Anita Jefferson and Arrack Jefferson


Material Information

Anita Jefferson and Arrack Jefferson Interview 2011
Physical Description:
Oral history interview
Anita Jefferson ( Interviewee )
Arrack Jefferson ( Interviewee )
Marna Weston ( Interviewer )
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Oral history
Civil rights movements -- Mississippi -- History -- 20th century
African American clergy
African American sailors -- History -- 20th Century
Temporal Coverage:
1940 - 2011
Spatial Coverage:
United States of America -- Mississippi


Scope and Content:
Anita and Reverend Arrack Jefferson talk about their family history, education, racism in the Navy and attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. People mentioned include: Louis L. Jefferson, Matilda (McHound) Bingham, Charles Price Jones, Jamie C. Jefferson , Willy Bingham Senior, Charles E. Fowler, and Mary McLeod Bethune. Locations include Jackson and Terry, Mississippi, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, Great Lakes, Illinois and the countries of Liberia and Kenya.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Holding Location:
UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
Resource Identifier:
spohp - MFP 076
System ID:

Full Text


MFP 076 Interviewee: Anita Jefferson and Arrack Jefferson Interviewer: Marna Weston Date : March 22, 2011 W: We are here in Pearl Mississippi, at the home of Reverend Ira K Jefferson and his wife Mrs. Anita Jefferson. I want to thank you both very much for letting me Mrs. Jeffers on and Reverend Jefferson will come in kind of like a wrestler w with some family heirlooms and her daughter and a letter a memento that she writes, written i n the past so AN J: Two different years. This is 1919 and this one was done in [19] 94. My mother passed in 1984. Just a few days before her birthday A nd when we had the funeral, my brother is a minister and he preached the funer al. And he took his text f rom this passage Proverbs 31, w ho can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. And his subject was I thought very apropos for such a woman. He said, e ureka W e have found her And truly she was a vi rtuous wom an W: way? AN J: She was a special woman. A woman worth remembering and of course I included her in that book. W: Your 1991, Songs of Unsung Heroes ?


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 2 AN J: c tion of forty two people whom I have found to be very instrumental in my life as I grew up in our church and not just our church but some elsewhere. My mother is one of them Matilda Bing ham My father, my brother, oldest brother, those I think are all m y relati ves but, they are among the forty two people that I can remember who have been very useful in my life. I sat here as we started to introduce it here a quote that I felt was very meaningful They gave the pitch we sang the tune. It has been so lon g back in [19] 91 I guess it was when I did this and it meant a lot then and I had said I was going to do a Volume T wo and I would still like to do one. I had not gotten to it yet and my children always wondered when are W: That would b e V olume T wo? AN J: I am doing one now, the life story of the founder of our church, Bishop Charles Price Jones. Well, that was one I did in 2009 doing the biography. There was so much to be passed and I thought it was too much to incorporate in the biography cover. I decided to make it under a separate cover and entitled it Excellence Comes With Great Labor That is one of his quotations and I use d that as the title of the book. W: When and where were you born? AN J: In Jackson Mississippi, right here. W: Was there a midwife or were you born in a hospital?


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 3 AN J: I am sure it was a midwife. Aunt Betty we called her, that is who I heard about, that she would be the one who would deliver us. There were nine of us in the family. This is another one of those quotes that keep me going, when I get tired in my writing and whate ver project I happen to be on. W: That is quite impressive. Would you like to read this quo tation that you shared with me? AN J: Yes. The zeal and strength of our endeavors must be superior to the difficulties to be surmounted. Discouragement should have no place where industry, persistency, and ingenuity or faith eternal may at last bring the required results. That is a quotation by Charles Price Jones. W: What do those words mean to you? AN J: Well, the z eal, the inspiration the fervor behind what I am trying to do must be su perior above more than the difficulties that I will face in doing it. And discouragement should have no place where in dustry, persistency, integrity or faith eternal should bring lasting results. In other words, I am working towards these results that will be lasting, on going, eternal stop me from allowing that to happen. And the other o ne over there, e xc ellence comes with great labor, and that is one of my ambitions excellence to do everything with the best that I have or all that I have. It is worth it.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 4 W: You did not mention your day and date of birth but I think I know why you did n ot mention the year. For my conversation in car so can you share your day and date? ANJ: I thank the Lord for the opportunity to say it. I got that I guess from my mom as a little girl, she would always tell us how old she was and as children we would th ink that was old but now we know better. I was born December 6, 1937 and my husband was born ARJ: He asked for your age. W: She just volunteered you s ir? ARJ: October 18, 1935. W: And where were you born? ARJ: In West Mifflin Pennsylvania. ANJ: That is near Pittsburgh. ARJ: Yes, outside of Pittsburgh about seven miles. W: Were you born in a hospital or was there a midwife? ARJ: Midwife. W: dad?


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 5 ARJ: My dad was Louis L. Jefferson and some point he became Reverend Louis L. Jefferson. W: And where we he from? ARJ: He was originally from South Carolina. W: And your mother? ARJ: Her name was Jamie C. Jefferson and she was originally from North C arolina. W: What part of North Carolina? Were they one of these close to the border romances? ARJ: No, they met in Pittsburgh and both came north. He came north to work and she came north to live with her Aunt. So, they met in Pittsburgh. W: Do you recall their birth day s? ARJ: ANJ: 2 1, I think. ARJ: 29. W: February 29? ARJ: Yes, the last day of February. So, she has a birthday every four years.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 6 W: Okay. [Laughter] ARJ: His birthday was A NJ: January. ARJ: I have no idea. I know he was born a year before his wife, 1899. W: grandparents? ARJ: Nope. W: On either side? ARJ: No. Neither one. My mother was raised by her aunts afte r she left Carolina. As a child she was not raised by her mother either. I think her mother died when she was around six. ANJ: She was raised by her grandmother there Dear, w ould you grab the quilt with all their pictures on it? Both sides of the family W: How about your mom and dad? We talk a little bit about your mother, who were her parents? ANJ: Her parents lived down on the Spring Ridge Road in Terry Mississippi, not far from here now. We thought when we were children that it was a long way out in the country. They were McHounds, Matilda McH ound was her maiden name.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 7 She was born in 1900 right at the century and it was always easy to keep up with her age. She was a very devout woman, loved the Lord with all her heart. No hypocrisy She was genu ine. My father was a minister, he loved the Lord. He pas to red four churches but he said of himself that he preached at four churches he was employed with the Illinois Central R ailroad. He went to work early in the morning around 4:00 and we liked his working there because as an employee he got could get free passes. So we got the chance to ride the train. We had a trip to Chicago and California and we got to stop a t places in between as the train stopped and connected. So we appreciated those opportunities to travel. W: What was your d ANJ: Willy Bingh a m Senior. He was a minister. W: Now, we are looking at a very ornate quilt. This is a tapestry, white with a maroo n or burgundy check borders but there are individuals in each of the squares and there appears t o be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight a cross on the bottom and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven coming down the sides for forty six squares. ANJ: I started out making it for a king size bed but it went beyond a king size. W: So this is an actual functional quilt as well if you choose it to be? ANJ: Yes. I could use it more as a bedspread.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 8 W: It had seams going from individuals to c ouples to three and four people all family. ANJ: These are our parents, his parents, my parents, his sisters and brothers, my sisters and brother, and our children. W: Representing both sides of the family. ANJ: Right. W: It is beautiful by the way, this must have taken a lot of work. There is a lot of love in it. ANJ: It did. W: You can just see there is a lot of love in it. The photos are excellent because they go from photos taken in the last ten years to photos taken from W orld War II. ANJ: This i s a drawing of our family home. W: What would you say would be the oldest photo, how far back would it represent? Because some of them are old but some of them are colorized. That one looks like a W orld W ar II photo but it is in color and I can tel l by the clothes and the color scheme


