On the last day of August in 1959, somebody left a baby with skin the color of dark chocolate on Jimmy Burletson's porch. There it was, lying in a clothesbasket, looking up at him with big brown eyes. "Lord," he said, and then just stood there. In all of his 23 years, he had never even touched a baby. In desperation, he asked himself, "What on earth does a white man in Southwest Mississippi do with a black baby?" Up until that day, his life had been just about ideal. He was widely admired and a good-looking young woman held him in high esteem. He didn't want to jeopardize his future, but he couldn't violate his principles either. His mind said, "do the logical thing," but his heart said, "do the right thing." He didn't want to keep the baby, but remarkably, that's what he wound up doing. Many people objected strongly to his decision, but he had the consolation of knowing he had done what he felt he should. For those who would say he had done the wrong thing, he knew he could look them in the eye and ask, "Well, what would you have done?"
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