By George Lipsitz
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On a personal level, Ivory Perry lost promotions due him to white soldiers, some of whom he had trained. He suffered when white officers eager for promotion took unnecessary risks in combat, sacrificing the lives of black soldiers to their own ambitions. "I saw a lot of black soldiers get killed over there because they had a racist company commander," he declares. 7 Ivory Perry's cousin Harold Terrell served with him in the army in Korea. Terrell left Pine Bluff in 1949 to join the service because his parents could not afford to send him to college, and he could find no employment at home other than picking cotton for poverty wages.
The salesman needed sixteen stitches and alleged that Leo Branton had used the butt end of a knife in the attack. Wiley and Leo Branton told the court their version of what had happened in the store-that Leo had acted in self-defense and had used only his fists . But the judge found him guilty on all counts. " Before the sheriff could take Leo off to jail, his father arrived with an attorney who informed the judge of his intention to appeal the case, which under the system then in effect meant an automatic retrial in front of a jury.
They had to conceal these excursions from their strict parents and from the eagle eye of Miss Jones as she cruised up and down in her big car. Miss Jones did pull them out of the Strand Theater once, but she never caught them in the juke joints. Perry and Gonder reflect upon their youth in Pine Bluff with happy memories. , They remember how you could trust people and never have to lock your door or worry about someone stealing from you. They cherish the atmosphere of mutual respect that characterized their community as well .
A Life In The Struggle: Ivory Perry and the Culture of Opposition by George Lipsitz