By Jordana Y. Shakoor
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I wish every Negro child in my class had your ambition. " He then extended his hand. I received his long slender fingers within my big callused hand. We shook hands firmly. I thanked him and walked out of the room in time to reach my next class. I was the last to enter and drew the attention of everyone in the room. I momentarily felt embarrassed as all eyes watched me take a seat behind my desk. " I replied in like manner. Turning my head slightly to the right to get a direct focus on the blackboard, I was surprised.
His parents worked for these people, some of the richest in Mississippi, and they knew all about the lynching. No white man would go into another white man's yard and murder a Negro without his consent, not even the police in Mississippi. Gordon was buried. The terrible thing was over, until it happened to another Negro. A hush stayed in the air, stale as it was with a human being's blood so freshly wasted. A Negro's blood which nobody gave a damn about. He had been killed not by the pointing of a finger by a white woman, which was oftentimes the case, but by a jealous Negro who happened to have skin as black as Gordon's.
When Daddy was a boy, of course, he didn't just work in the cotton fields and learn to resent white folks. He and his siblings had many wonderful childhood experiences. The members of their close-knit family were teasing characters who loved to joke Page 7 with one another. They would talk for hours around the dinner table or compete with the crickets out on the porch under a blanket of stars. On many evenings, colored neighbors with children in tow would seek their company, and, on holidays, would share a potluck dinner.
Civil rights childhood by Jordana Y. Shakoor