By David W. Beckwith
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Extra info for A New Day in the Delta: Inventing School Desegregation As You Go
I reminded her. “You’re new to them, just like they’re new to you. It’s going to take a while for them to accept you. That goes for me, too. ” “But you’re young; you’re flexible. ” I smiled encouragingly. ” Back in the classroom, the afternoon session of the faculty meeting got under way. Mr. Rollins was again in charge. “Those of you who have just joined the faculty probably don’t realize the extent of Mrs. Levison’s duties as school counselor,” he said. “She provides a shoulder for students to cry on and acts as a semi-policeman when they misbehave.
They wouldn’t have given me this job if I hadn’t been a college graduate. ” “I don’ know, but I know I don’t want to bus no more tables and wash no 44 / Beckwith more dishes. I wants to have it easy, like you. And to have some respect. Yeah,” he nodded, “that’s what I want. Respect. I wanna be somebody. Maybe go to Chicago. I hear everybody in Chicago makes money. ” I leaned back in my chair. ” “’Cause you get paid lots of money to stand up in front of the class and tell the students about things that happen long time ago,” he answered.
They usually kept a low profile, causing as little disruption as possible on their path to earning a degree. They chose to avoid functions like football games and pep rallies, which could elevate their vulnerability and lead to trouble. One memorable event that I attended occurred in March 1966. The law school speaker’s bureau invited Bobby Kennedy to speak at the university. Mississippi’s governor, Ross Barnett, had used the Kennedys as the scapegoat for the James Meredith “trainwreck” in 1962.