by Bessie Jimeson
This book is about a tragic event which occurred to an ordinary family, and could have happened to any ordinary family in America in 1971. Afro-American youth was questioning why American society was still withholding rights guaranteed to all Americans under the U.S. Constitution. Martin Luther King, Jr. had fought and died for these basic rights guaranteed to all men black and white under the Constitution of the United States of America.
My story begins on a sultry August morning in 1971 when I arose to begin my day by retrieving the Free Press newspaper from my front porch and opening it to find to my utter shock and surprise, my son Addis Abba (Denis) sitting on a curb in Jackson, Mississippi with six other young people and (including a pregnant female) they had been tear gassed in the van by the Jackson Police. The unborn child of the pregnant female is still suffering the effects of tear gas.
I had tried the Sunday before, without success, to persuade Addis not to go to Jackson, Mississippi. He was twenty-two years old, and was adamant about going, and nothing I could say could prevent his going to Jackson, Mississippi. Later, I understood that the FBI had been notified of the young people’s journey and was prepared to assist the Jackson Police Department in a planned raid. I learned also that the Jackson Police Department had arranged to raid the house where the RNA (Republic of New Africa) would be staying; and according to the neighbors, the neighbors were not notified that the raid would take place.
Early the next morning of August 18, 1971 the Jackson City Police Department and the FBI arrived with a Thompson Tank and began the assault.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My Name is Bessie Jimeson. I was the last of ten children (two of whom died in infancy) born to Charley and Jessie Lowe Jimeson. I was born on May 13, 1924, in River Rouge, Michigan. My parents later moved to Ecorse, Michigan.
I attended and graduated from Ecorse High School in 1943 on a commercial course, and thanks to my shorthand teacher, Mr. Peterson (I was the only Afro-American in the class), I was given a leaflet from the Detroit Ordnance District, who was recruiting shorthand and typists for the U. S. Government because of the war. In 1946 I attended my first college class at Wayne State University.
I was married in 1947 and from that union, we had three children, Denis (Addis Abba) being the oldest. I continued to work. My husband worked for the U. S. Post Office, and we managed to provide a decent home for our children in Detroit until we had to move to provide better schooling and other things for the family.
(2008, paperback, 50 pages)
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