So now he's at the St. Louis City Justice Center, awaiting trial. It's his first time in jail, and nobody has come to visit him yet. He has no idea Clark has come to see him today.

When the cop leads Fred into the cubicle-size station, Clark is sitting behind the thick visiting room glass. The two men stare at each other, both leaning forward so that their faces are only a couple of feet apart. There are 30 seconds of silence.

Then Fred rests his forehead on top of his folded hands and begins to sob. His tears drip down his fingers and onto the hard white table. He slowly lifts his head, wipes his face and looks at Clark with big eyes, biting down on his bottom lip.

"We have got to fight for peace in our neighborhoods. This time we've got to get our civil rights from each other. And when we do that, it's gon' change America. It's gon' change the world," says James Clark.
Jennifer Silverberg
"We have got to fight for peace in our neighborhoods. This time we've got to get our civil rights from each other. And when we do that, it's gon' change America. It's gon' change the world," says James Clark.
Unlike many other academics, Norm White immerses himself in the neighborhoods. He spends his free time cruising north city and county, stopping to talk to residents sitting on porches or walking down the street.
Jennifer Silverberg
Unlike many other academics, Norm White immerses himself in the neighborhoods. He spends his free time cruising north city and county, stopping to talk to residents sitting on porches or walking down the street.

"So how's everything going?" Fred asks.

"Going pretty bad, man," responds Clark, right to the point. "Terrible, actually. Can't be good with you in here."

They discuss the situation. How the charges carry ten to twenty years. How he couldn't afford the $20,000 bail. How he misses his son. How his friend — his "brother," the drug dealer — made bail. How he tried to call that friend because he needs somebody to check in on his sick mother, but the guy changed his phone number.

Clark tells him he'll call his lawyer friend, and they might be able to get his time down to 120 days. Hopefully. But he better not get out and do some stupid stuff that puts him right back in.

"This right here, this ain't gon' happen two times. I ain't coming here twice," says Clark. "Anything else you got to say?"

"I just want my son, Mr. Clark. I just wanna go home."

"You got to mature, man. Just like you don't watch cartoons no more. Just like you don't play with toy trucks no more. You can't be hanging around mothafuckas packin' pistols no more."

Clark rarely cusses. It's possible this is the first time Fred has heard him cuss.

"You know, man, I'm glad you're in here," says Clark, firmly.

"Me too. I've been reading the Bible."

James Clark has been fighting the streets of St. Louis for fifteen years. He keeps up the fight because he believes things can change. But he's no fool. He knows what change looks like.

He doesn't even miss a beat.

"Everybody reads the Bible in the joint."

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