Allen Tucker was born July 14, 1951 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. He grew up in a large farm family there, dealing with the realities of the Jim Crow South. Allen recalls that the family did not go into town often, so the principal segregation the children encountered was at school. He also remembers working on the family farm as a young boy, harvesting the cotton and other crops and tending to the animals. At first Allen and his siblings attended all-Black schools, dealing with substandard facilities and supplies. Allen’s parents confronted their own realities and indignities; that prompted them to play a role in the developing civil rights movement, and Allen’s father – a World War Two veteran – was a plaintiff in a lawsuit to get the right to vote. When the schools began to integrate in Mississippi in the mid-1960s, Allen followed his two younger sisters and chose the integrated school (in Mississippi integration started in the elementary schools and moved up to the high schools). All three of them dealt with the backlash that this change provoked: biased teachers, bullying, conspicuously lower marks, and unfair treatment across the board. That included not being allowed to attend the school’s prom. Allen went on to university at Mississippi State, though he did not like the program as time went by. As a young man from the era he also was worried about Vietnam, but he was fortunate as the draft ended at just the time he would have been considered. Allen lives in Texas now, and he joined Crestwood students for a zoom about American history and culture and race relations in May 2023.
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