Studs Terkel Quotes: I Wanted To Be Accepted It Must Have

I Wanted To Be Accepted. It Must Have Been In Sixth Grade. It Was Just Before The Fourth Of July. They Were Trying Out Students For This Patriotic Play. I Wanted To Do Abe Lincoln, So I Learned The Gettysburg Address Inside And Out. I'd Be Out In The Fields Pickin' The Crops And I'd Be Memorizin'. I Was The Only One Who Didn't Have To Read The Part, 'cause I Learned It. The Part Was Given To A Girl Who Was A Grower's Daughter. She Had To Read It Out Of A Book, But They Said She Had Better Diction. I Was Very Disappointed. I Quit About Eighth Grade. Any Time Anybody'd Talk To Me About Politics, About Civil Rights, I Would Ignore It. It's A Very Degrading Thing Because You Can't Express Yourself. They Wanted Us To Speak English In The School Classes. We'd Put Out A Real Effort. I Would Get Into A Lot Of Fights Because I Spoke Spanish And They Couldn't Understand It. I Was Punished. I Was Kept After School For Not Speaking English.
— Studs Terkel —

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