Posts tagged ‘Civil Rights’

Think your vote doesn’t count? THINK AGAIN.

Breaks my heart to hear young folk say they don’t vote because their vote doesn’t matter. How did we get THIS far off course from the work of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s? College students and teenagers lead that Movement—risking their lives against police with billy clubs, cattle prods and water hoses to make their voices heard. Did you know that teens as young as 12 and 13 wrote their last will and testament on the eve of protests? THAT is why your vote matters in 2018. Click through to my blog and share the post: a whole heap of young folk need to see it…

Read more…

My Father ~ Silas Jones ~ An Inspiration

SilasFlag.indd

Cira 1980s ~ My Father, Silas J. Jones in his back yard in Albany, GA after a miraculous snow fall. Yep, that’s a dusting of snow on the car…

Independence Day Musings ~

My father, Silas Jones, was born in 1921 in Putney, Georgia—a widening-in-the-road near Albany. I remember one summer when I was home—most likely during my Brooklyn, New York years: 1979-1985, we drove “down home” to visit my mother’s people in Bainbridge/Camilla. We were at a cousin’s house where the TV played perpetually. My cousin’s daughter, a toddler, sat too close to the set, spell-bound. My 6’2 father Read more…

Van Jones: “Whitelash”

Since political activist Van Jones used the word “whitelash” on CNN after the election  a bunch of people have lost their minds. Nothing makes some folks more uncomfortable than the very mention of race, so touché, Van. So irritating to hear, “Why does everything always have to be about race.” Well…because everything HAS pretty much been about race since race was constructed in the 1600s. No matter what room you walk into in the USA, race done already walked in there before you, right along with sex and money, to name a few.

whitelash, n  1. an adverse reaction (i.e.backlash) by white racists against non-white civil rights advances.

Screen shot 2016-11-12 at 6.15.33 PM.png

If you don’t know this man, you should. And I’m happy to introduce him via three videos where he talks about whitelash and a whole lotta other issues that are on our minds since Tuesday night. I especially hope young folk will watch video #3 and “Check Out His Thought” Read more…

The Day the “Colored Sign” Walked Out

penny-patch-panola-county-ms-1965-photo-by-tom-wakayama
Penny Patch, Panola County, MS. 1965.
Photo by Tom Wakayama

1
Guest Blogger: Penny Patch
Lyndonville, Vermont

“In 1962 I was a young white woman working as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Southwest Georgia. A brilliant young man named Charles Sherrod was our project director, my teacher and mentor. And during those years I also met and worked with many audacious local young people who, with their families, became the backbone of the Albany Movement in Southwest Georgia.

Two of these young women were Patricia Ann Gaines and Margaret Sanders, at the time age 15 and 16 respectively. Their families sheltered me and other civil rights workers at great risk to themselves. Their entire families participated in the Movement, including two year old Peaches Gaines who went to jail with her mother and sisters Pat, Shirley, and Marian. I remember Marian Gaines at age 11 leading a march into the police lines singing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round.” Mr. Gaines, their Dad, was known on occasion to sit outside the mass meeting with other men, shotguns across their laps, protecting the mass meeting. And Margaret’s sisters Mary, Jean, and Sharon Sanders accompanied her on her path to becoming a student leader in the Albany Movement.

I am naming names because these young women —whose names are not as well known as they should be—were citizens of Albany. One thing to know about each and every one is that they took risks, all the time. So one day Margaret and Pat strolled into the Dougherty County Courthouse, walked over to the two water fountains in the main hall, and took down the “colored” sign which hung over the small water fountain positioned next to the much larger water fountain which was labelled as “white.” These are the same water fountains, with signs in place, that you see in Danny Lyon’s iconic photo posted here.

water-fountain001

Photo by Danny Lyon, from his book: Memories if the Southern Civil Rights Movementwww.dektol.wordpress.com

Pat and Margaret lifted the sign, walked out of the building and escaped back into the black community before anybody noticed it was gone. How did they do this? I have no idea. And Pat, whenever I ask her, says her memory is kind of vague about the whole episode. (We agree that this is probably due to stress related memory loss). Some time later, as I was leaving Albany to work in Mississippi, Pat and Margaret presented me with the sign and the story of their exploit. I took that sign with me on many occasions for many years whenever I talked to students about the Black Freedom Movement. But then the Albany Civil Rights Institute opened and it was time to place it where it belonged, in that museum in its home town. You all can visit this wonderful small museum and see the sign on display, with Pat and Margaret’s inscription on the back of it.

Pat Gaines with Charels Sherrod, 2011 Albany, GA

Pat Gaines with Charels Sherrod, 2011 Albany, GA

 

Note from Anita: I met Penny in May 2011 when I traveled back home to Albany, GA for the 5oth Anniversary of the SNCC movement. She has been following the blog since the early days and graciously providing insight and details for my novel. In an email recently she recounted the story above then agreed to share with my readers.

dsc_0422

Me with Penny and granddaughter in Hyper Gym, Albany State University, May 2011

dsc_0392

L-R: Annette Jones, Penny, Charles Neblett. Hyper Gym, ASU. May 2011

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Angela Glover Blackwell says: “Turn Outrage into action”

AGB

Angela Glover Blackwell  is outraged over the Zimmerman verdict.
I look to her and PolicyLink for balance and direction at times like these. So can you.
Click on the the picture to go to their EquityBlog, watch the video and get your marching orders.

%d bloggers like this: