Interview with Nancy Jefferson
QUESTION 5
JUDY RICHARDSON:

You mentioned that it was hard and that you only had 17 people in a Rally: when did this start changing?

NANCY JEFFERSON:

Well, I think it, it, it changed in the gradual process, that when Dr. King--

JUDY RICHARDSON:

I'm sorry, could you say, "people started coming--" as something to intro it.

NANCY JEFFERSON:

OK. Ah, when, ah,you know, we had 17 people at a rally. That was disappointing. But, ah,the change began to, ah,as, as Dr. King continued he, he was, he, he continued. He understood that, that people was afraid of him or anything new, anything that they were not accustomed to. And he understood that. And there were a few people that, that u-understood that. A few of us understood that also. Said if you dealt with, with the truth long enough that, that things would change and that the people would change, the people stee--see. And I think, I remember that we, we started using, ah,the, the religious background of all of us, is that you know, when the Lord said I have twelve disciples, he didn't have but twelve. And, and he says, now you twelve boys got to go to the four corners of this world and preach this gospel. And, and that you and I and anybody else been sitting around at that time would have said you know, he's got to be out his mind. How can twelve people do this? And, and that's the concept that we began to move on, that, that twelve of us in the community decided well, we are, we're going to have to do it. Ah, Dr. King understood it. He was a mild mannered man that understood that fear of that man on the street. He understood the plantation politics. He understood the why that, ah,Richard J. Daly was co-opting everybody that was, ah,ah, into any inkling of change. And so, ah,but we knew that we had to continue. We couldn't stop. Ah, that people would change once they understood, once they understand. People knew that they were hurting, didn't know how and why they were hurting, was afraid to take that risk of, of, of do I get in this movement or, ah,am I better off where I am? And then when people began to, you give people the kind of, of, lect--of like the kind of meetings that we had, we just continued to have meetings. Dr. King um, set up shop in, ah,a church over on--Every church didn't accept him. Especially, the, the Black church did not accept him at first. A lot of the Black church, you know. Ah, on the--particularly on the west side. But that was a, ah,church on the corner of Warren Boulevard and Albany. And that was a White minister over there. He set up shop in his, his, ah,basement. Ah, that's where Dr. King started working out from. He was at Warren Avenue Congregational Church. And um, people-- You kept doing it. And you, you don't really know when just at the time. But it was a, it was a gradual process and then people began to understand and it changed. It just, ah,it was that perseverance of, of Dr. King continued to work at it. Ah, his soldiers. He had a lot of young lieutenants out, ah,the Bevells and, and the Jesse Jacksons and, and those folks was door to door, people to people. And, and people began to move in.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

OK--