talk and this boy and another boy were both in it. She kept us after school the whole week. I don't remember what it was they did, but I remember we never would tell it.

MR. NETHER: This is kind of the thing Roosevelt did. Punished all of them, gave them dishonorable discharges. One of them?I think it was 1972 or '73, I know it was recently, where I think it had to be after '72, '73 Ford gave a final pardon to the last Brownsville soldier.

MS. KISER: Yes, he was an old, old man now and he had never received any benefits from the service and now the government finally started giving it to him after all that time.

MR. NETHER: Jump back to World War II. How did you feel about Franklin Roosevelt when he was elected, when he was President?

MS. KISER: Well, I didn't vote form him at first. I didn't vote for him simply because?I wasn't very grown up, was I?because he was a Democrat and I was a Republican. My father always taught us you vote for the man, and that's what he did. But just for some reason, I felt Roosevelt was not the man and I didn't vote for him the first time, but I did after, and I thought he made a very good President. I heard a woman say?she lived in Chicago, and she said, "I went home for the" ?I know her home was someplace in the South—to visit and she said black boys and girls who had never worn shoes were wearing shoes during the administration and she said they were dressing like people. Practically going naked before then. But that was in town. I don't know where the town was or what it was, but she said that was one thing that happened.

MR. NETHER: He was one of the most loved and most hated presidents of all times.


MR. NETHER: Most if you were poor, if you were a farmer, he did greater things for you, but what he did, he took money out of big businessmen's pockets in order to pay for those clothes.

MS. KISER: I learned that after he was in for a while. I remember that's when we first got our electricity on the farm. That was a great thing. Kept our butter and so forth in the well, where it would keep cool. Or my father had a place in the basement that he made a cement place and would pump the water. You have seen a pump, haven't you? We would pump that water. He connected the water to the basement and we would pump the water down in the basement. And he made a cement, just about?not as large as this room, but half as large as this room, place in there where we would put our milk and cream to keep it cool, then we would have to dip the water out. Every morning that was one of my jobs, to dip that water out and pump the cool water in. And that was during?I don't remember just what year?but during his administration that we got electricity. We have had electricity ever since.

MR. NETHER: Do you feel his administration helped your family's position here?


MR. NETHER: In Douglas County?

MS. KISER: I think so.

MR. NETHER: Did most people in Douglas County?how did they feel about it?

MS. KISER: I think they felt he was a great person. At first maybe?let me see now. I am not a history student. It was a Republican before him, wasn't it?

MR. NETHER: Yes, Hoover.

MS. KISER: Hoover was the time we had to do all that eating this bread and so forth and so on.

MR. NETHER: Food line?

MS. KISER: Yes. And I think the people were very pleased for black and white, yes, but I was ashamed afterwards to think I hadn't voted for him, and I think that's the reason I voted for him. I mean I voted for the other man because he was a Republican. I think the reason I didn't vote for him at first was because he was a Democrat.


MS. KISER: And I have learned, and I was old enough to know then, but I have learned to vote now for the man, to read and find out as much as you can about that person and watch the bills and vote for the man. Took me a long time to learn that.

MR. NETHER: Did most black people?I am sure you won't know how all black people voted?but do you think most black people in Douglas County were Republicans?

MS. KISER: At one time most of them were, but my daddy was?he never did say, I mean that he?I don't know what he was because I know there's a Democrat in there running for Sheriff and he said, "That's a good man," and I said, "Daddy, he's a Democrat." He said, "I don't care, he is a good man and you vote for the man." And he would go to the polls and we really didn't look for him home until ten or eleven or twelve o'clock that night. He would stay right there to see what was going on. But most of the people in Kansas, for that matter, were Republicans.

MR. NETHER: Is there anything now that you can recall about World War II? Anything that you would like to mention to me about it?

MS. KISER: I don't think so. When I get home I will think I could have said such and such a thing. But nothing definitely. You just stop me if I talk too much.

