Interview with Nancy Jefferson

At what point did you feel, how did you turn against Jane Byrne. Tell me that.


Yeah, I, I really believe it was the school issue that, that, and it was a very difficult time for me as a person because I was one of the persons that worked very hard to make sure she got that seat. And it was a very difficult time because she began to move in so many directions at such a rapid speed. Now, the school issue, was, was most, ah, devastating and the most, ah, I guess penetrating because the school, we all know education, you know as we do now, was the base of our community. And, and, and as, and as you may know that it became a national piece that I took over to the school board. I absolutely sat in the chair one day and began, and, when they began to take a vote on this permissive transfer and we was trying to get them to base, what were they basing their vote, vote on? They did not have the paper work and, and now I had, was, I was one of her appointees to the Chicago, to the Chicago Police Department and that day I had 300 people in, ah, the Board of Education, that we were championing our cause and I moved, ah, that day around, I had given a signal to my group, if they take the vote and they have not based their vote on, on, on what we know is right, they could not justify that vote they were taking that day, and, it's a big picture on my wall where I, ah, and Frances Davis from Operation PUSH, we, I sat down in Kay Rhoder's (?) seat. Kay Rhoder was the president at that time, ah, who was also the racist that Jane Byrne had appointed. Ah, that began the turning point with, with Jane Byrne. And then as she began to rampantly, and of course she called me in after that, and she say to me, didn't I realize that I was her, in her cabinet, 'cause I was appointed to the Police Board and that I was in her cabinet, did I realize what I had done? Cause she, what she did when she called me in, she called in Jesse Jackson and me and she, ah, ah, you know, just very irate that I could not do that as an appointee, ah, to the city administration. Ah, she had all of her Black members of the City Administration and I'll never forget how she sat me in a circle, ah, as to, you know, whip me in line. And I knew right that, we, we had to move and move as rapidly as she was doing. Ah, then after that became the ChicagoFest, you know that was one of the other real, ah, portions of, before that it was CHA.