In the face of extreme punishment for enslaved people and breaking the law for whites, roughly 5 percent of the enslaved population learned to read and write. Letters like the ones written below show the lengths they would go to learn.
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was pulled over by police near Saint Paul, Minn., after being misidentified as a robbery suspect. He was then shot and killed by an officer during the traffic stop. In this StoryCorps edition, Chad Eisen-Ramgren has a conversation with his 10-year-old daughter, who was a student at the school where Mr. Phil managed the cafeteria.
This story follows a girl who befriends the first African American to attend High Point Central High School, as a result of desegregation. What begins as an unintended and awkward experience in the cafeteria, becomes a strong and admirable friendship.