Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Perry E. Wallace

Plantation Drive-By

Once I figured out what a sordid and confused battle my attackers were waging, I was no longer afraid

December 5, 2012 “People can be incredulous, at times even critical, when I tell them that I always treated these bad actors with civility. They assume I was weak, naïve, or simply just too nice. People actually used to urge me to go into the stands at basketball games in the Deep South and accost the racist cat-callers. The reality is that I always had a specific plan of action, and it was based on a tough-minded assessment of the circumstances, as well as a respect for certain important values.” In an essay for Chapter 16, law professor Perry E. Wallace recalls the lessons he learned at Vanderbilt as the first African-American basketball player in the Southeastern Conference.

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