Albany GA in 1963 (Southwest GA)
"Outside Agitator" and Other Terms of the Times
Remembering C. B. King's Campaign for Congress
I guess I joined SNCC in Southwest Georgia because it was the "coolest" and most exciting thing going at the time. I think that is the more accurate way of stating it rather than recasting my motivation in idealistic terms. With passing time, and looking way back on it from the present, I have to credit my youthful inspirations with somewhat more depth than that, however, when it becomes clear that among the other social focuses of the 60s/70s, the Civil Rights Movement was the one great, enduring, substantial contribution of the times to American and world culture.
Spending several weeks in jail in an assortment of Georgia jails for marching and "mixing" between 1963 and 1965 afforded me an education about American "reality" that was not available at Harvard, from which I had dropped out to join up. Seeing in equally stark terms the commitment of leaders like Rev. Samuel Wells and Charles Sherrod was like graduate school in U.S. social studies. The adventures I had back then in SNCC and working for CB King's Campaign for Congress I could never have imagined at the time would afford me such satisfaction later in life as well as a source of amazement at my luck being part of the African American Freedom Movement in this country.
When freedom is expanded or maintained mainly for one group of people in the culture it is a pure gift for all other groups since true freedom is one of those values whose subdivision always expands the size of the pie. "What blesses one blesses all." In my youth many of the Great people I met, learned from, associated with or witnessed from afar or through their gifts were African Americans or Africans. For a white person, I believe, this had an amazing side benefit of peeling away the constricting veneer of culture to reveal wellsprings unimagined by conventional minds.
In recent years I have been a writer/editor/teacher with an interest in the nature of freedom, the meaning of the individual, and cultural and race relations in this country.
Copyright © 2007
Last Modified: November 7, 2007.