Jim Blackburn headshot

Jim Blackburn

Albemarle High School

I can remember playing little league football for Ludlow Food Shop Indians.  And we won a couple city championships, and our team was about half Black and half White.  And we were very good.  And some of my friends at that time, good friends, were the Black kids on the team.  And my brother and I had some of those guys come over one time, or a couple times, actually, to our house just to play for the day.  We played ball.  And I don’t know what else we did, but we were running around our neighborhood.  Well, my mother says some neighbors had called concerned because all these Black kids were running around.  It rocked me back on my heels.  These were my friends.  And my mother was — she wasn’t chiding us at all.  She was just saying there are people that think differently than we do, and these people are in our neighborhood and they think that the Black kids are somehow thieves or something like that.  But it just — a real eye-opener for me.