Interview with Nancy Jefferson
QUESTION 12
JUDY RICHARDSON:

OK, you can talk about um, the Gage park march where Dr. King got hit, and the fear of it, particularly the fear of crossing that line into the White area.

NANCY JEFFERSON:

Well, I think that was the most fearful day of all my time in Chicago participating with Dr. King--

JUDY RICHARDSON:

I'm sorry, can you say, the marches. I'm sorry if you could say, the marches were. Or, I'm sorry, something to intro it.

NANCY JEFFERSON:

OK--The marches were many in Chicago, you know 'em, whatever it was, little streets and all that. But I think the most fearful of the time my participating in the marches was we crossed that line to go into the White Gage Park. We all knew what Gage park was all about, but we did not--none of us knew that when Dr. King was going into that, the hatred that was really there. I think that um, I think everybody was surprised, everybody was surprised. One is that we thought that by Dr. King being here, and being present that this city was, was more acceptable to him than what it was. Ah, but it proved that it was not. Um, when you saw that the, when we moved crossed that line into Gage Park, and saw the look of the--those people in face. You didn't absolutely didn't see that kind of look with the Ku Klux Klans in in, the south, 'cause a lot of us had been in the south and had encountered Ku Klux Klan. But you had not seen that kind of real hatred, and a lot of young people. You know what was really frightening was the older people jeering on, you know the older Whites, and it was the young people saying you know "kill that nigger" do, and you saw it so intense in those faces. And I was scared to death, I was absolutely scared to death. One is I was afraid that Dr. King would get killed, right there, I wasn't up close, you know in the line with, where Dr. King was you know, we was, you know, I was way, you know, far back. But I knew, we all was afraid, everybody was afraid in our section, "are they protecting Dr. King?" "Will Dr. King get hurt?" you know. I think we thought more about Dr. King than we did our own safety just hoped that really got him. We hoped that, you know, and we saw that what they were going to do. And when Dr. King was really, you know knocked to his, his knees. Ah, ah,that was scary, that was scary! And you knew that that White police was not going to protect us or him. Ah, that was, it was amazing. What was going on at that time.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

We can cut--um--