American Experience: Partners of the Heart
Early Years: Living with Segregation
Nat Crippens:  video | transcript
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The top law official came up to the house next door, talked with the people there and was surprised that they were there. And he finally said, "Let's cut out all this small talk. We know this boy's here. We have watched this house ever since he came home. And you might as well give him to me, because they're going to come and get him." And my father and the others told him that they knew what the plan was and that they would not give the boy up.

And he got angry and said -- now, I heard this from my father -- he got angry and said, "It's cheaper to let one boy die than for this whole community to be destroyed." And they said, "We'll take the chance." And they said, "Well, it's enough people down there to get you." And my father and the others said, "There's enough people to take him. But fifty of them will be there in the morning if they take him." And he went back down there and this is what I heard, "Let's go get that N. Let's go get that N." I heard that for an hour or so and every time I heard it, I'd break out crying again. And my brother would, too. And my mother started howling, just crying.

But an hour or so later, we noticed the cars by their lights were going in all different directions. We thought they were surrounding the place. But actually, they were going home. They had decided that they couldn't see in the dark up there what was going on and that they were not going to take a chance.