William (Bill) Rau

SCLC, 1965-1966, Georgia and Alabama
3715 Wine Way
Bloomington, IL 61704
Email: wcrau@ilstu.edu
Phone: 309-433-4584

I walked two miles on the third march in Selma; was anointed into the John Lewis fractured skull fraternity outside Plans, GA (August 1965, as a volunteer for the SCOPE Project) by J. W. Sewell, former State Representative in the Georgia House (block voted out in 1964 primary); was arrested twice in Americus, GA, once during a John Lewis organized pray-in on the steps of the First Baptist Church in Americus ("fer prayin' on private praperty").

Was placed on SCLC staff in the fall after which I worked on analysis of voter registration trends for Hosea Williams; and participated in the 1965/66 Birmingham Voter Registration drive. Mike Harrington and I turned out high schools for a crucial demonstration that turned into a cop riot. The Justice Department assigned federal registrars the next day which allowed us to register enough new Black voters to defeat Al Lingo in the spring 1966 primary. He was running for sheriff.


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