Night Train to Raleigh — Summer 1962
I participated in a voter registration program in Raleigh, North Carolina, under the auspices of the National Student Association (NSA) during the summer of 1962. We were able to register over 1600 African Americans.
Some of us stayed on after the program was over to work independently to desegregate various public and private facilities in Raleigh, including the all-white municipal swimming pool. At the end of the summer, I joined a CORE-sponsored sit-in at the local Howard Johnson's, was arrested, convicted of trespassing, and spent 30 days in the Wake Co. Jail.
When I got out of jail, I returned home in Los Angeles and to my school, Immaculate Heart College. About six months later, after being found guilty of no more heinous an infraction than violating dorm curfew, I was expelled from college and told never to return. It is my firm conviction that I was railroaded out of this almost exclusively white, Catholic women's college because I had become an "inconvenient Negro" and the administration considered my race and my civil rights activities liabilities.
I am the author of Mojo Hand: An Orphic Tale, which is set in Raleigh and draws in part on my experiences and impressions of that summer.
For an account of my activities and experiences in and around Raleigh, please see Night Train to Raleigh — Summer 1962.
© 2016 Jane (J.J.) Phillips