MR. NETHER: After World War II, in 1954 you had a decision, Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education, which said that segregation was against the law, and in 1896 they passed a law which says segregation was legal. In 1954, they said segregation is not legal. How did this decision, which took place only 25 miles away, how did this decision affect Douglas County, do you think? Did it kind of shake people up, make them afraid or?

MS. KISER: I think it did. You see, they turned out the black people. There were several others, I guess, but I had two very good friends teaching in Topeka, and they had to go seek schools other places. And one of them was old and she couldn't leave her home. But this other, the younger woman, went on to Kansas City and she started there. But the people were very unhappy about that, about them turning off the black teachers, make a place for them, but they dismissed so many of the black people, black teachers.

MR. NETHER: Did they? When the schools were supposed to be integrated?

MS. KISER: Yes, dismissed. Two of them I know personally that they dismissed.

MR. NETHER: Uh huh.

MS. KISER: And some of the people began to wonder, is it a good thing to have integration if they are going to just let the white people come in? And I have a friend in Oklahoma, of course that's not in Kansas. She was teaching there. And she had to come to Kansas City. They didn't say they were dismissing you for that purpose, but they did.

MR. NETHER: dismissed the black teachers and hire white teachers?

MS. KISER: Just put white teachers in there. I don't know whether they did all of them or not, because there's still some black teachers teaching. I know there are now, but I knew these two people personally that were let out, just dismissed.

MR. NETHER: Even at this time, I asked you earlier about the schools, but do you think that this time that blacks had as good schools as the whites?

MS. KISER: Never, never.

MR. NETHER: Never did?


MR. NETHER: So the idea that to integrate just seems like that they would have just switched teachers to another building?

MS. KISER: That was the idea.

MR. NETHER: They didn't feel like these black teachers were good enough for something. I don't want to put words in your mouth. This is what I assume, that they weren't good enough or intelligent enough to teach in a white building?

MS. KISER: And many of the white parents I guess objected.

MR. NETHER: What about here in Douglas County? Did this affect them at all? What was it like as far as segregation goes? Could you go to the movies and sit anywhere you wanted to?

MS. KISER: No, not when I was young. You couldn't even eat in some of the restaurants. You would go there and get something and take it out. But it's interesting, if I may say this. I was always glad when Saturday came because we would get to come to town. We would come to town in the lumber wagon we used in the country and then we had a big buggy, spring wagon we would call that. And take us two hours to come, two hours to go. But it was my great delight. I was very fond of bologna. We had our own meats, but the others tasted better. We had pork. Every fall my dad would kill three or four hogs and we would have meat the year round. Had a smokehouse. But it was a great delight for me to come to town to get crackers and bologna, and we would always save it and some candy until we got in the wagon going home, and I would have more fun eating that bologna and crackers. Sometimes we would get something else, but bologna is what I liked.

MR. NETHER: But you had to kind of stay within your boundaries. You couldn't go into a lunch counter, sit, and eat?

MS. KISER: Oh, no, my no.

MR. NETHER: How did most blacks, do you think, feel about this? Did they just kind of accept it? Were there places that whites wouldn't go?

MS. KISER: Oh, no. I'm sure there wasn't. There was a man named Mason here, the Patee Theater, man named Mason and his wife kept students. He was kind of an Indian-looking fellow, wasn't fair, but yet he possibly, now I think could pass as a foreigner, but he selected a very fair girl and took her to the Patee Theater, and they detected that they were black and turned him back, but he did it for the purpose of suing them, and they had quite a commotion over that. Finally the Patee did open to black people. I have gone to the theater. Didn't go very much to the theater, but we had to sit up above in the crow's nest. That's what they called it. Up above. And that was at the theater down here on Tenth across from the bank, across from the First, you know. I can't think of the name of that theater now.


MS. KISER: But we had certain places to sit. So we just didn't go very much.


MS. KISER: Because I think this television was a great thing.

MR. NETHER: Didn't have to worry about going.

MS. KISER: Didn't have to worry about going. I don't know when I have been in a show.

