Linda C. Thacker

Linda C. Thacker

I was born and reared in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up in the turbulent 1960s. The events of those years have stayed with me throughout my years, and I have felt as if I needed to be an ambassador for good—to let others know that there are caring people of all colors in Birmingham.

As a nurse in a Major Medical Center, I was blessed with the opportunity to work alongside people from all over the world. I pray that I was that “good ambassador.” I currently live in Birmingham, Alabama.

I saw people just like me

In 1963 I had never thought about why my school was attended by whites only. The only black person I knew was Spicy, the woman who came to our home one day a week to iron.

Then, one Spring day when I was a Junior at Woodlawn High School, every class received an announcement that there would be a march of black students, and that these students would pass in front of our school. We were instructed to remain inside. We were instructed to be quiet.

My teacher was wise enough to know we would not be able to stay in our seats, so we were allowed to go to the window when the black students passed by like a parade. There was no sound, no shouting, no raised hands. Just silence. I watched a group of about 50 male and female students, just like me except for the color of their skin, walk in unison. I knew from other events at that time that they wanted an equal education, an equal opportunity to succeed. That touched my heart.

That day—that silent march of teenagers—changed me. I saw people with hopes and dreams and desires—just like me.