StoryCorps / William Lynn Weaver

William Lynn Weaver #

The school’s mascot was a Confederate colonel and at football games, when you came out on the field, the crowd would be hollering and the Dixie would be playing and they’d hold the paper flag up and the team would burst out through the Confederate flag. The black players made a decision to run around the flag.

  • mascot (noun. C) - a person, animal, or object that isbelieved to bring good luck, or one thatrepresents an organization
  • Confederate (noun.) - a supporter of the Confederate States of America.
  • colonel (noun. C) - an officer of high rank in the army or airforce
  • come out - to go somewhere with someone for a social event
  • holler (verb. informal) - to shout loudly
  • Dixie (noun.) - the southern states of the US that foughtagainst the northern states during the American Civil War
  • burst out - to suddenly say something loudly

There were always racial comments, uh, banners with the n-word, and, at one point in time, there was even a dummy with a noose around its neck hanging from the goal posts.

  • the N-word (noun. singular) - a polite way of referring to the veryoffensive word nigger
  • dummy (noun. C) - a stupid or sillyperson
  • noose (noun.) - one end of a rope tied to form acircle that can be tightened round something such as a person’s neck tohang (= kill) them

My brother tackled their tight end and broke his collarbone. And when they had to take him off the field with his arm in a sling, that’s when the crowd really got ugly.

  • tackle (verb.) - (especially in football orhockey) to try to take the ball from a player in the other team, or (in rugby or American football) to do this by taking hold of the player and making them fall
  • tight (adj. adv.) - (held or kept together) firmly orclosely
  • collarbone (noun. C) - a bone between your shoulder and neckon each side of your body
  • sling (noun. C) - a device that uses a strap, piece of cloth, or ropes for supporting, lifting, orcarrying objects

We were on the visitors’ sideline and they were coming across the field; so we backed up against the fence.

  • sideline (noun. C touchline) - a line thatshows the position of the side of an areawhere a sport is played
  • fence (noun. C) - a structure that divides two areasof land, similar to a wall but made ofwood or wire and supported with posts

And then a hand reaches through the fence and grabs my shoulder pads.

  • pad (noun. C) - a piece of soft, thick cloth or rubber, used to protect a part of the body, giveshape to something, or clean something

The state police came and escorted us to the buses. The crowd is still chanting and throwing things at the bus and, as the bus drives off, I look back and I see my father standing there and all these angry white people.

  • escort (verb.) - to go with a person or vehicle, especiallyto make certain that he, she, or it leavesor arrives safely
  • chant (verb.) - to repeat or sing a word or phrase continuously
  • drive off - to leave in a car

And I wanted to tell him, ”Dad, don’t come to any more games,” but selfishly I couldn’t.

  • selfish (adj.) - Someone who is selfish only thinksof their own advantage