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LUTHER, WHO WISHED HE WAS BLACK \(Archer Fullingim, editor of the Kountze News in East Texas, does not capitalize the word, “Negro.” It has always seemed a little strange, capitalizing Negro, but not white. After reading this column by Mr. Fullingim from his paper, perhaps our readers will agree he does not need to The other day when I was writing a column to be published later on I remembered Luther Tippin, a negro who worked as a farm hand and handyman for my father from the time I could remember until I was 14. We were living three miles northeast of Decatur in Wise county where both of my parents were born. We made a living off this farm, raising cotton, corn, oats, but the money crop was cotton and there was not much money. Luther Tippin was half-white; he had blue-eyes ; everybody knew who his aristocratic white father was. Because of his light yellow skin, Luther had to be very careful how he acted around white people. Remember this was only 45 years after the slaves were freed. Luther had to be more humble and ingratiating before white people than other negroes of darker shades. White people thought that a negro with white blood in him would try to act white. He worked for white people but he did not hang around them. When he walked from town to our place, he would cut through pastures and woods. At that time, in the first decade of this century there were not more than 50 negroes in Decatur and all were either former slaves or children of former slaves. They worked in town for the rich or the well-to-do. Luther himself worked for the Waggoners when he wasn’t working for us, and the Waggoners are still the richest family in North Texas. When Luther AUSTIN The University of Texas’ policy of segregated dormitories has been a major reason for cancellation of a Peace Corps contract of $257,513 for the housing and training of 160 Peace Corps people at the University. The Peace Corps cooling off about the project was reportedly triggered by an incident in which a Negro Peace Corps consultant with a doctor’s degree was denied access to the Forty Acres Club, a near-the-campus. privately owned drinking and dining club with 1,800 members, of whom 350 are faculty and staff members of the University of Texas. These matters, rumored in Austin for a few weeks, came into the open this week. When the Observer inquired of U.T. President Joseph Smiley, he said he had heard no reason why the Peace Corps contract for the 160 members, which was never signed, had not been agreed upon. The Daily Texan, the student newspaper, reported that Bill Moyers, whom the student paper contacted in Washington, confirmed that U.T. segregation policies cost U.T. the quarter million dollars and the Peace Corps training mission. Chancellor Harry Ransom of U.T. told the Observer Thursday morning that having just returned to the city he was not fully apprised on the matter, but that as a matter of policy he would not comment on matters having to do with a federal contract. He said his office had not been officially apprised of any reason for the cancellation by the Peace Corps. On the subject of the Forty Acres Club, Ransom said that it has nothing to do with the University financially or officially. Buck McCullough, owner of the club, an Austin businessman, told the Observer, “It’s private owned, and it’s not integrated.” He said it is run by twelve men on an executive board ; only one of these is a staff member at U.T., and none are faculty. Of the died he Was working for the Waggoners in Vernon. There was security for a negro in working for the rich in those days. It was a sort of protection. Luther was the only negro we knew for years. He would go home to his mother’s house in the small negro section of Decatur on Saturday night. Luther loved an ebony-black wornan named Ecta Mae, but he had trouble there; what kind I don’t know, but he drank a lot and he went on sprees. And sometimes we would not see him for weeks. When old Matt, a mare we had, foaled a mare colt, my father named the colt Hector Mae; Luther acted as if he liked that but you could never tell. He acted as if he liked a lot of things. Another time old Matt foaled a mare mule colt and my father named her Maude after his brother’s wife. This seemed to please Luther. LUTHER OFTEN brought a quart bottle of whiskey from town on a weekend and hid it in some place in the barn or about the barn where my father wouldn’t find it. My father was a strict prohibitionist and voted for prohibitionists when they ran for office. He always voted against Farmer Jim Ferguson because Ferguson was a Wet. My father knew that Luther drank and he probably didn’t like it ; I don’t remember. But Luther always had a job at our place after he had gone on drinking sprees in Decatur or Fort Worth which was 40 miles south. I don’t think my father held Luther’s drinking against him. I can see now that Luther had to live with the Imowledge that he was half white and that his own father was one of the town’s leading citizens, and that he had to abase himself every time he was noticed by a white person. 350 faculty and staff members who belong to the club, McCullough said, 200 are faculty. About 700 of the club’s members are out-of-town people. McCullough’s statement should dispel the impression reported among U.T. faculty that they could take Negroes to the club. McCullough declined to sustain an inference from a quote attributed to him elsewhere that the club’s segregation policy might be undergoing reconsideration. The Texan quoted Bill Moyers, associate director of the Peace Corps for public affairs, that U.T. segregation policies played “no minimum part in our final decision to give the contract to Oklahoma. “The Peace Corps will not train at any institution whose policies are inconsistent with national policies,” the Texan quoted Moyers. “We feel it is morally wrong to use part of an institution’s facilities and close our eyes to the rest of its policies. … It was our assumption that the University was fully integrated. … When we learned that it wasn’t on the Saturday before the contracts were signed, it was a surprise. … I was surprised to learn that some dorms were not integrated. “The project would have required living facilities for the volunteers. In no case will we put volunteers into situations where discrimination is practiced.” This week the Houston Chronicle, following up the Texan story, quoted Tim Adams of the Peace Corps public affairs section that “segregated dormitories were a major element in the failure of the negotiations between the Corps and the school.” The contract has been awarded to the University of Oklahoma. Another contract