Jefferson went to schools just for black students, where the books were leftovers from white students. He was banned from many hotels, restaurants, swimming pools, beaches, bathrooms and water fountains.
“In those days you knew your place,” Jefferson said. “Just stay on your side of the line. Otherwise, the police will beat you with billy clubs. Just don’t interact with white people. I thought it was unfair and demeaning.”
Jefferson will never forget when he saw a KKK rally and cross burning. “I ran away and stayed inside when that happened,” he said.
Jefferson was often called “boy” or the n-word. His school was across the street from the jail.
“I could hear black people screaming in jail. The police were beating them,” Jefferson said. “I saw black people hit on the head with police billy clubs for just standing around on a city street. We didn’t look at white people. We heard that things could happen if you looked at a…
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