After participating in the last day of the Selma March into Montgomery in March 1965, I decided I wanted to participate more deeply in this historical movement. In June 1965 I resigned my job in Michigan as a research engineer and joined the SCLC/SCOPE Project in Laurens County (Dublin) Georgia. Linda Donati, Carol Sue Johnson (of California), Norm Hodges (of Boston) and I were given a room for an office in the back of the Black Baptist Church. Our first night there the three Whites (Linda, Carol and I) were arrested and held long enough to get a stern verbal warning from the Chief of police.
We teamed up with the local youth NAACP, headed by Reuben Gamble, and began registering Black folks through the local churches. One evening, while supporting the youth NAACP attempt to integrate the White Baptist church, I was beaten and required 22 stitches in my scalp. Other kids were sprayed with Oil of Mustard requiring first aid. Others were arrested for disturbing the peace and one for taking pictures of my beating.
We were reasonably successful in the voter registration drive.
In June 1967 I joined the Southwest Georgia Project, headed by Charles and Shirley Sherrod. Working with Joe Pfister and Sue and Glen Pearcy was a great experience. In April of 1968 MLK was killed, which greatly increased the tensions in the entire country. I left in June 1968, as RFK was killed.
Transformative experiences for me. And we have a long way to go.