By Christina Russo
After years of living in the South, Rosa Lotson was not prepared to battle the winter cold of the North. "I didn't have proper shoes or boots, because in Georgia we never had snow. So it was a challenge to adapt yourself to the winter months," she said.
Before her journey North, Lotson grew up on a farm in Jones, Georgia. After high school, she was recruited to work for the FBI in Washington DC.
Rosa said the recruiting process was a yearlong endeavor, which involved lots of background work. She enjoyed working at the FBI and stayed for a few months.
In 1973, after the birth of her child, Rosa moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts to live with her fiancé whom she had met in high school.
Rosa’s fiancé had family in the area, so she did not feel very alone when she moved North. However, she was not prepared for the move to Boston.
“There was a lot of snow on the ground,” she said
Several years later, Rosa moved to Brockton, where she now lives. Working in Brockton was different from working for the FBI, and she found work at a bank as a file clerk.
Eventually she worked her way up to a senior clerk, then supervisor and further up in management. She admits it was not easy being the one to give orders to those who did not respect her. “It was challenging, as me being a black female, and there were whites working for me.”
“They were angry, they did not want a black individual telling them what to do,” she said. “They would talk about me on the side.”
“I overcame it by showing them that I had earned the position and I was only giving instruction that was handed down to me.”
She prayed to God to forgive them. Eventually she says, they got used to having her in charge, but it took several years. “It didn’t happen over night,” she said.
Lotson worked for many years for various banks in the area, and retired a few years ago.
Now, she spends her time helping others.
She has taken several courses in diabetes self-management, a disease that she also has. The courses will help her to teach others with diabetes how to manage the disease.
Also in her retirement, Rosa has taken up missionary work in the Brockton community with the Messiah Baptist Church. Three to four days a week, Rosa and a few others go out into the community to visit the less fortunate and help them in any way that they can.