It was a usual Sunday morning for me, I remained home as I graded the papers for the young children on the plantation. I asked them to express to me how they felt about Jefferson’s convection. Most of the children spoke about how depressed they were that he was treated during the trail. Many only spoke of how the use of the word Hog to refer to him offended them. One child even spoke about how she wish she was older to become a lawyer that way she could defend people like Jefferson who are innocent yet still convicted only due to his skin color. The papers were starting to get to me; they were helping me to make the decision to take up Miss Emma to help him while imprisoned.
After returning the papers, I explained to the students that they were gain to be seeing me a lot less because I would be visiting Jefferson in jail. To help him the only way that I knew how which was through education. Miss Emma wanted me to Jefferson die like a man and not like a hog. The first couple of visitations were hard. Jefferson didn’t want to open up. He was cold and rude to me. I took it personally because I didn’t understand why any man who had someone wanting to help them out in jail would turn them down. I had to keep in mind that I was doing this to help Miss Emma. I kept visiting him until one day when he opened up to me. I got him to open up by speaking about is final meal. In which he told me that he would love to have a gallon of vanilla ice cream. He told me about how much he loves ice cream. With this conversation the barrier between us was broken between us.
I went out after that and ask the people in the plantation for money. Basically like a collection plate. I asked them for this money so that I can buy Jefferson a radio to give to him the next visit. During the next visit I gave Jefferson a note book and told him to write to me any feelings or any thoughts that came to his mind, he promised to do so. When I came back and his notebook the feelings that I had while reading the essays of the children came back. Jefferson’s thoughts focused on what was the difference between hogs and man. He mentioned about how he had been thinking about death. The thoughts about death had concerned me. Then Jefferson asked me if I prayed. I couldn’t lie. I told him the truth. I didn’t believe in anything. I told him though I believed in nothing I wanted him to believe in something. I wanted to be able to look at him and one day and say because Jefferson I believe. I was helping him with something who would’ve thought he’d be helping too.
This visit with Jefferson reminds me of the conversation I had with Reverend Ambrose. Reverend asked me to help Jefferson with his prayers but I told him I couldn’t. He was mad, he yelled at me. Told me that I was uneducated and told me that I was only a boy, not a man. I was angry but I understood why he was angry with me. I was raised in the church with my family. Only I choose to slowly stray away from the church because of school. Now I don’t believe in anything I told him that and he just didn’t have much to say. I tried to explain to him that I couldn’t help him with his prayers because I didn’t believe in anything so it would be me lying to him.
I’m lost now, I’ve lost what I went to Jefferson to help him in the first place. I was becoming a student now. Instead of teaching I was now becoming the student. Only I’ve gone to school so I didn’t know what Jefferson had to offer me. I was use to being in control but now I was being taught. I did learn it, I had lost it. He was teaching me how to believe again. Reverend Ambrose has been trying for a while but now Jefferson was the one that I was helping to become the man that he was when he knew he was on death row was bringing me to find GOD.