MR. NETHER: Mrs. Kiser, can you remember what it was like here in Douglas County during the Vietnam War? Again, I am asking you about most people and what they did and maybe some personal involvement that you had. Did people, black or white, did they seem to go out and want to fight in the Vietnam War as they did in World War II or World War I?

MS. KISER: I don't know about the whites, but I think the blacks didn't want to. Of course, some of them couldn't find jobs and they just go to the Army.

MR. NETHER: That's interesting, because this is not the first time that I have heard that blacks went to the war in the 1960s not particularly because they were so patriotic, but no other way to make money. Needed a job.

MS. KISER: I had a cousin I know that went, and they said that he couldn't find anything to do. Another thing, Roosevelt opened this place, the CCC camp. You heard about that. And I had two or three cousins go there. They finished high school, didn't have the money to go to KU, so they went to the CCC camp.

MR. NETHER: Can you remember the racial problems which they had here in the early 1970s as far as Kansas University and Lawrence High? Can you tell us anything about this?

MS. KISER: There's not much I can tell you about that. I was in the country, of course, I read the papers. I would rather someone else would tell you more about that because I can't tell you more about that. I know it was a terrible stir. And where I live now, we have neighbors, and I know she came over, one of the neighbors came over, and she said, "I just hope things won't be rough. I just hope things won't be like they were." I said, "I do too." They seldom mention it and you weren't sure?we felt fairly comfortable, I would say living in the neighborhood where we lived now?we do not have any black neighbors. But we were pushed out of our home there. And this was the first home we found we moved in there. I said, well, we are just old people and we certainly won't bother anybody.

MR. NETHER: In Lawrence, could blacks buy a home anywhere they wanted to?

MS. KISER: No. No.

MR. NETHER: Where were they expected to buy homes?

MS. KISER: In East Lawrence. My cousin told me she was living in north Lawrence and she wanted to get a home in south Lawrence and they took her to east Lawrence. She said, "I want something better than that." "We don't have anything better to offer you." And they would not, I am told that. But we didn't really have any difficulty in getting the home where we live now.

MR. NETHER: You are in south Lawrence, aren't you?

MS. KISER: Yes, southeast Lawrence. Didn't have any difficulty, but I know when the real estate man, when you have seen so much, you just add up and say, "Well, I don't know whether I am going to the right place or not." This man came and took us there and I said, "What about our neighbors?" I was just very frank. "Oh," he said, and I am using his words, he said, "These are not rednecks." He said, "I wouldn't take you to a district where they were all white if they were rednecks." And I said, "What do you mean by rednecks?" He said, "I mean people that didn't like colored people." He said, "These are not rednecks." And he said, "They won't bother you." He said, "They are very fine people. Most of them are teachers." And he said, "I know you won't have any trouble." So we thought, and my brother was sick, and I said, well, it was the first home he showed us. And I said, "What about children?" He said, "Not many children. Not many children." When we went out to see the?it was superintendent of school's home, where Mr. ?what's his name?


MS. KISER: No, not Day. I was thinking we lived in his home. I can't think of his name now. And he was still there and he was leaving, and we just weren't certain what we were doing. And he said, "You will find that you will have very nice neighbors. You will have very nice neighbors." And I said, "Many children?" Because children can be such a nuisance sometimes if they want to be, like they go around our tree, they go around the tree. And we had our flowers around the tree and, you know, catch hold of the tree and go round and round and round. And I stopped them. When I stopped them, they were very gracious. Roll on down on the grass. Usually I would go there and say something to them, and they were very, very gracious. They were pretty nice. I told them they were disturbing my brother. Had a sick brother. And they would be out there playing in the grass, rolling down the hill. They have difficulty buying a home, but as I say, we didn't have any better?it's better now. The blacks are all over town, all over town in some of the better places. We just have a very modest place. You are among people that won't cause trouble.


MS. KISER: He said they will let you alone. Won't cause trouble.

MR. NETHER: From all this, can you see any major changes that has taken place here in Douglas County?

