Summer, 1963 ~ Photo by Danny Lyon from his book: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement  ©1992

Even though I grew up in the 60s only 11 miles as the crow flies from Leesburg, Georgia, I only learned about this event in 2005 while visiting my hometown of Albany when I saw the photo above and several others at the Albany Civil Rights Museum (now Institute). In 2011 during a trip back home to research my novel, Peach Seed Monkey—yes, still a work-in-progress—Dr. Carol Barner-Seay, 4th from the left in the photo, granted me an interview. I published a post last July on this event and am gratified to see the undertold story finally getting much deserved attention.

Two of the Leesburg Stockade women were added to the Hall of Fame of the National Voting Rights Museum in 2007. The National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution publicized their story in 2016, and they were recognized by a resolution of the Georgia state legislature.   ~ Wikipedia

The honest, heartrending photos of American photographer and filmmaker, Danny Lyon have helped preserve this story:

Gleaned from a petition started by Brittany Dawson ~ 

On July 15, 1963 a group of brave adolescent girls took a stand for their rights and were imprisoned for it, enduring terrible conditions and circumstances while confined within an abandoned Civil War stockade – a large holding cell that contained a broken shower head and a broken toilet – located deep in the backwoods of Leesburg, Georgia. The women, then ages 12-15, ended up in the stockade after their participation in a 200-strong peaceful march from Friendship Baptist Church to the Martin Theater in Americus, GA to purchase tickets at the theater’s white entrance in protest of its segregation practices. While in custody, the girls were deprived of clean water, adequate food, proper hygiene, and contact with their families for two months.


Here is a documentary of the event:

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