Virginia Rodgers

Mrs. Rodgers was born in Danville in 1911. When she was just a few weeks old her family moved to Champaign. She has worked as a stock girl in retail stores and as a cook in fraternity and sorority houses. Over the years she has seen people's attitudes change. "Jobs are opening up, but not enough," she stated in 1983. She recalls that when she was in high school in the 1920s Blacks couldn't use the swimming pool during school hours. They had to wait until four o' clock. As a result she says, "I never took swimming. My parents taught me that nobody was better than 1. So, if I had to wait until four o' clock, I said the hell with it." She is especially proud of her background, that she came from a good home and a good family in which she learned to value her heritage.

Source: Raymond Bial's In All My Years: Portraits of Older Blacks In Champaign-Urbana, Champaign County Historical Museum, 1983.