As I Remember the Civil Rights Movement
As I sit here and think about what happened 50 years ago during the Civil Rights struggles, I am happy that I had a chance to help change the course of history by marching and demonstrating. It was not easy and it was dangerous, but I can now tell my children and grandchildren how I was involved.
I was one of those that guarded the home of Rev. T.Y. Rogers, Jr, who was the pastor at First African Baptist Church. He was small in stature, but he was a powerful man. I think people feared Rev. Rogers because of his courage. He was supposedly killed in an automobile accident, which is doubtful. Rev. Rogers was planning to lead the TCAC (Tuscaloosa Citizens for Action Committee) in a march to the county courthouse, but it was interrupted when the police teargassed the church. Thirty-three people were hospitalized, and more than 90 people were jailed.
I was actually one of the ones outside the church, but we ran inside when the beatings began, which is when we were teargassed. It burned the majority of the exposed skin on my body. This was one experience that I'll remember for the rest of my life, and while it has been a long hard struggle, it's not over.