Dear Pastors and fellow laborers in the Gospel of our Lord and Savior,Continue reading
I was born and raised here in Lowndes County. Today I am as disturbed as I was in 1973 when I, along with 42 other students, four ministers and their wives, were jailed for protesting unfair treatment of students in the Lowndes County School System. We were arrested while standing in the parking lot awaiting to enter the building for a meeting called by the Lowndes County Board of Education at their office on St. Augustine Road. The meeting was supposed to be a good faith gesture designed to mediate an amicable solution to the picketing which had been in process for nearly six months. After being arrested, we were moved from Big 12 in a prison truck in the dead of night. We were to be housed in the Cook County jail and none of our parents knew where we were. When we exited the truck, both sides of the walk way upon which we had to walk were lined with numerous State Troopers and other Law Enforcement officers sporting riot gear and shotguns. On the following day they refused to feed us breakfast. We began to complain and the judge came upstairs dressed in his robe. He said “I want you to stop making noise, and if you don’t, I can make you stop.”
When we complained again, the cell in which we were jailed was sprayed down with tear gas. We had one toilet and one sink in which to clear our eyes. These are facts that went unreported by the papers. In fact they said we were rabble rousers. The late Ralph Harrington signed all our bonds, and we went through a lengthy trial, represented by the late Mr. C. B. King, Sr., of Albany, GA. At the close of the trial all charges were dismissed and expunged from our records.
As a student then, I witnessed the appalling silence of men and women of God who preached the hell out of people on Sundays, collected their checks, and went home untouched by the happenings in the community. This was much like the appalling silence of ministers who sat on the sidelines while Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., placed his life on the line for “the least of these.”
Some years ago, Rev. Floyd Rose, two of my sisters and several other