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 9 ANJ: My sister was younger than I, and she and I were youngest ones at home and our brother there with our mother and father, were the last ones to leave home. W: That is the five of you right there? ANJ: Right ther e. Those were our parents in front of our home taken on the steps. Now what were you going to say dear? W: He was pointing out an older picture up top. ARJ: ANJ: father and mother right there. Their fiftieth wedding anniversary W: Their fiftieth ? ANJ: Uh huh. W : I want to know that picture. T hat was the two of you all because I see it was re ma d e over here by the African artists. So that i s the photo it came from. That is a very good li ke ness, definitely has the smile down. He transposed you though so maybe he was looking at a mirror or something because he switched the sides you were on. That is very interesting. You would have to see bo th of those to think about it and know it. You both look equally happy in both pictures.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 10 ANJ: This is our eldest son. W: That is his graduation picture? ANJ: When he graduated from college with his Dad. Here is his youngest son w hen he graduated from coll ege. W: Okay. ANJ: And these are the three children. The eldest son is not on here. Well no, that is me and my daughter and my son. ARJ: At his graduation. ANJ: Yeah. And this is his daughter at her graduation. W: Now how many brothers and sisters did y ou say you had? ANJ: There were nine of us. W: Can you list them from oldest to youngest please? ANJ: The oldest was Alm a Just the first names? W: Yes. ANJ: Alma, Willie Junior, Cleophus by the way she passed about three months ago. W: I am very sorry fo r your loss.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 11 ANJ: And Agnes, this is her picture right here, she passed. Mary, Samuel. This is Mary and her husband. Samu el was on there somewhere. Mauri ce and then it is I and my youngest sister, Martha. W: So you are next to the baby? You are number ei ght? ANJ: Right. Knee baby as they call them. W: Do you have a legend of this somewhere? A map out so if somebody else were to look at it they would be able to tell who was on each square? ANJ: No I have not done that yet. That would be something to do W: Make that a little Christmas project. I did not buy you anything this Christmas and instead I got you a legend of the quilt so you know who is in each picture. Merry Christmas! Love you, Merry Christmas! Keeping it inexpensive this year. So, growing u p with either brothers and sisters did you have chores that you had to do at home? ANJ: Well, that is interesting. Our ages range in such a way that all of us were never home at the same time because our eldest sister had a daughter who is older than I a m. Our eldest brother has a son who is just a bit younger than I am. So, the y were away from home before I was born. W: What year was the first child born? ANJ: In our family?


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 12 W: Yes. ANJ: 1923. Wait a minute. I just do not remember what her birth year w as. W: How about the birth year of the last child? ANJ: She was two years than I which is [19] 39 W: So, pr obably somewhere over a fifteen, sixteen year time frame to separate the children? ANJ: Let me see. I am not sure just how that works out, I just kn ow that they were gone before I w as there. I remember that her oldest daughter and the others older son, we were all growing up together in separate homes. W: So, the original question is what kind of chores did you have? ANJ: Well, one thing I cou ld rem ember was my last whipping that I got was hanging up the wash on the clothes line. Mother always liked for it to be done on a certain way hung up nice and special. W: So it would not catch the dirt and ANJ: and I must have just thrown them on the line an d that was unacceptable. W: Did you have to go get the switches yourself and twist them together? [Laughter] ANJ: We did. We did.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 13 W: Everybody had the same parents [Laughter] ANJ: We could not just get it any kind of way. W: D something that wil l break real quick. Y ou get double if they had to go get it ANJ: Mother had a practice of when we were promised a whipping, you could be sure you were going to get it but you did not know when. W: Oh yeah, you might take a nap. Might go to the store and c ome back. ANJ: that was one thing that we could remember about the whippings. We could prefer th whipped. W: you ANJ: Oh yes indeed. W: Well ve method. Did you have to cook or clean? ANJ: Oh yeah you asking about that. I had to do some of a ll of it at different times but I ended up doing a lot of cooking at home and I enjoyed cooking. One of the first things I cooked was, I believe, a poun d cake. Mother called it a 1, 2, 3, 4


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 14 cake and they still have that rec ipe today on the back of S wan s Down cake flour: 1,2,3,4 cake. Very simple to make and we always looked forward to having that. It was our Sunday des s ert. We had pound cake and J ell O We did not have electric refrigeration so in the winter time to get our J ell O, we would be at it up and set the dish outside. Of course over night, it would gel During the summer time we had an icebox. We had a man who would come through the community and his name was Mr. King and he would provide ice for us. We would get a block of ice, twenty five pounds or fifty pounds and he would have the tongs that he would either bring it in the house with his tongs or they would have these ice strings to tie on them and we could pick it up ourselves. If we sometimes we could put it in a croker sack with saw dust or some wa y to keep it. We would set our J ell O in the icebox on top of the ice. Those were interesting days. W: Did you family ev er sit and listen to shows on the radio together? ANJ: Shows on the radio W: Radio programs? ANJ: No but we listened while we worked and while it was always something going on, on the radio. Mo st of what we listened to on the radio was gospel programming and as I said my mo ther was a devout Christian woma n. They chose what we listened too. They did not think it was proper for us to listen to worldly music. As we went to church it


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 15 ter of singing one thing at church and going home and everything nd music coming in over the air ways. W: Did you listen to radio programs or sporting events? Like Joe Louis was fighting or something like that? ANJ: Yes we would but our programming was selective also d uring those times there were very few blacks in entertainment. It was supposed to be something very special to have a black person come on and do something. The normal thing that mos t people did was oh so and so and so is going to be a black person on the radio when TV came. Everybody wanted to hear it but there so in our house. If the song for instance was a musical program and if the song was not appropriate for us as a Christian home through our home if they did not approve of the song for instance. So that is the kind of living ave heard of these there from that time t hi s was before your time. The old fashion ed revival hour was a program that came on every Sunday. What was the preacher s name C harles E. Fowler was that program preacher I believe. He came in at 3:00 or 4:00 on Sundays. We had on during the week a B ible study a preacher that came on everyday at 9:00. We had and of course when Billy Graham started coming he would come in on 2:30 on Sunday afternoons. Some of the prominent preachers who were fixtures on o ur radio and TVs, those things


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 16 we listen ed to and we heard from morning til l night And if a program came on and it seems like most everyone that came on every fifteen to thirty minutes came on a different one and the leader would say let s pray. M just keep washing dishes or ironing or whatever she was doing she stopped while they prayed. That was just the way she lived her life. Now to do it as children and she believed tha t prayer and prayed. She believed in a certain position for prayer. She believed that prayer ought to be either should either stand for prayer or bow on your knees for prayer. No su ch thing as sittin g on a seat if you were an able bodied person. She, as I told you, was not a hypocrite She thought that you should get on your knees or stand when you pray she was in the city auditorium with thousands of people around. And they asked to have prayer she would slip to her knees wherever she was sitting. That is just what she believed in So ing it or not doing it She stuck to her convictions wher ever she was. That is the kind of person my momma was. W: It goes without saying that the church was a big part of your life growing up, you and your family. ANJ: Oh yes. We went to Tuesday night prayer meeting, Friday teachers meeting,


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 17 W: Teachers get their lesson s together on Friday to be organized for Sunday school on Sunday ANJ: Right. W: So you always knew the lesson before you got the Sunday school. ANJ: Oh yes. I was a Sunday school teacher early. As a girl I would help my teacher teach her class night t reason that besides having sung them in church, I learned them well. I could sing most any one by memory because that was our life. W: So you are one of those people that if you wer e to go out by the river for the baptism you know all the songs? ANJ: winter I guess it was at our big church our denominational church. We called it the temple, the first tem ple. We used their facilities indoors the baptistery they had in the church there. So I think that was around one Sunday morning when they would have baptism service. W: What is your earliest memory of formal education? Where did you first go to school? ANJ: I was blessed to be able to walk to all of my schools from elementary school through college. We lived a few blocks from the school and I went to. W hat they


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 18 call it is not there anymore they have taken all those things down. I got to r ide through there the other night and it is entirely a new town ; a college town now. But Sally Reynolds was my elementary school W: Sally Reynolds Elementary? Who was it named after? Who was Sally Reynolds? ANJ: She was a member of our church and a teache r in the public school system. Of course they named one of the schools after her. Then I went to in the same complex a different building Jim Hill High School. Well Jim Hill Junior High went up to ninth grade then and Jim Hill was one of the senators i n the time of R econstruction. The school was named after him. By the time that I got to go to high school, generally we would have had to go across town to the only other high school we had public ly. By the time I became in the high school department they made a high school there in that area that location. So, I just had to change buildings and then when I got to college W: What was the name of the high school? ANJ: Jim Hill High School W: Okay it was just where you were. A NJ: Right. ARJ: Same block. ANJ: Then a few blocks over there was Jackson C ollege, where I went to college.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 19 W: Just down in Jackson S tate? ANJ: Yes and in the meantime, during that college time, I broke away and I went to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and when I graduated there I came back to Jackson C ollege and I got a diploma at Moody and got a degree at Jackson College. W: What moved you to attempt seminary between your bachelors degree? ANJ: Well, as I grew up early in life I gave my life to th e Lord. It was a matter of dedicating my whole self to God. To be what he wanted me to be. To go where he wanted me to go. I was interested in becoming a missionary if the Lord so chose. It was interesting there were several things I was interested in. I wanted to be a mother or a housewife if that is what God wanted me to be. But I also wanted to go to Africa as a missionary and during my growing up, as a part of our youth ministry, this was extra church activities. We had missionaries to come to visit and mostly they were from Africa and they would show slides and we would have film and those pictures were so vivid and beautiful. Of course the ministry there was presented and I would think I would like to go. As it were I o Moody Bible Institute as I was telling you and while I was there I found out that Mary McLeod Bethune went to Moody Bible Institute and she was the only black student there and graduated in 1885. I was the only black student in the dorm my first yea r and I found that we had similar and I came along in 1956 1957 along in there. Anyway, I found out later that I had an


