Interview with Karima Jordon
QUESTION 7
LOUIS MASSIAH:

Could you describe the events at Junior High School 271 around the death of Martin Luther King? Your assembly, just sort of talk me through that.

KARIMA JORDON:

Well, the assembly, what happened is, I think previous to that we had had a teacher's strike and, ah, at that point you're more aware of your Black leaders, ah, and Martin, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X was one of them. And one of the things that I, ah, had a chance to listen to was Malcolm X, A Ballot and a Bullet. And to me that differentiated, well, that was the difference between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King was the ballot and the bullet. And when they killed Martin Luther King, they killed the ballot, so they left no other thing for us to do but to go for the bullet. And that day we had a big riot in school. And, ah, I remember Les Campbell in the assembly. Everyone was angry. We wrote on the wall, "Avenge King", "Kill Whitey," ah, teachers got upset. They, the White teachers claimed that they were being beat up some of them and some of them was hit by flying debris. I never saw anyone throw anything but maybe it did happen. And, ah, I remember Les Campbell telling us, "If you're going to riot this time, don't, ah, don't steal toothpaste because that won't stop a bullet." I'm sure that's the, the most famous thing from that whole assembly.

LOUIS MASSIAH:

Actually we may go back to that again.

KARIMA JORDON:

Yeah, he'll kill me.