Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

Lynda Blackmon Lowery

Language: English

Pages: 128

ISBN: 0803741235

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

Lynda Blackmon Lowery

Language: English

Pages: 128

ISBN: 0803741235

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes

As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history.

Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.

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this gallon jar?” The questions had nothing to do with voting or the Constitution or citizenship. • • • Two or three times a day, a group of us students would leave Brown Chapel heading downtown. I don’t think we were ever fewer than about fifty kids on a march. Before we left, the adults would tell us, “You’re going to go to jail. Do not fight back. You might be pushed; you might be hit. Just turn the other cheek. Do not fight back. Don’t worry about it. We’ll take care of you.” Most of the

stand for hours all packed together, or sit on the concrete floor. But after a week or so of that, they started taking us right to jail. The first time I went to jail I was fourteen, and I was scared. I didn’t know what they were going to do with us. There must have been about a hundred boys and girls that time. All us girls were packed into one cell meant for two people. There were two iron beds coming out from the wall. And they didn’t have mattresses on them, so they’d be really uncomfortable

were on our way. We would not be ignored, and we would not be stopped. • • • Everything about the marches was well organized. The night before, the leaders would say, “We’re going to have three demonstrations tomorrow. We’ll need the first seventy-five kids here to go out by nine thirty. Second march, we’re going to send ya’ll out about twelve fifteen. Third march, ya’ll are going to leave about three o’clock.” We all knew ahead of time when there were going to be marches, so we could pick the

write your name on a piece of paper and get out of here. If I see any one of you up here again, I’m gonna send you to juvenile detention.” So I wrote a name from TV, like Howdy Doody. Others wrote names like Minnie Mouse, the Lone Ranger, or Tonto. I doubt if anybody wrote her real name. All the judge wanted was to get us out of his courtroom. By the time I got out of jail that day, Jimmie Lee Jackson had died. I went straight to the funeral with my daddy. There were so many people there, we

us African Americans before: the right to marry, to own property, to be protected by law, to travel, to go to school, and to vote. Finally the Constitution said we had these rights and more. But one hundred years later, there I was marching and going to jail for a right we had won so long ago, the right to vote. Why? In places like Selma, state laws and procedures made registering to vote easy for white people, but close to impossible for African Americans. First you filled out a four-page

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