Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Grace Sugita Hawley Interview
Narrator: Grace Sugita Hawley
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: June 3, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-hgrace-01-0011

GH: Well, I mean, just to get out and go and see stores and walk around freely, it was an experience. It was kind of fun, she said, "You don't have to go to school tomorrow, I'll take you out to McGehee." I guess she needed the company, so she took me, and just going shopping. But the stores are so small, and nothing special, but for us, it was a thrill to get out and go to real stores, 'cause we never got to see real stores.

MA: How were you treated by the people in the town?

GH: They weren't very nice. They weren't very nice. That's when we began to feel the difference. They, I don't remember too many incidents, but I know they weren't very friendly. But we also didn't know where to go in the bus, because the colored in the rear, they always have a sign, "colored in the rear." And the bus driver, we don't know what to do, he looked at us and he says, "You stay in the front." Oh, so we found out we're not colored, so we stay in the front. So we get in the station and the restrooms are "colored" and "white." So we decided we'll go to the "white" section since the bus driver told us not to go in the back. But that's when we first learned about segregation. We never had that here. So it's kind of sad, you know, we had to learn all those things. Because we were in the South, too.

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