When the Student Movement phase of the Civil Rights Movement started I was a Student at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan and an active member of the NAACP youth council. We organized support demonstrations in Detroit during the winter (subzero weather) of 1960-61 by picketing Woolworth and other similar stores in downtown Detroit. These were the stores in Greensboro, NC. It was clear to me that the real battle was in the south so I applied to Morehouse College in Atlanta to be on the front lines of the Revolution and where Martin Luther King, Jr was on the staff...
I enrolled in the Fall of 1961 and met with several student leaders from the Atlanta University system who had recently form a group called The Committee On Appeal of Human Rights, or COAHR (pronounced "core"). This group was the Atlanta Student Movement and founded by Lonnie King, Frank Smith, Ruby Doris Smith, Julian Bond, Gwen Isles and other students from Morehouse, Spelman, Clark, Morris Brown, Atlanta University and ITC. They had issued a Statement of Purposed the previous year and then mobilized the powers of nonviolence to energize the students into action.
When I arrived at Morehouse I soon became very active in COAHR and was a front line activist in several demonstration, sit-ins and protest. Consequently, I became very familiar with the jail system in and around Atlanta.
THE FOLLOWING WERE SOME OF MY ACTIVITIES:
I was elected Vice Chairman of COAHR and joined efforts with Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and other groups in Nashville to help create common goals and purpose for the coordinated movement from 1961-1965. Some have stated I had no fear of being hurt — or maybe I suffered from the follies of youth thinking it would not happen to me. However, that was not the case.
I was raised to serve and to fight for what was right. I was the son of Rev. Dr. Stephen C. "Dynamo" Campbell and Dr. Pauline Campbell both instilled in me the passion to stand up against injustice and fight for what is right even if all others falter. My father and mother always taught me to leave a place better than it was when I got there and to serve my generation as they had served theirs. I believed that God was on our side and even the ultimate sacrifice would have its purpose.
People like Nell Braxton, Big Frank Holloway, Ruby Doris Smith, Larry Fox, Ralph Moore, Leo Meadows and others were equally willing to resist the oppression of the Racist and pay the price. Non Blacks like Anna Jo Weaver, Elizabeth Heath, and Brad equally put their bodies into the breech. These and 1000 more made the Revolution possible.
Once Dr. Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse College, called me into his office and gave me a speech (at my dad's request) about putting the "cart before of the horse." I set politely and after he was finished I stated my appreciation for his advice and went directly back to Rush Memorial Church (COAHR's office) and organized another demonstration. My cart was the people and the Black community and my horse was The Movement.
Today. Like others, I continue to fight the battle opposing racism. During my last arrest I found myself in a very small cell alone without other students to sing with or just for the support of numbers. It gave me time to think about what I was doing. Dr. Mays was right, of course, in that I was sacrificing my education for the Movement. I decided at that moment that I needed to put myself in position where I could do the most good for the most people. (The Cart Before the Horse) Education was the key and it did me no good to fight for the cause but had not the education to take advantage of the victory that would surly come.
The following summer in 1963 I transferred to Benedict College in Columbia SC for summer school and stayed. In Columbia I was elected President of the South Carolina Student Council of Human Relations which organized Benedict College, Allen U, Univ of SC, Clemson, South Carolina State, Voorhees College, and others into focus groups of understanding and dialog. We met at the Historic Penn Center in Frogmore South Carolina off the coast of Beaufort SC. I also become a lifelong member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at Gamma Pi till the day I die.
After graduation in 1965 I became the first in many different positions. I am the founder of the United Council of African American Organizations in Montgomery County MD and the current Chairman of the Human Rights Commission for Montgomery County Maryland. The past president of Alpha Phi Alpha Iota Upsilon Lambda Chapter and the founder of the Alpha Smithville School Museum in Silver Spring Md. It was under my Presidency that the Martin Luther King Memorial effort was reinvigorated and aggressive persuade to the higher level of achievement when it was accepted by the General Organization of Alpha Phi Alpha.
On Oct 12, 2014, I was inducted into the Montgomery County Maryland Human Rights Hall of Fame. In this capacity I have provided leadership in various efforts to protect the Human Rights of Montgomery County citizens. I have served on the Montgomery County/Prince Georges County's Unified Gang Task Force; I was a member of the Montgomery County Public School Advisory Board for curriculums 2003-2005; I am a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). I am currently a member of the Montgomery County Community Liaison Team for the Department of Police. I have worked diligently bringing various communities together to make Montgomery County a better place for all to live. I recently join with the NAACP to conduct a march opposing the Grand Juries decision on Police killing of Black boys and men.
...I was there on the Mall in 1963 at the March on Washington when a black man spoke of his dream and
...I was there on the Mall in 2009 to see a black man become President of the United States of America.
LONG LIVES THE REVOLUTION FOR IT IS NOT OVER.