You Belong to Me

Sex, Race and Murder in the South

The Ruby McCollum Story

Ruth Thompson Miller

"But Ruby McCollum said in court under testimony that he raped her why is that not part of the record? She’s said what happened. He took her up in her room, and he raped her and he finished and he left, and he said he was coming back and he kept coming back."

"Lack of knowledge, lack of history and understanding what people have gone through. I mean a whole era has been swept under a rug, and  Ruby went swoosh! She pulled it off, she pulled the veil off, so everybody could see what was going on in Live Oak. And white folks weren’t happy about it."

"Jim Crow laws was only about separate and equal, it wasn’t about the type of violence and racial violence that black folks came up against in the South.So stepping off the sidewalk and going out of your way not to look at white women, all of those things were ways of staying alive and it didn’t have anything to do with the actual laws that were in place."

"I hesitate to say Jim Crow laws because again separate but equal doesn’t mean that I have to step off the sidewalk when you come by, separate but equal doesn’t mean that you can come into my house and rape my daughter, separate but equal doesn’t mean you can burn my house down because you don’t like the color I painted it."

"And this is some of the stuff that was going on at a time in this country when the UN and the President or Mrs Eisenhower were crafting a human rights bill."

"Well, I think for whites and African Americans living under Jim Crow I think the African Americans suffered psychologically in a different way. Whites on the other hand if you look at some of the pictures with these little white, beautiful little white children looking up at a black man being lynched, and having a picnic and taking pictures and getting souvenirs…there’s something wrong with that."

"I would have to say it didn’t matter how much money you had. You could have all the money in the world but you were not going to escape the fact that your skin was still black."

"And calling one thing Slavery and Black Codes and Jim Crow, it was just a re dressing of the same system for Black Folks."

"I can't say that she was crazy but then I can’t say that the system that folks lived under didn’t have an effect on them."

"So you have this collective, a group of people that are constantly being traumatized, their stress is unbelievable."

"Oh my God she was a strong woman, she was smart , she was educated. You know, she had money but it couldn’t protect her. She was just another black woman in town."

"I cant even imagine what she went through. And the courage that it took to stand up to him the way that she did."

"She made a choice on that day, that it was going to stop and I respect her for that. I mean I respect her."

"It's important to keep in mind that Ruby McCollum and Sam McCollum grew up in Jim Crow as children so any traumatic thing that happened or dealing with all the stress, that’s starts when you’re a child."

"The fact that you know you’re not being treated like a human being. So growing up under that system these folks are the children and grandchildren of the former enslaved people." 

"In terms of her mental health and the mental health of folks during that era it’s not just that life or one event.   Talking years and years and years and years and it’s cumulative."

© 2015  All right reserved, You Belong To Me LLC