Alice was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, and was educated in the segregated public schools, where she remembers using the dog-eared, worn out, hand-me-down books from the white schools. The theory of separate but equal was anything but equal. But Alice submitted a poem in a contest for the best essays on “why I like to live in the South” and won third place!
After one year in college in Mississippi, Alice wanted to go to nursing school, but in Mississippi they only accepted four or five African American students each year into the program. So she moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and attended nursing school at St. Mary’s. She then moved to California, where she attended graduate school and earned her master’s degree.
Alice had just moved to California to live with her sister in August 1963 and was working for the Department of Public Health. She was very aware of the march, and did consider going – but since she was new to her job, she had to stay in California and work so that senior staff in her department could attend the march. They boarded a bus in California, organized by their union, and traveled to Washington.
Alice still has roots in Mississippi and stays connected to family by visiting her sister as often as possible.