Guards knew that. That's why they told us. He was like many nice Christian white folks there who didn't like what was going on.
Before the verdict came in I sat around dragging on a butt as if nothing was on. The judge entered. Everybody stood up but me. This wasn't my court. There is an old Negro folksay about a poor black man who don't amount to nothing. Colored people will sometimes say, "He ain't from shit." I was so unimportant there nobody even cared whether I stood or not, as long as I got my sentence. National Guards were all around me so that I could hardly see through to look on old Horton's face. I couldn't make out what it meant when the jury came in laughing. After the jury reported I was found guilty, Horton did ask me to stand. I stood up for sentence and gave the crowd of white men a dead-pan look.
Horton told me I must die in the chair.
The sun came in the windows strong and made everything that was white look whiter, and me the one thing black, I guess, look blacker.
RIGHT off my lawyers appealed my second sentence. So we were brought back to the city jail to wait. Soon after I got there I had to put on my don't-like look for Warden Muller. I had good reasons. Muller, he came by our day cell. That was a large-sized room on the eighth floor of the jail. I said to him, "Why can't we have our people visit us, Warden?"
"You don't know nobody here," he told me.
"It's not that. Many people know us. They want to see us. When white want a look at us Scottsboro boys you let them in. When our people come, you blind the screen."
Muller went away and this trouble went on. Whites always parading in and around the jail, they wanted to see us, like we were