Was violence or repression ever directed against you personnaly?

Patricia Anderson:
A simple answer here would be yes. There was violence directed against all of us who were on the front lines of the movement, no matter where we were.

The people who were on the sidelines watching the marches in any of the streets of the nation tended towards hating we who were marching, yelling out obscenities...throwing all kinds of things at us, and in general really hating those of us who were white and involved in the movement. They considered all of us as traitors to their cause, and lashed out at us long after the demonstrations and marches were over. There were many restaurants and stores where I could not go, the managers or owners saw to it that none of us were allowed to enter their establishments. The hatred of us lingered long after the movement was over, and even today there are whites who resent our involvement.

Bruce Hartford:
In the course of my work in the Movement I was beaten several times by police and Klan racists, shot at twice, tear-gassed several times, and chased across half a county by a KKK mob in cars and trucks. A Klan leader put a pistol to my head and threatened to blow my brains out. I was arrested many times and served time for the crimes of trying to register people to vote or end segregation.

Gabe Kaimowitz:
Twice. In Dallas, TX a security guard drew a pistol as I sat alone waiting for an interview with a corrupt Bishop College president. I was not upset, however, because there were camera crews outside to cover the appointment. Later that summer in 1965, when I, a white teaching colleague, and a black female CORE co-worker got lost while in a VW, we were pursued by whites in an long car chase. We were "saved" when the Deacons for Defense, armed blacks, caught up with the chase, and the whites in the trailing car disappeared.

Joan Mandle:
Violence and repression was always a threat. People would drive by our house and shoot off guns — but never at us (I am not sure why). And when we went to Charleston to integrate the beaches there, we were stopped by the police but not beaten or arrested. I think South Carolina was more "genteel" than Mississippi and the fact that we were a racially integrated group as well as sponsored by a national organization of Quakers also may have stayed their hands.

Wazir (Willie) Peacock:
Yes it was. Sam and I, we were working late one night in Greenwood on March 6th, 1963. We had been over to the church, because Dick Gregory had sent a bunch of clothes and food down for the people who had been fired and evicted for trying to register to vote, and we went over there to break the food down and box it to make it convenient for the people. All they had to do was come and get their box.

So we must have finished that up about 11 o'clock, and we were going to go home. Sam, and I, and his girlfriend, and her sister, we were in the car together. Sam was having an asthma attack, and he wanted to go by the office and pick up his breathalyzer. His girlfriend said, "You've got one at my house, so come on." I had this bad feeling. I told Sam, "Don't go back." I did everything to keep Sam from going by the office, and I begged his girlfriend. I said, "Don't let him go by the office." But we stopped at the office. I rose up from the back seat, and I said, "Don't let him get out. Don't let him get out of the car." And she said, "Sam." As soon as she said that, we heard this thundering noise. Both of the front side windows went out. If she hadn't leaned over to say something to Sam, and he hadn't leaned back toward her, his head would've been blown off. She saved his life. If she had been sitting over there, sitting straight up, it would've gotten her too.

So their car drove off. It was a station wagon. There was about four people in it. They drove off very slowly, because they thought they had really done their work. And I was either crazy or angry. I jumped out and ran down the street throwing bricks at the car. They sped up, but that was a close call. Came close to death at that particular point. So yeah, it was directly at us personally.

And the second time, that was the spring of '64, when we were getting ready to go to Oxford, Ohio to do an orientation with the students that was going to come down for the Freedom Summer project. We stopped outside of Columbus, Mississippi. They took us to jail, took us out, beat us up, and the next day they had a trial. And miraculously, a telephone call came while they were getting ready to start trying us, because they were going to send us to the county farm so they could kill us. But our lawyer got us out. We had about $15 that they had taken, and that's what they charged us for the fine. Those are the main two times that we thought that it was over.

Dick Reavis:
I was arrested a half-dozen times and for one of my presumed infractions, "vagrancy" was sentenced to six months at hard labor. Fortunately, about two weeks after I began serving that time, the federal Fifth Circuit Court struck down all vagrancy laws as unconstitutional.

In the more common use of the word 'violence,' I was even luckier. Once was I roughed-up, presumably by KKKers, at the place in Demopolis that is still called "Confederate Square." Another time sheriff's deputies repeatedly slammed me against the frame of their patrol car as they put me inside, though I was submitting peacefully. Their rough-housing cracked my right wrist.

Alvin Rosenbaum:
I experienced some anti-Semitism in Birmingham, but not in my hometown. But our family had two burning crosses planted on our front yard in the mid-1960s. Two other incidents of note: On the day after George Wallace was inaugurated (mid-January, 1963), I wrote a letter that was published in the Birmingham News condemning Wallace's racist rhetoric. I received 104 responses in the mail, of which 102 were either racist or anti- Semitic and a dozen or so threatened violence or death. These were turned over to the FBI by my father.

A few months later, after attending a meeting at the 16th Avenue Baptist Church with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Martin Luther King, I crossed the street and went into a restaurant, taking a seat with an African-American journalist from Detroit. While having lunch (I was the only white person in the restaurant), I was approached by two Alabama State Troopers with German Shepherds, who proceeded to chase me out of the restaurant and through the alleys (but with their dogs restrained). I was not injured but certainly scared, hiding at the Trailways Bus Depot atop a toilet in the men's room until I was able to catch a bus back to Florence.

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