This story starts off with Leon telling us about his home life growing up. He was born in 1936, into a large family, in a small Jim Crow town close to Raleigh, North Carolina. His father was a sharecropper with a white man named Mr. Johnson, and his family lived on Mr. Johnson's big farm. He lived in an old hose with no electricity, heat, or running water. His parents were very religious and strict.
Leon then tells us about how all of the black children went to school. His first school was called Providence School. It was in a big house, and there were no grades. They went, and were taught their ABC's and times tables. Leon had to walk four miles to school each day, and their school did not have any running water or electricity. Eventually, Leon was able to go to Furquay High School, which was a much nicer school.
After that, Leon tells us about all of the Jim Crow laws in his town growing up. When Leon and his siblings would go to the movies, all of the black kids would have to sit in the back, on the balcony. Sometimes, the white kids would throw popcorn and things at them. Whenever Leon went shopping, he would have to stay away from any white person that came in, and black people were not allowed to try on any of the clothes.
Next, Leon describes the terrors of growing up with the Ku Klux Klan all around his hometown, in North Carolina. he was very afraid to do things at night, because at night, the Klansmen would go driving around, waiting to beat or hurt any black person they saw. They were violent, and wanted to make all of the black people scared. Most police officers were Klansmen, and Leon tells us about all of the things they would have to do and plan, just so they could stay protected from the Klan.
Then, Leon shares with us the tragic loss of his father, that occured on the day of his fifteenth birthday. Leon's mother and father were on their way to town to buy Leon a gift, when two white kids in a car came, and hit his father. Leon's father tried to get up, but he had broke a leg or hip, so he couldn't get up. The boys turned the car around, ran over Leon's father, and dragged him underneath the car. He was dead. The boys threw things at all of the children crying, sad to see their father die. Police were never involved, just because Leon's family was black.
Finally, once Leon was in High School, he learned that people have certain rights, and that all men are created equal. More Black people started to become outraged with how they were being treated. Black kids started peaceful protests and marches. Before they went on the marches, they would have to put on a bunch of protective gear, because white people would often beat them as they were marching. Then, one day, the mayor says from here on out, the marches would be protected. Anyone who beat or hurt them would be punished. All black people were finally treated like real people.