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Story Circle Process Discussion Paper

You probably can't tell by reading this but I grew up in Southern Illinois--very Southern--but I speak with a somewhat artificial "Middle American accent" that I acquired because my parents, (mainly my Dad), made me listen to the radio, (Mutual Broadcasting Network, thank you very much!), to learn how to talk. I guess he figured that "if 'They' can't tell that you're a Negro when you call on the phone 'They'll' have to get the nerve to tell you, 'No!' to your face."

Nonetheless, I grew up knowing that I didn't talk like everybody else did. Sometimes other kids would tease me about it as I grew up, but it was good spirited and it didn't bother me very much until I finished college in 1962 after deciding to go South to work in the Civil Rights Movement. To tell the truth, I was worried about the fact that I was taking my life into my own hands by getting involved in the "nonviolent Movement" but one of my biggest fears was that the rural black people with whom I expected to work, would be put off by my language.

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