Buddy Green: Wilbur Gary was a building contractor who had recently moved with his family to a place called Rollingwood [in Contra Costa county]. Within a few days, a white crowd started gathering around his premises chanting slogans, you know, like, "Get out nigger" -- that kind of stuff. There was a bonfire set in his yard. It was supposed to be a cross, but it was made of paper or something and burned real fast. They were applauding, saying , "Hurray, hurray." The sheriff sent one deputy in the car to cruise around, but he didn't do anything, hardly, to dispel the crowd. They were throwing garbage and other things.
when Decca and Buddy arrived, no supporters were on the scene -- only the mob. Rather than waiting, she and her friend charged through the crowd to the Gary's front door.
Buddy Green: Yeah, and boy, was it scary. I'm telling you, people were shouting all kinds of things: "Niggers, we don't want you here!" And here I am, walking through the crowd with a white woman. Nobody punched me -- nothing like that. I was only about 28-29 and in excellent condition; I'd been a prizefighter for about five years. But I don't think that really frightened them off.
The Making of a Muckracker
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