Maris Arnold (Edie Snyder)

CNVA (Committee Non-Violent Action), 1963-65, Carolinas, Georgia, Florida
Current Residence: Berkley, CA

I was on a peace walk from Canada to Cuba from 1963 to '64. Since we were an integrated group, the minute we left DC, black and white walking together in common cause became our only message and I felt very much a part of the Movement. The Walk was arrested in Macon where I watched the JFK assassination from the County jail and twice arrested in Albany, GA, presided over by Laurie Pritchett. After the walk reached Miami and its boat, the Spirit of Freedom was confiscated by the Feds, another walker and I returned to Albany to see if we could facilitate dialogue between the totally polarized black and white populations. We couldn't. But we had the great honor of having lunch at the Albany Holiday Inn with C.B. King the day after the CR Act was passed. It was very ordinary. No one even looked at us. It took extraordinary deeds to make an ordinary act possible.

As a single parent, I raised a son who's a journalist writing on urban culture. I went on to get a M.A. in Organizational Psych and work with nonprofits as a consultant. I continue to be nomadically active and am currently working with Books Not Bars to defeat construction of a racist/classist-fueled expansion of a juvenile hall here in Alameda County, CA. I've been outraged at the taking away of the vote in the barony of Florida. I think the Movement i.e. its veterans have a legacy to claim. It is: to speak with authority on matters of disenfranchisement. We can't or shouldn't tolerate a reversal of what the Movement achieved. Nostalgia is all well and good but I prefer to still be relevant. I'd welcome any comments from anyone who thinks similarly.

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