I was a summer 1965 volunteer for the SCLC SCOPE project. After the week of training in Atlanta, I was assigned to Lunenburg County, VA. I was there from June into September doing voter registration and community political education.
I also participated for the two-week SCLC voter registration campaign in Birmingham, Alabama in December 1965.
While in graduate school at the U. of Chicago (1965-71) I remained active with SCLC on the west side of Chicago as Dr. King took the civil rights campaign to the north. I became active in the anti-war movement, following King's leadership on speaking out against the war. These activities led me inevitably to apply for and receive conscientious objector status from a very pro-Vietnam war draft board.
The Freedom Movement experiences and especially the dedicated teenagers and adults in the communities in which we lived and worked forever changed my understanding of race and class and power in America. The struggle continues.
[Copyright © Alvin Compaan, 2014]