In the racial picture things will never be as they once were. History has reached a turning point, here and over the world.
response to Mayor Allen Thompson's steadfast refusal to appoint a biracial committee to negotiate grievances regarding segregation of public facilities and discriminatory hiring in municipal jobs
-Medgar Evers, said in Jackson's Mississippi first direct television broadcast from a black., 1963
When a black Jacksonian looks about his home community, he sees a city of over 150,000, of which 40% is Negro, in which there is not a single Negro policeman or policewoman, school crossing guard, or fireman.
I graduated pretty quickly. When I was eleven or twelve a close friend of the family got lynched. I guess he was about forty years old, married, and we used to play with his kids. I remember the Saturday night a bunch of white men beat him to death at the Decatur fairgrounds because he sassed back a white woman. They just left him dead on the ground. Everyone in town knew it but never said a word in public. I went down and saw his bloody clothes. They left those clothes on a fence for about a year. Every Negro in town was supposed to get the message from those clothes and I can see those clothes now in my mind's eye.... But nothing was said in public. No sermons in church. No news. No protest. It was as though this man just dissolved except for the bloody clothes.... Just before I went into the Army I began wondering how long I could stand it. I used to watch the Saturday night sport of white men trying to run down a Negro with their car, or white gangs coming through town to beat up a Negro.