Joyce Gibbs poses for a portrait on Tuesday, June, 30, 2020, in Rochester. “I always thought that if you step outside of your box, right there, that’s an education. I think that if you put yourself in a position outside of your normal everyday life, you learn something. If you do not say negative things in your family, your children learn something. If you allow positive energy to enter your space, you learn something. And I think a lot of people would be surprised,” Gibbs said. (Traci Westcott / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Even Sunday church was not a sanctuary free from unwelcoming attitudes and responses to some of Rochester's first Black residents. In this video interview produced this year by the History Center of Olmsted County, Joyce Gibbs recalls what happened when she sat down in a pew on the other end from a white couple. Hear what happened later when an all-Black church opened elsewhere in Rochester.