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Naomi King

Civil rights activist Naomi King was born in Dothan, Alabama, on November 17, 1931 to a single mother, Bessie Barber Bailey. Her mother, a cook in a prominent Atlanta home, taught her social graces. King, educated in Atlanta Public Schools, excelled in French and English. As a young woman, King was often selected by local clothing stores as a preferred fashion model, at times featured in shop windows. King and her mother belonged to the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Sr. served as senior pastor. At the church, King became acquainted with the pastor’s children, and she caught the eye of his youngest son, A.D.

In 1949, King entered Spelman College, where she spent a year studying French before marrying A.D. Williams King, Baptist minister, civil rights activist, and youngest son of Martin Luther King, Sr., in 1950. She later attended the University of Alabama and studied interior design. She would have five children: Alfred D.W. King III; Alveda King; Esther Darlene King; Reverend Vernon King of Charlotte, North Carolina; and Reverend Derek B. King of Indianapolis, Indiana. King lived most of her life as a mother and First Lady. She brought musical concerts, women’s enrichment programs, and tools for living to her husband’s congregations. Together, she and her husband supported Martin Luther King, Jr., when, in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama; at the creation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957; when students in Greensboro, North Carolina, launch the sit-in movement in 1960; through the Birmingham campaign of 1963; during 1963’s “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”; and throughout 1965’s campaign to vote in Selma. Toward the end of the campaign in Birmingham, on May 11, 1963, a bomb destroyed the Gaston Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was staying, and another damaged the home of Naomi and A.D. King.

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. This tragedy was soon followed by the death of King’s husband, A.D., in 1969; on July 21, King and her children were vacationing in Nassau when A.D. drowned in their home swimming pool. On July 30, 1974, King’s mother-in-law, Alberta Christine Williams King, was murdered by deranged gunman Marcus Chenault as she played the Lord’s Prayer at Ebenezer Church. In 1976, King’s younger daughter, Darlene died while jogging from an apparent heart attack, and ten years later, her son Al died in the same manner. In 1984, King’s father-in-law, Martin Luther King, Sr., passed away from a heart attack, and in 2006, she lost her sister-in-law, Coretta Scott King, to advanced stage ovarian cancer. Despite these losses, King has kept her husband’s memory alive through her establishment of the A.D. King Foundation in 2008. She received the SCLC Rosa Parks Freedom Award in January 2008.

Naomi King was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.071

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/14/2010

Last Name

King

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Walker Street Elementary School

Davis Street School

Booker T. Washington High School

Spelman College

First Name

Naomi

Birth City, State, Country

Dothan

HM ID

KIN14

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made. We Will Rejoice And Be Glad In It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/17/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Greens (Collard)

Short Description

Civil rights activist Naomi King (1931 - ) was the wife of the late A.D. Williams King, brother to Martin Luther King, Jr. She and her husband supported the Civil Rights Movement. King received the SCLC Rosa Parks Freedom Award in January 2008.

Employment

Citizens Trust Bank

Bank of Louisville, KY

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Naomi King's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Naomi King lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Naomi King describes her mother's family background and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Naomi King remembers the Mechanicsville neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Naomi King recalls her experiences at Walker Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Naomi King describes her experiences during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Naomi King recalls her childhood activities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Naomi King describes her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Naomi King talks about the segregated movie theaters in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Naomi King talks about her experiences of segregation in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Naomi King remembers her friends at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Naomi King describes her involvement at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Naomi King describes her experiences at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Naomi King remembers the segregated retail stores in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Naomi King describes her experiences at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Naomi King remembers her courtship and marriage to Alfred Daniel Williams King

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Naomi King talks about her husband, Alfred Daniel Williams King

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Naomi King talks about the early years of her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Naomi King remembers the assassination of Alberta Williams King, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Naomi King remembers the assassination of Alberta Williams King, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Naomi King talks about her children

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Naomi King describes her husband's pastoral career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Naomi King describes her husband's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Naomi King recalls the bombing of her home in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Naomi King recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Naomi King describes her relationship with Coretta Scott King and Christine King Farris

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Naomi King remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Naomi King describes her husband's career at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Naomi King talks about the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Naomi King talks about the FBI's surveillance of her family

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Naomi King recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s commitment to nonviolence

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Naomi King remembers the death of her husband, Alfred Daniel Williams King

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Naomi King describes the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Naomi King remembers the death of Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Naomi King describes her work with Coretta Scott King

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Naomi King remembers the death of Coretta Scott King

