Robert King: In those days we were referred to as coloreds. And at least, you know, I could deal with that. We weren’t Negro. Blacks didn’t really care for Negro. They settled for colored. And to get away from that other word. I remember as a child if somebody called you Black you know, you break a Coca Cola bottle and cut them. You know? That was fighting words.
Phyllis Leffler: It was an insult. Yeah, really.
Robert King: Yeah, and so to hear “Old Black Joe” in class was hurting to me. And Venable has those tall windows, and my chair was along those windows. I would just turn my head away from the class because I’d have tears coming down. I hated that. That’s what I remember. And I can’t today, if you were to look up “Old Black Joe” on YouTube, and hear the words, why she would use that in a classroom setting other than to try and get me to go home and tell my parents. To get me out of there. And I knew that — what King was doing, I couldn’t leave. I had to stay. Because I had to integrate the schools.