MS. KISER: Oh, that's one, I mean, that they can buy anyplace. I think they can now. I'm saying that because I know there are blacks here, there, and different places, but it's a usual place. At one time the blacks were practically all in east Lawrence. We call that the slum district, little Harlem, maybe?

MR. NETHER: East Bottoms?

MS. KISER: East Bottoms, yes. And then there were a group of blacks out on Tennessee Street from the 1700 block on out, and then at one time they had the Seventeenth and Ohio, I believe that's the next street, large house there. I think it's still there. But the Kappa Alpha Kappa girls stayed in. Did you know about that?

MR. NETHER: Uh huh. I know of the Kappa Alpha Kappa. I don't particularly know about the house.

MS. KISER: Yes, they stayed there and at one time I might say when I went, I went to KU part of the time, then I went to finish from Emporia. They didn't permit blacks to swim. Of course, I was for it. I didn't like water anyway. But we were for it. We would try to fight for it. And she is still in Philadelphia. She said she got her degree. You are supposed to have swimming in order to get your degree. And they gave her a "C" but she never had any swimming. And that happened here in KU and I know her personally. Of course, they were trying to get swimming when I was there.

MR. NETHER: Another change.

MS. KISER: I think there's swimming now, I imagine. I imagine all that's gone on now.

MR. NETHER: Swimming now that you can do that you couldn't do before, and housing, you can buy a house generally most anywhere?

MS. KISER: I think so.

MR. NETHER: Are there any other major changes that you can recall?

MS. KISER: As I said, you can go and sit, I think, anyplace in the theaters now, I haven't been there for years, but I think you can go anyplace and sit and I think you can eat in anyplace you want to. I think so.

MR. NETHER: Good. Did you know anyone on welfare at any time?

MS. KISER: I had a cousin on welfare, but as I said, the people didn't want us to know it. Right now, we are working in missionary work, and we will try to go in the homes. And they don't say, "I don't want you." They are very gracious, but "No, I don't need anything." They are very shy.

MR. NETHER: Is it?

MS. KISER: Just through what you would hear about them, they would say, all Lawrence, all the black people are on welfare, and I would say, "Are they? I probably knew them, but I didn't know they were on welfare, but there are a number of blacks on welfare, and I understand there are still blacks on welfare, but I couldn't name you one single family I know on welfare because through the churches we try to work with them and through Valley Center, and these other centers we try to work and help them get their clothing that they need and help them in any way that we possibly can, especially in food.

MR. NETHER: So there wasn't anything to be happy about. People tried to sort of hide the fact that they were getting money from the government?

MS. KISER: Oh, yes.

MR. NETHER: Most people?

MS. KISER: Independent. I think the black man is independent if he is given a chance. I remember our minister saying this. He said, "We don't ask you for anything. We want a chance. You give us a chance and we will make it. We aren't given a chance." We weren't. We are given better chances now. Am I talking too much?


MS. KISER: We are given better chances now, but we weren't given a chance. A black man that I know quite well had finished high school and I don't know whether he finished KU or not, but anyway he applied for a mail carrier. They didn't hire them. I was here when they didn't hire black mail carriers, so you see what I mean.

MR. NETHER: And see lot of people today, they have a misconception that black people are just happy to run down and get on the welfare rolls and they just want to sit up and receive this free money.

MS. KISER: All we want is a chance. Give us a job and we will make it and even?may I say this? Even when I was in the South, in Fort Smith, I got $80 a month and the white teachers the same teacher with the same qualifications I had was getting $120. I was getting $80. Then, I taught three years at a rural school in Missouri, and I was getting $60 and the teacher downtown—mine was rural, our school was out rural—teacher downtown was getting $85. And I told the man, one of the members of the board, he said, "We are going to give you?if you will come back—we will give you $65." I said, "You gave me $65 because my face is black." And I said, "You gave the white teacher $85 because she is white." Oh, I have always been able to?it may not be sensible, but I do it, and it didn't help any.

