Born in White Sulphur Springs, Barbara grew up in an integrated neighborhood. she attended Bethune School in White Sulphur Springs and graduated from Bolling High School. She was elected the first black and first female mayor of White Sulphur Springs in 1993.
Barbara: I never went to an integrated school. I stayed in a black school my entire school life in Greenbrier County. So I didn’t encounter a lot of the problems the others did. But it wasn’t a pretty thing. Some of the things that happened some of my nieces and nephews were a part of that and as I said it wasn’t pretty. And I think it was totally unexpected.
Sarah: so a lot of people left after the ugliness.
Barbara: yeah they did after the walk out down here. They realized they were not welcome and weren’t going to be for awhile. So they left.
Ku Klux Klan
Barbara: Oh there was. Even that late. But early on there was a lot of that movement active in White Sulphur. A lot of the businessmen in White Sulphur were members of the Klan which I think that was true all over. Just like Senator Byrd he was the Klan. So it was here.
Well I think they more or less kept their identities secret. They were not like the Ku Klux Klan of old, but I think they were very present. There was I understand years ago there were lynchings here, but I would like to believe we have come a long way wouldn’t you?