XV-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

XV-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Marble Monument To Cruelty

by: Ray Sprigle | publication date: August 25, 1948 | Publication: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | pages: 1

In this little, straggling Negro cemetery, its graves weed-grown, its headstones leaning drunkenly, stands a magnificent sarcophagus of white Alabama marble. It is an astonishing thing to find here on the edge of this Mississippi Delta town of Clarksdale. Quite likely there’s nothing like it all up and down the Delta in either white or Negro cemetery.Within it lie the bodies of a dark woman and her baby, both dead in the hour of the baby’s birth. Proudly, Dr. P. W. Hill, wealthy Negro dentist, shows us through this gleaming mausoleum where his wife and baby lie and where some day he too will rest.In all simplicity he regards it only as his tribute to the ones he loved.

Sprigle tries to disprove that southern hospitals will not admit black patients under any circumstances, even if it means death otherwise. His official queries to hospitals in Mississippi are met with silence.

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