Segregation remains on the tip of the tongue for many residents of Albany, where old attitudes persist””sometimes openly and certainly behind closed doors. Blacks and whites attend the same schools, visit the same movie theaters, and drink from the same fountains, but prejudices are palpable.
“There are a lot of tensions around here that just won’t die,” says a member of the local news media who asked to remain anonymous. “There’s a black-white divide, a lot of good-old-boy cronyism. The whites won’t let it go, but the blacks won’t either.”
One local pastor who has lived in several southern cities””including Montgomery, Alabama, where Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man””says Albany is “easily the most racially divided city I’ve ever been in….”