Zev Aelony
(1938 — 2009)

CORE 1959-65
Students for Integration
CORE Soul Force 1962-5 Midwest Freedom Rides
Moore Memorial Walk
Americus GA

Thank you for doing this important work!

Note: I appreciate your brief history of the movement on this site. My children growing up in a neighborhood with rainbow families, going to rainbow schools where problems still remain, cannot imagine the crude segregation we faced. Documents such as this help. When I told them of facing, with three SNCC workers, capital charges for voter registration, I had to show them clippings from old newspapers that friends had sent me to convince them that I wasn't pulling their legs.

I agree that voter registration had become central, but am now increasingly aware that we were outmaneuvered by those who would again deny the vote to the same people and their political potential allies under guise of the 'war on drugs' and 'zero tolerance' crime control. In the past couple of months some people have begun to raise questions on this nationally. Is this a concern of any in your group?

I am one of two Minnesotans whom I know of who are survivors of 'death penalty' charges (the other is Chuck McDew, now a professor at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul), was active in the local Students For Integration, a Freedom Rider and a member of the CORE Soul Force. Three SNCC workers, Don Harris, Ralph Allen, and John Perdew, and I were faced capital chargers in Sumter County, Georgia, in 1963 for legal, nonviolent support to the voting rights campaign there.

Today my wife and I have a small business as manufacturers' representatives for manufacturers of electronic security devices such as closed circuit television systems, access control systems and so on. On principle, we represent no manufacturer of devices intended to harm others.

Thank you for doing this [website]. It surprises me how little young people know of how the Movement actually accomplished things. In my own family, my youngest son, Phill, now a jazz musician in the Dallas, TX area, had a class assignment to interview someone he knew who was involved in something historic — the class was, I think 5th and sixth graders. Karen (My wife and his mother) told him to interview me about the Movement. He did and I told him about segregated schools, voting, drinking fountains, entry doors to public facilities, etc.. He dutifully made notes and then went to Karen and with a confused look on his face asked, "He was kidding me, wasn't he? "

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