Fay Bellamy
(1938 — 2014)


As remembered by Michael Simmons
May 4, 2014

In a note she sent to friends after Highlander's 75th anniversary celebration in 2007, Fay wrote, "Working and knowing people like yourselves, being involved in making change and assisting others to do the same is the best kind of life I could ask for, and this is my life and I am absolutely thrilled. Thank you all." — See more at: Fay Bellamy Powell Remembered.

3 May, is the 76th anniversary of the birth of my dear friend and sista comrade the late FAY D. BELLAMY. Fay's life represented a total commitment to the struggle for human rights in general and women's rights in particular. As a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Fay played a key role in laying the groundwork of the Selma to Montgomery March that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. During her time in Selma, she arranged to have Malcolm X speak to young civil rights activists in Alabama.

She later moved to Atlanta to work in the Atlanta SNCC office, but Fay refused to be bound by administrative task. Instead, she participated in many protest including the march organized to challenge the refusal of the Georgia state legislature to allow Julian Bond to take his seat in the state house because of his support of SNCC's anti-Vietnam War statement.

Fay also worked with students at Tuskegee University in protesting the assassination of Sammy Younge. Later that year Fay participated in the anti-draft protest at the Atlanta induction center organized by the Atlanta project of SNCC.

During her post-SNCC life, Fay continued to struggle for the rights of the oppressed. her work included playing key roles in the development of a national anti-klan network and building the We Shall Overcome fund. In 1995 I engaged Fay to be a participant in an 8 person civil rights veteran delegation to Budapest to meet with Roma activists from 8 central/euroepan countries. As always, Fay paid particular attention to the issue of women and provided valuable insights to the Roma women participants. In February of 2013, along with Leah Wise, I was honored to be asked to co-MC Fay's memorial service. During her life much time would pass without Fay and I seeing each other, but we always maintained a phone relationship and our conversations could go on for hours. I truly loved my dear sista Fay and miss her so very much.

May you rest in peace.

Michael Simmons

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