When Laura Dixie was about to graduate from the ninth grade, her teacher took her and other girls to a store downtown to buy white graduation dresses. When they walked in, Dixie could see they were getting funny looks, but she didn't know why. The teacher had such a fair complexion that she might have appeared to be white - and the clerk probably wondered why she was there with those black girls.
The girls were sent outside while the teacher talked to the clerk. When the teacher came outside, she was crying.
The girls couldn't try on the dresses, she said. Instead, the clerk had said the teacher could try on the dresses for them.
"Can you imagine a grown lady trying on a dress for a child?" Dixie asked recently, still incredulous.