When Charles Clemons was born, he had Coats disease, a rare disorder that afflicts the eye. At age 3, he lost his right eye to the ailment.
At school, he said, students picked on him. They would tackle him to the ground, pluck out his artificial right eye, and throw it in the grass, laughing. Clemons said the bullying continued until he was 10, after his parents divorced and his mother, Virginia, moved her five children to the Grove Hall area of Dorchester.