Saturday, September 1, 2007

What I Learned About Booker from Vera

This is what I learned from my aunt about Booker. This is from my wiki located at

Following a Dream

I asked Vera to describe her father. It was clear that he is still very close to her heart.

Mac “Booker” Wright could not read or write. "He worked for many, many years at Lusco’s, a white’s only restaurant. Finally, in his 50’s he opened ‘Booker’s Place’" a restaurant or cafe as they were called. According to Vera, blacks were not eligible for small business loans during that time, so Mac saved whatever he could from his tips and his salary at Lusco’s in order to fund his dream.

“He was very proud, he had worked for whites his whole life and (when he opened the cafe) he felt like he was his own man,” at this point Vera paused. After several moments she said, “He had the most beautiful smile, Kat and I get our smiles from him.”

The Murder of Mac "Booker" Wright

During the time that Booker worked at Lusco’s he became friends with white doctors, lawyers, and dentists – people of prominence in Greenwood. Many of these people chose to frequent Booker’s Place even though it was on a street called McLauren which was not in the best part of town.

One day in 1973, Booker’s dentist, a caucasian man, and his wife were eating in the cafe. A black man named Blackie began taunting and teasing the couple. “Daddy said ‘Blackie, leave my cafe’”. Blackie went over the dentist and his wife and he pushed their plates off of the table. "Now, Daddy was a big man, he was 6’4, 220 or 250 pounds,” so he simply picked Blackie up and threw him out. Booker was standing at the register when Blackie came back with a sawed off shotgun and blew the door off. Some of the pellets hit Booker. “Daddy ran out the door behind this guy”, he reached the corner before collapsing. Booker lived three days in the hospital before he died.

Blackie was caught and arrested, he is still in prison to this very day. Vera went on to say that “Daddy believed in racial equality”, everybody had a right to eat in his cafe.

“When Daddy died I felt like I had lost a part of my world. We were very close. I was out of college and working. We had a more adult relationship. I could talk to him about anything and he could really make me laugh, he was a lot of fun. He always told me, 'Darling, if anything ever happens to me I just want you to know that I have lived my life'”. Vera pauses and repeats slowly in a lower voice, “I have lived my life.”


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