Interview with Nancy Jefferson
QUESTION 4
JUDY RICHARDSON:

OK, Also, how did other Black people accept Dr. King? Where there problems, you mentioned that when you first started organizing block by block it was hard and you had maybe 17 people at a rally. Can you talk about them.

NANCY JEFFERSON:

Yes. When Dr. King, I, I'll never forget-- The west side was harder than any other part of town. Essentially because the plantation politics on the west side existed, ah,I guess more prevalent than any other side of town. Ah, and that, and was a lot of reasons for that. We all came from the south to the west side. OK? Most, you know, most people, ah,when coming from the south came to the west side. So people on the west side was always determined as being, all of as being country, from the, you know, from the plantation. So, ah,the, and the, the machine politics took advantage of that, ah,you know, that environment of, of that kind of people. And so the, the, the, the plantation politics was, was very prevalent on this west side. You know, even though when the, when the area changed from Black to White it was still the ward committeemen, the alderman, were still White with Black precinct captains. So that was a form of, of you know, politics that were here. Ah. When Dr. King came to the west side one day for a rally, and I remember Katie Booth and, ah,Roberta Wilson, ah,ah, a couple of us. We were you know, organizing that rally. And I was organizing it through the Black club because the Midwest Community Council was a Black clu--it is a Black club organization. Um, we were on the corner of Horne and Madison, ah,in a vacant lot. And it was only seventeen people showed up at that rally. You could imagine how embarrassing that was. You know. Only seventeen people took that risk. Other folks were you know, walking on the street like ga--gauging in and saying you know, should they come in or not? But, but had some fear because the fear of the politicians on this west side was saying that you better not go to that rally. Um. Dr. King was always denounced. You know, he wasn't really accepted in Chicago by the, by the machine politicians. And, and a lot of the machine politicians at that time were Black in the machine. You know. Ah. The um, Metcalfs, they changed later. You know, after he, when Dr. King did that risk. So that was um, quite a day, quite a day for me.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

So when did that

JUDY RICHARDSON:

--Cut. OK.