By George Lipsitz
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Additional resources for A Life In The Struggle: Ivory Perry and the Culture of Opposition
Branton remembers him saying: If this was an ordinary cornfield nigra, I would tell you to fine him and let him go, because fining him would be punishment for him. But here's a nigra that's got money, got enough money to go away to college, and in another state! So fining this nigger wouldn't be no punishment for him. 52 The jury returned a guilty verdict and the judge sentenced Leo Branton to a term on the county farm. The Branton family vowed that they would never let Leo serve a day in jail, and they had their lawyer file another appeal.
We'd be in the place dancin' and playin' the banjo and the grapevine strung across the road and the Ku Klux come rid in' along the run right into it and throw the horses down. 12 Attitudes about the 1930S revealed in these interviews proved no less combative. " J. N. Brown, seventy-nine, voiced a similar sentiment: We colored people are livin' under the law, but we don't make no laws. You take a one-armed man and he can't do what a two-armed man can. The colored man in the south is a one-armed man, but of course the colored man can't get along without the white folks.
Political action requires risk and presumes that short-term sacrifices will yield long-term benefits. But most poor people have no assurance that there will be a long run for them, and regardless of their sympathies, they often cannot afford to think about political change. Ivory Perry came to feel that social change had to touch the lives of people on the bottom of society to really make a difference, and that in order to reach these people it had to begin with their everyday needs and concerns.