Vincent Kinney headshot

Vincent Kinney

Keswick Elementary School, Burley, and Albemarle High School

I don’t know how old I was. I’m guessing 10, 12, something like that, and we lived out in a rural area out there. I had asked my mom and dad to allow me to come into Charlottesville to just go to a movie, and they consented, and it was a Friday, as I recall. And I rode the bus into town. And it was sort of my parents allowing me to grow up a little bit. They’d given me permission to do that, and so I rode into town, was going to go to a movie. I got off the bus and walked down the street and went down to the Jefferson, and I walked up to the ticket booth out front there and asked for a ticket, and the woman in the booth glared at me. And I recognized what I had done. I’d gone to the white ticket window. I walked around to the side of the booth. The same woman spun around in her chair and sold me a ticket. It was one of those things that I would never forget. She had on a brown dress with sort of blue-print flowers, and it was the side window versus the front window that I had to use. I don’t know what I saw that day, but that’s what I remember about that day. And it was a message about my parents didn’t have control over me growing up; a white segregated society did. The could tell me what or what not to do, beyond what my parents could give me. And so, on a day that should’ve been uplifting, liberating, a sign of growing, I walked into Jim Crow. And because my parents had given me that, Jim Crow took it away. I never told my parents about that. I didn’t want to remind them how little control they had. And that was Charlottesville in Albemarle County that did that that day.