Civil Rights in America

Civil Rights in America


A joint project from Footnote and Gannett. African Americans’ long struggle for basic civil rights sparked the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and '60s. It is a movement that serves as a reminder that freedom is never free and continues to touch the lives of every American today.

Stories about Civil Rights in America

    My uncle had been a pastor in NewAlbany Indiana. But often times as AME-Zion ministers are required to do, had to relocate to serve as a pastor of a church in Alabama. I had just passed to the 8th grade (early 60s) and was "school-free" for the summer. With him behind the wheel, me, my aunt and cousins in tow set out for Tuscaloosa. Now Louisville was no different in that water-fountains and restrooms were "White/Black" only back then...but as a kid I soon learned of just how different "Jim Crowism" was in Dixie. We stopped at a roadside service station to purchase fuel, and use the facilities. As I mentioned earlier, I was familiar with segregated restrooms, but never as blatant as having designated "White Men/Women" and "Colored" facilities. That experience made such an indelible impression on me at such a young age, I 've never forgotten how being a 2nd-class citizen felt. Upon returning to school that fall, I was compelled to join others in sit-ins along 4th Street to protest objections to seat or serve Blacks in retail stores and restaurants. Six years later, again we took to the streets to protest housing discrimination in south Louisville.
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