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View Diary: Love, not guns, the lesson of Selma for John Lewis (7 comments)

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  •  Oh my, I did not know you did that, MB. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    princesspat, WakeUpNeo

    Yes, the Hon. Rep. John Lewis is a lion of a man. I once had the opportunity to shake his hand and to thank him for his life work, and I felt privileged merely by that momentary proximity to deep courage and grace. He has immense presence.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:24:27 PM PST

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    •  I wrote about this in more detail... (0+ / 0-)

      ...in Mississippi Turning in 2008. An excerpt:

      Every day, two-by-two, we went door to door cajoling black men and women to gather up the courage to come with us and demand their constitutional right to cast a ballot. We didn’t get many takers. Some people wouldn’t let us in their house. Others wouldn’t let us on their property. They were scared, and justifiably so. After the summer, most of us were going back where we came from and they were staying in Mississippi, no longer officially accounted for as 3/5ths a person, but legally kept from being whole.

      My partner and I, Charly Biggers, who had been a Freedom Rider in 1961, registered seven people all summer, and that was only because Charly was one of the best talkers I ever met. Some volunteers didn’t register anyone. Many of us were arrested, often more than once. Charly and I shared a cell for two days with an activist from Massachusetts named Abbie Hoffman. He made us laugh the entire time. When the summer was over, out of 500,000 eligible blacks, Mississippi had 1,200 new black voters. [...]

      At its most basic, Freedom Summer was about stopping the ruthless terrorism at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, the killing of Americans who were merely trying to exercise their rights and ending the intimidation of others who were too afraid to even try to secure their rights. The murder of the three civil rights workers was no anomaly but took place amid other murders in the context of protests led by courageous African Americans, some of whom were also murdered. The violence didn’t end just because of the national spotlight shone on Mississippi, a focus that would not have occurred had two of those young men in 1964 not been white. Black lives simply weren’t worth as much as white. And some Mississippians figured they’d continue with the old ways once the "outside agitators" and national media went home.

      They were, to some extent, right. From June that year until January of 1965, Ku Klux Klan nightriders burned 31 black churches in Mississippi. And, although some men were convicted and sentenced to short terms in prison made even shorter by parole, it took another 41 years before Edgar Killen, the Klan kleagle who recruited the murderers, was convicted of manslaughter on the anniversary of the day the three men disappeared.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:35:22 AM PST

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