Chester Todd Jr. moved to Racine from Mayfield, Kentucky in 1951 when he was nine-years-old. This was the first time he had mixed with white people and at the time, racism was “very blatant” back then.
Todd had a number of experiences with racism over his lifetime, including being made to shower two and three times at Washington Park pool like his black peers and being called the n-word every day when he was in the Navy. His response: Beating people. And eventually, he turned to heroin and was a drug addict for 30 years. Racism didn’t cause him to be a drug addict, “but it certainly made things better,” he said.
Still — there are stories that haunt him every day.
“I think every black person walking has that stuff inside them,” he said.
Check out more Black Men Speak videos: