Laura Virginia Davis-Fench

SCLC, SNCC, Georgia, 1963-65
Current Residence:
165 Brighton Drive
Covington, Ga 30016

I remember the struggle, the years of The Sumter County Movement in Americus, Georgia, 1963-1965. When the nation was in an uproar I was eager to stand up for freedom, justice, equality and the right to vote. To have the opportunity to be a part of breaking the barriers of segregation and to help tear down the walls of racial unrest, I knew that it would be a struggle but I also knew that I had to become active.

Members of SCLC, NAACP, SNCC began to have mass meetings, boycotts, voter registeration drives, and mass marches.

During the meetings and at most of the marches and boycotts I soon became one of the song leaders. The songs like, Ain't Scared of Nobody, We Shall Overcome, Roll Freedom Roll, and This Little Light of Mine became our messages.

I shall never forget the experience of being jailed, given four cold hamburgers as our daily meal and that was sometimes changed so that we only got cold egg sandwiches instead. The gray steel bunks without any mattresses, pillows, or linen; the cold water shower stalls that were in an open wall without shower curtains, soap, or towels, and I really can't forget the open area where there were toilet stools but rarely any toilet paper. I was also introduced to solitairy confinement, a tightly sealed room no larger than a very small bathroom, the security saw fit to use it as a way for more punishment when they be came annoyed.

I was able to see many of the Americus citizens become registered voters and the songs that were sung kept me strong and not afraid, they remained in my heart as we marched together, prayed together, cried together but most of all we stayed together.

As a young girl being Black, I was called "Niggger-Girl," was spat upon,and was jailed more that thirty days but it was really worth the cause. Yes I do remember the struggle.

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