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Caesar A. Roy, author, retired college professor, FDA and FEMA Executive returns home to Jacksonville

Cover Story written by Maxine Sessions

Continued from Front Page 

Caesar A Roy, Senior returned in 2004 to a Jacksonville much different from the one he left behind in 1950 when he went away to Prairie View College to get an education.
Caesar’s parents were Robert Roy and Vaucie Seals Roy. He was born in Nan Travis Hospital February 15, 1934, the first person in his family to be born in a hospital. Black babies were delivered at home by a mid-wife. He was raised by his maternal grandparents Caesar A. Dial and Lexie Criss Dial, never having met his mom because his was a caesarean delivery and she died from complications at his birth.

Delores and Cesar Roy celebrate their fifty-second anniversary January 12, 2007 on board a cruise.

  

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At the age of four he remembers traveling alone on a train from Jacksonville to Brinkley, Arkansas to spend time with his aunt Etherine and uncle George Rogers. He never noticed just how bleak the surroundings inJacksonville were in the early forties until he moved away for a few years and returned. Many black people lived in “Shotgun houses” - three rooms aligned in a single row. When you opened the front door and the back door at the same time you looked thru the entire structure. The house he and his grandparents lived in had two bedrooms a living room and a kitchen. A number three washtub in the kitchen served as their bathing room. The other part of the bathroom was an outhouse in the backyard. The streets were all unpaved, but covered with iron rich, red colored clay-like soil. The dust generated from the streets covered all the houses causing them to have a reddish hue. Clothes hung out on the line to dry, all developed a red tinge even after being boiled in a wash pot.

 
When he was about thirteen the family moved into a sandstone veneer (rock house) house that had five rooms, a bathroom and real running water with an indoor bathroom. About this time they got a telephone. It was a party line which meant that several families were on the same line. You might pickup the phone to use it, and hear someone else talking.

 

The family spent all day Sundays in church. They attended Benson CME. This was the only social outlet his grandparents had other than visiting relatives. Church was one place other than home where black men were honored and treated with respect. Their responsibilities in the church had no relation to the jobs they held in the real world. His grandfather worked as a laborer at a white funeral home, but in the church he was “somebody”.   View  full story in pdf format or pick up a copy of the May edition of the Texas Informer.

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© May  2007 Cherokee County Informer d/b/a Texas Informer and Online Directory of Texas, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

 Revised June 01, 2011