One of these chewing fellows, chewed tobacco really fast. The people I was boarding with, he said, "That little woman said some awful things to me." He said, "I can't imagine her saying those things." I told him what I said. He was kind of a quiet fellow, and he said, "Did you say that to him?" I said, "I sure did." I said, "It's the truth." And he know it was the truth. And then they had?we were putting in electricity, now this is in Missouri, Yates, Missouri, they were putting in electricity, and that was during Roosevelt's time through the country, through the rural schools and they came right by our house. And the children were so happy and we don't have electricity. Came by our school house and the man where I was staying, he said, "You aren't going to have any electricity." I said, "Why not?" He said, "Not unless you ask for it." And he said, "I will go with you." I said, "You don't have to go with me. I will be all right." So I went down and asked them if we were going to have electricity, and they had electrified the white school. And he said, "Well, I don't think so." I said, "It was a place where people were eager to have anything going on. They would have plays. I would have plays. And didn't have many children, but I would get the young people in the neighborhood to come in. And he said, "Well, maybe we could give you?we will put it on the outside. We will put it on the outside. Now, if you want to pay for it, have some kind of entertainment and pay for it, well, we will." So they brought it to the door.

MR. NETHER: Were there any class distinctions between blacks themselves? You were a teacher at one time. Did blacks that made more money than, say the farmers or some of the other ones that didn't have jobs, did they feel that they were better than the other blacks, or anything?

MS. KISER: There's been teachers?there's been teachers?the oldest was a teacher, and I feel I am telling you about my situation. I never felt better. People would accuse you, "Oh, she teaches school, she thinks she's smart." I think people who study and understand people, they love people, and not just because he's got a degree or because he's some such thing. We love people, we are all God's people and we just love people and sometimes we are accused of it. "She thinks she's better than I am because she does such and such a thing." I have heard people say that, but I don't believe it. Down in my heart I don't believe. I don't feel that way about it just because someone isn't teaching school. I love the other person just as much as I do?

MR. NETHER: What about here in Douglas County? Did people that were light skinned, light complexioned, had a fair complexion, did they kind of seem better than the ones that were dark complexioned, had a darker complexion, or did it just seem they were black and were able to just generally relate to one another?

MS. KISER: I think perhaps if they felt a little bit superior because they knew—I have friends that have passed for the other race. When I see people, I say I don't know whether she's part of us or not, because they felt they did have a better advantage. And may I tell this little incident? There was a girl working out here at the plant and she was fair, and we were very good friends, and she went out to get on the bus and somebody, it was midnight, and someone?when the man would get off the bus, he would close the door and someone in the bus was already in there would open the door for someone coming, and she came, and there were two white men in there got up and opened the door and let her in. Finally, he saw a black woman coming and saw her coming and said to the other fellow, "She's going to get in the best way I know. I'm not going to let her in." And this girl, she wasn't passing for white, she turned and looked at him and she said, "It's mighty." And she used an ugly work, "That you let me in." And he looked at her and said, "I would let her in." Said, "I don't know why you let me in." He immediately knew she was part black. Have you read Ex-Colored Man by Johnson?

MR. NETHER: I have read Black like Me.

MS. KISER: I have read Black like Me. This is Ex-Black Man. But he said that the people that passes?and there are thousands of them that are passing every year he said the people that are passed, they are doing it for advantage. They have been held down. If you can get a better job over there, you get it. I have friends that will pass. I had a girl come with me on the same train. She was going to St. Louis and I was coming to Kansas City, and we were both teaching there, and she said, "I just pulled my hat down over my head," and she said, "Laurenia, I'm not going out because I don't want to ride in a Jim Crow car." You have never heard of them, I guess.

MR. NETHER: I have heard of them.

MS. KISER: That's the car next to the engine. If she was fair enough to pass and not have to go in the Jim Crow car, I can understand it, and so she said, "Now, if I go with you, we will want to sit together." I said, "I don't blame you," and I didn't get angry with her. I didn't get angry with her. She was that fortunate to get advantage.

MR. NETHER: Mrs. Kiser, did you attend church here in Douglas County?