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 20 opportunity to go to Africa in 1986 1989 and I found that the road rides, the forest, the jungles look just like the pictures that I had seen as a girl. Very vivid. It seemed as if I had been there but I kne the plants growing, the plants that we had as house plants h ere, growing wild in the jungle and on the roadsides. So it was just a magnificent thing. W: How long did you stay in Africa and where did you go when you were there? ANJ: I w ent to visit our church mission. I was president of our W W ork at the time and I went t o visit our missionaries from our church. We stayed about two to three weeks. W: Where were you in Africa? ANJ: Liberia, West Africa. Then we were blessed A fter going to Liberia, we went to Kenya and Kenya was more or less a triangle F rom here to Liberi a was the distance as from Liberia to Kenya. It was quite a trip to be able to visit the missionary works there and we got to visit in Kenya. We got to visit the B ible translation ministry there in Kenya, East Africa. Liberia, West Africa was the other p lace. And of c ourse I got a plus on that trip. I had the opportunity of going on a safari and we lived in a tree house. That was quite an experience. W: Somewhere along the way from Moody to Jackson College and your graduation, you got married. Where is that in all of this?


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 21 ANJ: him at Moody. W: And how did you end up at Moody Bible College? ARJ: Moody Bible Institute I was in the military service in the Air F orce And that is where I came to know the Lord. Those who lived in the Lord mentioned Moody and that it would be something I would be interested in when I got out. So when I got out I went to the V A told them I had a mission to go to Moody anythi ng about school except that they had used the name to say that that was w h ere I may be interested in going. They gave me a battery of tests to see digital tests and background and stuff. It came back like I knew it would, he said you have to be a machini st. I said no I want to go to B ible school. They were going to be able to pay for it. So he finally conceded that do and he had a Moody catalogue in his desk. W: How long were you in the Air F orce ? ARJ: Four years and at the en d of that time five months earlier they were cutting the size of the service. They said anybody who was not going to re enlist can get out. So I got out about five months early. Just a little less than four years. W: Where were you stationed? ARJ: My las t two years were in England, near London. W: What was the name of the base?


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 22 ARJ: Well forget. W: ARJ: ever went to when I was there and from there I moved closer to London. It was a hospital base of it. W: Where di d you do your training for the Air F orce? ARJ: In Great Lakes Illinois. W: And do you remember the name of th e base? ARJ: Great Lakes Naval Base, something like that but it was a Naval base and they had the area of training that I was going to get there. So they sent us there. I was in the d ental field, technician. What do they call it? Like a nurse would be to a doctor. W: So how did y ou end up choosing the Air F orce? ARJ: Well do you want to make a long story long or short? [Laughter] W: The tape is running. [Laughter] ARJ: I grew up outside of Pittsburgh T hat was steel city so they had all kinds of relate d industry. So I wanted to be a machinist.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 23 W: Even in high school? ARJ: I was in junior high when I first got interested in it because they offered industrial arts in junior high. W: Which junior high school did you attend? ARJ: Homeville. Now if you we re to ask where I was born then, I would say Homeville, which is now West Mifflin. W: Was there a particular teacher that taught at Homeville that got you interested in machinery? ARJ: No. The area at that time is surrounded by industry and I always did th ings with my hands fixed my bicycle, stuff like that and just got interested. When I finished junior high, which was ninth grade, I went to a vocational school. W: What was the name of that school? ARJ: Mc Key Sport Vocational High School. W: Who was the p rincipal ? ARJ: high school so they had an arrangement with the senators around who had a high school and we could go to whichever one we chose and they would pay our transpo rtation. So I had to catch a street car and transfer to another street car and then to a bus to get to school. Or I could get two street cars and walk the last


