Interview with Nancy Jefferson

You said that Jane Byrne's, ah, School Board appointments were flash appointments, sent the Black community a signal. Tell me that story.


Yes, ah, you know, after Jane Byrne, ah, was, what did all that and she, you know, quickly said that she was going to get rid of the evil cabal and that's what she called that group inside of City Council. And, ah, ah, she, and she did very well in, in the beginning 'cause she did have, you know, she got in right after the snow and all that stuff and, and she did a massive clean up in all the communities, you know. Everybody gained really respect and confidence in her. But, I guess the evil as we determined the evil cabal got to Jane Byrne and said, you know, better stop your action. Ah, so her first, ah, signal that we got was that we had put in a lot of effort, people had in Chicago, both Black and White, in, in, in quite--in reform of the school and that was permissive transfers and, and opening up the classrooms in, in White communities so that Blacks could go in and, ah, and that was done through the School Board. Ah, she quickly, ah, changed that Board and put, and appointed to the School Board some, ah, groups, ah, women that had been in objection to transfer, permissive transfers. And that sent a signal to us that what Jane Byrne was doing, ah, that was our first signal, ah, then, ah, it was other kinds of things that, that the evil cabal, as she called it, began to put the muscle on her and that she changed. She absolutely changed a whole 180 degrees.