Interview with John Jackson

OK, tell me how you first became active in organizing work.


Well, I was at, ah, Lowndes Central High School and I was a junior there, going into my senior year. And as I said, the sit--we were watching what was happening in Selma and Montgomery, and I got, I was curious, and after meeting the civil rights workers, and they were young students too, I wanted to see what I could be, so we talked about the issues, and we talked about things that we did not have at our school, and I got concerned. We started raising questions about that, there was no heat even in our schools. Ah, there was no cafeteria, there was no library, there was, ah, we didn't have heat on our busses. There were overcrowded classrooms, there was 42 in my classroom at that time with one teacher. Ah, just sub-standard schools, we just, and we got concerned, we started asking why did the White children have better schools? Why? And we couldn't get an answer to any questions, so we started organizing, and we finally organized one of the first boycotts in this county probably. Because all the students, after they found out that I was doing the organizing, they fired me on the bus and all the students walked out. And of course then I had a meeting with the superintendent, and they began to try to do some of those things to quiet us down.