MS. KISER: Do I attend?



MR. NETHER: What church do you belong to?

MS. KISER: Ninth Street Baptist.

MR. NETHER: How long have you attended this church?

MS. KISER: I joined this church several years ago, and then when I went to Kansas City I joined church there because I lived there for several years. Then when I came back, of course, I came back home to my home church.

MR. NETHER: Can you see any real changes in the church since the time when you first joined to now, or is it still about the same?

MS. KISER: It's a new day and things are very different. I say very different it's money now. It's money when you go to church. You just should have some money to lay on the table or everything seems to be money, but I don't know other than that. Of course, there's difference in the type of preaching. We don't have that, what do we call it, hallelujah preaching so much now as we did. I came in the days when they was preaching you are going to hell or you are going to heaven, so on like that. That type of preaching. But we don't have that. It's more intelligent. Yes.

MR. NETHER: Can you remember much about KU here in Douglas County? Anything specific that you would like to mention about KU as far as how did it relate to blacks?

MS. KISER: I told you about the swimming.


MS. KISER: And let me see. What else? Can I tell this a little bit?

MR. NETHER: Sure, you can.

MS. KISER: There is?I'm trying to think of his name?lawyer in Kansas City that was here in school. Billy Towers. He's passed now. And the teacher said in class that black people?I don't know whether they heard him say it or not, anyway, he went to her about it and said black people were not as intelligent as white people. No black person ever made an "A". So he went to him after class and said, "What does one have to do to make an "A?" Well, he gave him a whole list of things that he would have to do to make an "A". He said no black person had ever made an "A" under him. He said, "I see." He did that and a whole lot more, a lot more research, and he said, "I didn't know it was in him, but he gave an "A."

MR. NETHER: You were born on a farm, is that correct?

MS. KISER: Born on a farm.

MR. NETHER: How did your father acquire this farm?

MS. KISER: He bought it and his father was—when they came up here from Virginia, they bought this little farm. Of course, after he married, he stayed there and he bought the farm from the other heirs, and we were fairly comfortable there.

MR. NETHER: OK. Do you recall anyone that has been born here in Douglas County that has left and became famous in one field or another, say science or entertainment or sports?

MS. KISER: Uh huh. I don't know them. I mean Langston Hughes was a famous poet, and Walker.

MR. NETHER: William Walker?

MS. KISER: No. Just a minute. There was a William and Walker?

MR. NETHER: Yes, Nash Walker.

MS. KISER: Yes, William and Walker. And I'm just trying to think of someone else. As I said, Mr. Ed Harvey was a noted football player.

MR. NETHER: He was the first black football?

MS. KISER: I think he was. I'm not sure, but II think he was the first black that played on the KU team. Now, let's see. Of course, we have many teachers. Nothing famous about that, but I am just trying to think. I can't think of anybody else.

MR. NETHER: What do you remember about Langston Hughes when he was here?

MS. KISER: Now, I didn't know him. See, he's younger than I. And I tell you, if you want to find out about Langston Hughes, if you call Mrs. McClanahan. She used to be Clark. Her mother was Clark.

MR. NETHER: Would it be Alice?

MS. KISER: Alice.

MR. NETHER: I have it.

MS. KISER: McClanahan. She would tell you about Langston Hughes. She went to school with him. And her father was a lawyer. You talked to her. You haven't talked to her?

MR. NETHER: Uh huh.

MS. KISER: Her father was a lawyer here at one time.

MR. NETHER: Those are all my questions right now, Mrs. Kiser. Do you have any questions you would like to ask me or anything now that you can think of? I am sure after you leave you will think of?

MS. KISER: Do you find that Lawrence is very prejudiced?

MR. NETHER: First involvement is, I think, some people are. I still think they have at least 40 percent that still are as bigoted as there ever has been, but then I have met a lot of people here that are really down to earth, like you say, and relate to you as far as your character and not because of your color.

MS. KISER: You think as many as 40 percent?

MR. NETHER: I think it's at least 40 percent, yes.


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