has been signed between the Corps and U.T. for $100,000 for a study of selection of Corps members. It involves no Peace Corps members coming to Austin here to be domiciled. Luther every now and then mentioned the fact that he admired black negroes, and one got the idea that he wished he was black. Later on Luther worked at a wagon yard in Decatur and we would see him there, and he was always friendly. We remembered the candy he would bring us when we were little. There was no feeling of equality between us. We were taught to believe we were better than negroes. I can remember my father speaking scornfully of President Theodore Roosevelt because he ate with a negro in the White House, but now I think the contempt in his voice was due more to the fact that Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican than to the fact that he ate with a negro. When we finished eating a meal, my mother would clear the table except for the victuals and she would set a place for Luther nearest the door which happened to be at the head of the table where my father ate. Then she would call Lutlier who was waiting outside and he would eat by himself, and if we children lingered at the table or in the room, we would be sharply told to get out of the kitchen and let Luther eat. That was the way he wanted it. Luther had an odor of pipe and chewing tobacco, and where he slept on a cot in the hay loft the same odor was there strong. It was a musky odor. He chewed Brown Mule tobacco, but he did not dip snuff, and he did not smoke cigarettes, most of which then were Prince Alberts you rolled yourself. Luther liked horses and he said he could go to sleep with the sound of the horses below him in their stalls, chomping on corn and hay. Luther excelled in off straight corn and cotton rows when straight rows were the mark of fine Ransom and 18 other U.T. administration, faculty, and staff people, including the dean of the college of engineering, and the head football coach, are members of an advisory board of the Forty Acres Club. Murray Kempton of the New York Post is a columnist noted for spotting chinks in the armor of public personalities. From the legal maze of the weeks of testimony in the damage suit brought by John Henry Faulk of Austin still underway in New York City, Kempton chose the following to dwell upon: /I Engaged professionals, I suppose, doodle the symbols of their trade. Naturally then, when Vincent Hartnett, compiler of Red Channels, has occasion to doodle he takes down names. Yesterday, he wound up three weeks as a witness in John Henry Faulk’s suit against him and others for alleged libel, blacklisting, and career destruction. In its course, Louis Nizer, Faulk’s attorney, asked Hartnett why, in moments of repose during the trial, he engaged himself in writing on small cards. Hartnett answered that he was writing down the names of persons he has seen among the spectators. There will be, one assumes, on his roster of the fallen, a new category : ‘Attended Faulk trial.’ A man is blacklisted ; he protests. That provides a new reason to blacklist him. He remembers and bears a grievance. That is another reason to blacklist him up until death, where attendance at his funeral is a further reason to blacklist the mourners. Near the end of his last day’s testimony, Hartnett’s attorney asked him to recall some of the names he had taken down. ‘Well,’ Hartnett an farming; that was before farmers discovered terracing, before they learned that straight rows resulted in erosion and washing the soil away. Straight rows was Luther’s specialty and he always used Old Matt to lay off the rows. I N THOSE DAYS, many people pretended to believe that negroes did not have a soul. I have heard people refer to male negroes as bucks and females as mares. I never heard them express an opinion as to whether a negro who was half white had a soul, and I know now that Luther had a great soul. He had to convince people all the time that he knew he was a negro and that he had no ambition to be anything but a negro. Luther was a great help to my mother. When my father was gone from home, she was scared to stay in the house alone, even though she had five, six, or seven young children in the house with her. Then Luther would come from the barn and sleep on the back porch. He would build the fire in the kitchen stove for her and he helped her all he could, and my mother not only cooked, cleaned and scrubbed but built the fire in the kitchen stove, and milked until her children learned to build fires and milk. Luther had a 21-jewel solid gold watch that he kept in a chamois skin bag, but he always knew what time it was without looking at his watch. We’d be hoeing cotton or corn along beside him, rather he would take the outside row beyond my father, and would ask him what time it was, and he could tell you almost to the minute, and then we’d insist on looking at the watch, and slowly Luther would take the chamois bag out of his overalls and show us that the time was just what he said it was. Luther was a tall, slender negro and he did not sweat as much as my father who would get wringing wet with lathering sweat; Luther sweated but never through the watch pocket. I wish Luther were still living and that I could talk to him again. I would sit right down with him and have a cup of coffee with him. ARCHER FULLINGIM swered, ‘Elliott Sullivan, who was sitting next to Mrs. Faulk, one day,’ and then three others, all unfriendly witnesses before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and all still unemployable on television…. Hartnett placed Sullivan next to Mrs. Faulk in his memory with the faintest of smiles; he had discovered the newest sin : guilt by accidental proximity. Louis Nizer arose a little later. Could Hartnett point out Mrs. Faulk in the courtroom now? Vincent Hartnett looked carefully and precisely about the chamber and then pointed to a lady with dark red hair on a side bench. ‘I believe she’s the lady there,’ he said. The visitor thus identified stood up, distressed by this sudden attention, and expostulated, ‘I am Mrs. Sopher . . Somebody thought he saw an actress at a meeting of a Communist front. Therefore the actress was at the meeting. Somebody looks like somebody; ergo the first somebody is the second somebody. Mrs. Sopher is Mrs. Faulk. Just how many reports must Vincent Hartnett have made to how many advertising agencies which contained the confident sentence that so-and-so was reported at such-andsuch a meeting and that cost so-andso a job? .. . The fact must be that he is simply not interested in people except as cardboard models for a private drama of Hartnett, the cop alone. UT Loses Plum On Race Issue Uhh… Who’s Which?