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 24 mile; it was shorter to walk the last mile than it was to take the other bus and go all the way around. That was if you hurry you could make it quicker walking. So I went to vo cation school where I took up machine shop. They told me when I So I said I still wanted to do it. I took that and then graduated. I did well in class. The last year I was there they had an arrangement with General Electric We could do our work at the General Electric company and do the academics at school two weeks at a time. I was good enough to do that b blacks in that area And that is how I got to the Air F orce. W: b? ARJ: There was no way to get one around that area. So I said if I go to the Air F orce and at that time they were offering if you join, you can chose what field you want. So I joined and chose machinist. That is how I got into that. Of course joining because all the men in my family were all military folks in the Second World War That was natural anyhow. W: So back to the original question, how did you all meet? ARJ: Well o kay. It was how I got to a machinist to a genera l assistant. So what happened w as when I got to the base the first night, I just gotten paid on a little job I had at a department store. The first night, the guy who was supposed to watch the barracks stole the money from the new folks who came in.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 25 W : Oh my gosh. ARJ: So that held me up when it was time for me to finish my basic training and go to my other training. W: You were getting gigged for what was happening. ARJ: I was having to w ait until his trial as evidence, you know, he stole m y money. He did this to about ten or fifteen guys. We got there late I signed up for. When they signed us lo o se, they said l ook, we got some space up here in Great Lakes Illin ois for some dental assistants. W: Take it or leave it. [L aughter] ARJ: Yeah of course we were all working it out so I got to say I was going to be in England. ed abo ut the school. I thought more in terms of a place where middle age d older folks went to study the B ible. I got there and I was among th e older people there because I had gone to service. Most men went straight from high school. That was a total surprise t hat there was young people there. The other surprise, that B ible school. So but when I got there what are you going to do? [Laughter] So when I got there I met Anita and we got engaged after our first year. We married after I graduated she was two years ahead of me. They had a rule that if you married you had to drop out a year and then come back.


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 26 Rather than do that, we waited two years then got marrie touch with what is going on here in Jackson. W: Marvelous. Well to take the break on this one. On beha lf of the Samuel Proctor Oral History k both of you for taking the time to let me ask you these questions about your life. I know it is going to richly help people and entertain and inform them and let them know you have had such great experiences. And at thanks and also to give you the opportunity to say anything that you would like to say something about the g you want to carry on further. A nd these will be my last remarks by the end of your comments between each other. That will conclude the interview. And again thank you very much. ANJ: Well so we can sign off. [Laughter] ARJ: That was an interesting experience and we thank you for coming. Actually Anita has a poem that you might be interested in that describes what she is doing now. This biography project. ANJ: Okay church an coming but I thin m almost ready to publish my book. I am using this sort of as a forward introduction along with other stuff. I call it The Biography Writer and I have made


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 27 a take on the poem, The Bridge Builder. It goes like this, An o ld man going alone on a highway/ ca me at the evening cold and gray/ To a chasm vast and deep and wide / through which was following a sullen tide / The old man crossed in the twilight dim/ that sul len stream had no fears for him/ But he turned when he reached t he other side/ and built a bridg e to span the tide/ Old man, said a fellow pilgrim near/ here/ Your journ ey will end with the ending day/ You never again must pass this way/ crossed the chasm deep and wide/ Why bu ild you a bridge at the eventide? / The builder lifted his old gray head / Good friend, in the path I have come, he said / there followeth after me today/ a youth whose feet must pass this way/ This chasm that has been naught to me/ to that f air head youth ma y be a pitfall/ He too must cross in the twilight dim/ Good friend, So I named my poem, The Biography Writer. An aging pedagogue observing the times / saw a name missing from its annals sublime / A man from history stood out like an alpine peak / towering over his fellows in thought and in feet / A reformer, rhetorician, musician, theologian, minister, prophet / A fearless champion of truth / A valiant warrior for righteousness / The tutor observing the chronicles void / accepted th e challenge to research and record / She responded with inquiring mind / to pen the biography of the bishop so kind / The life of this hero with experiences great / developed / Madame teacher, asked the observers as they rushed by / why spend your labor with history gone by? / Folk have too much stories to tell / what was with Jones we should know so well / To be / to prove faithful to God, not to pile up success was his deep


MFP 076; Anita Jefferson and Arrack Je fferson ; Page 28 quest / His faithful service broug ht power from on high / Radiance it gave him, and grace to die / Great life experiences fighting the good fight / of faith gave him power with the spirit and a courageous race / The tutor carefully weighed the vestment of time / and mulled over the real reason for her sacrifice sublime / Dear observer, said she, behind me there follows today / some youngsters yea oldsters who attention will pay / This legacy valiant to me / new generations significance may see / They too may read and acquire / a rich character of exce llence, a spirit filled life of holy beauty and righteousness. Anita Bingham Jefferson. That is my [End of i nterview] Final edited by: Diana Dombrowski, July 19, 2013