Interracial dating in alabama

Within the low-slung brick building, the football jerseys enshrined in plastic cases were melting.The burnished trophies were oozing into a molten pool.The once-quiet four-block downtown is abustle with civil rights lawyers and curious journalists.

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David Daniel, a member of the Randolph County Board of Education and an electrician, watched the inferno from a distance as the wails of the gathered alumni on the hillside swelled around him. Wrenching his tie from his neck, Daniel elbowed through the crowd and seized a crate from the last man in the human chain that was working furiously to salvage school records from the maw of the inferno. When the last filing cabinet had been heaved onto the back of the truck that would transport the records to the courthouse for storage, Daniel pulled himself onto the flatbed, and the old Ford lumbered toward town.

As the sweating men screamed directives at one another, Daniel grabbed another box of files. As he braced himself against the hot rush of air, it occurred to Daniel that he was a perfect target for a sniper's bullet. It was a story of hostility between blacks and whites that had erupted in the 1960s only to be muffled by the placid social fabric that wraps the rural South.

"I had a strong feeling that I could possibly be killed or shot," recalls Daniel, 39, who's also the pastor of Big Springs Baptist Church. That's a very odd feeling for a person from a small town in the country. '" It began in February 1994, when the principal of the school was accused of calling a student of racially mixed parentage a "mistake" and canceled the prom because of interracial dating. It was a story of humiliation small and large that were whispered from one generation of black students to the next, along with other family truths.

At least that's how it seemed as the TV stations erected their satellite towers over Wedowee (pronounced wih-DOW-ee), Ala. And it was a story about small-town rivalries that collided with the federal government on shifting political sands, a story that is not yet over.

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