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Naomi King reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Naomi King describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Naomi King shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Naomi King reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Naomi King reflects upon her husbands' legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Naomi King reflects upon her husband's legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Naomi King narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Naomi King recalls the bombing of her home in Birmingham, Alabama
Naomi King recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s commitment to nonviolence
Transcript
Now talk to me a little bit about the incident of your house being bombed in, in Birmingham [Alabama], 'cause they were calling it Bombingham at that time (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Bombingham, right, right.$$So let's first talk about the bombing at your home when it was in--and what happened? Give me the, the details of that incident?$$Okay, the--it was May the 11th, 1963, a Saturday before Mother's Day and I had set my dining room table with all of my finery on it because the next day was Mother's Day and so I wanted to have everything you know pretty and ready to go for Mother's Day. So it was exactly eleven o'clock, May the 11th, 1963, a Saturday night. My husband [Alfred Daniel Williams King] was in the bedroom working on his sermon. The children were all in bed and after I had finished setting the table and all I decided that I would just sit in my living room and just pray and reflect and just enjoy the peace and quiet of, of the evening. So I was sitting there just you know praying and reflecting when my husband got up and came to the front of, the front--opened the front door. No, he came up the hall and he said, he said, "It's too quiet in here." He said, "Let's, let's just get out of here." So I remember while I was sitting there the picture window began to crack but I didn't hear anything, I didn't see anything and I was just sitting there and at that time that's when he said, he said, "It's too quiet in here. Let's get out here." And opened the front door and he said, "Let's just get out of here," he said, "it's too quiet in here." So he came over and took me by my hand and by the time we got up from the sofa and headed down our hallway, our house was like an L, by the time we got like down by the hallway, the first--the cracking of the, of the windowpane was the first bomb that was hit and I'm told that it was tossed, that's what I'm told. It was tossed and then the second bomb was the one that brought all of the front of the house--oh, I'm sorry--we'll get this?$$Let's stop for a second. Okay.$$The second bomb was the one that brought the front of the house down so that is when the house was bombed and the time.$$And your children were in the house as well?$$Right.$$So you just got everybody out?$$What happened, when that happened then we got everybody up and we went out the back, out the back door because the front was all blown out and was gone and we went out.$$And so, did you, where did you go to stay until--did you fix that house or did you move from that house (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) The house was eventually fixed and we stayed in it because the front was damaged you know, but we could stay in the back of it so it was, it was fixed.$$And did they ever find out who was responsible for this?$$Yes, there was a witness and his name was Roosevelt Tatum, I think that was his name I'm not sure, I'm told that he saw an officer toss something. There was a police car across the street. I'm told that Roosevelt saw that officer toss something and so I'm assuming that must've been the, the first bomb that was tossed over you know into, into the hedges of that and he supposedly went and, and got in a ditch you know 'cause he was afraid you know for his life and so he went and got in a ditch and it was the second bomb that was, that brought the front of the house down, so that's what I'm told.$Now, we know that the nonviolence philosophy was Martin Luther King's [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] thing, but how did your brother [sic.]--was he, I guess all the--did he buy into it all the way? I mean some people bought into it somewhat, some people bought into it all the way. Was he all the way in with nonviolence?$$I would think so, I can give you two--I'll tell you two stories that, that led me to believe that he bought in it and he lived just what he said, he lived it. I can remember in 1955 when I went to--let's see, to see him and Coretta [Coretta Scott King] because Yolanda [Yolanda King] was their first child and, and, and it was born. This was Montgomery [Alabama] and I went you know to, to see my--'cause she was born on my birthday like I told you, so I wanted to see my niece. So we went and I don't know what day it was but it was a night about eleven o'clock. I don't know what day it was and I was sitting in the darkened living room in there and Coretta was busy back with Yolanda, busy and all and Martin came in, and so when he came in--I told you my nickname is Nene and that's all he ever called me was Nene. I don't care where we were whether--he'd call me Nene. So when, and so he said, "Hi Nene [HistoryMaker Naomi King]." I said, "Hey, ML," so he walked over to his mantel and it was dark in there, all you saw was just the light from the street, you know from--through the window. And I'm sitting there and I glad he couldn't see my face you know. So he walked over to the mantel and he put his hands up on the, the mantel and he said, "You know what Nene?" I said, "What?" He said, and he put his hands up to his throat where his tie was and he said, "You know what Nene?" I said, "What?" He said, "You know what?" He said, and he was fingering, he said, "You know what they tried to choke me to death with my tie. They tried to choke me to death with my tie." So I was just quiet and didn't say anything, and he said--he just kept you know fingering with his tie and he said, "But you know what Nene," he said, "the more they do to me, the more I'm gonna love them 'cause that's what I'm supposed to do. God said that I'm supposed (unclear)." I just couldn't stand it, I just, I just, I just couldn't stand it. I'm glad he couldn't see my face 'cause it brought tears to my eyes. So that was one instance that, that I knew that he was like committed. The other time was when he was in New York [New York] after the stabbing, and I would call him and we would talk you know during the day just to see how he's doing and all that, and so when I talked to him on one occasion I said, I said, "Martin is there anything I can do for you?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "What is it?" I told you my mother [Bessie Barber Bailey] taught me how to cook and, and I didn't like to cook but I did it 'cause I had to. And he said, "Make me a sweet potato pie." I said, "Okay," I said, "I'll find out." I said--he called his wife Corrie, he said, "Find out when Corrie's going to take the flight up in here and if you can make me a sweet potato pie." And I said, "Okay, I'll do that." And so I went straight in, fixed the sweet--find out when she was gonna be leaving, made the sweet potato pie, put it in a plastic container and took it over there for her to take it to, you know to him. So make a long story short when I talked to him, I said, "You got your pie?" He said, "Yeah, Nene I got my pie." He said, "It's delicious as always." And I said, "Well, I'm so glad Martin." And he said, "Nene?" I said, "Yeah ML?" He said, "You know what?" I said, "What?" He said, "If I had sneezed I would've been dead." I just, I almost dropped the phone (makes sound), I couldn't stand it. So when he says if he had sneezed he would've been dead, and when I finally got to myself, I cam- I said, "Martin, ML," I said, "thank god you did not sneeze." I had to hang up the phone.

Evelyn Gibson Lowery

Civil rights activist and leader Evelyn Gibson Lowery has been at the forefront of many human and civil rights struggles since an early age. She is the daughter of activists Rev. Dr. Harry and Evelyn Gibson, and they provided her with the inspiration that became the foundation for a lifetime of involvement in human rights at both the national and international levels. After high school, Lowery attended Clark College and Youngstown University.

Lowery is married to Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and has been involved in the movement since 1957. In 1979, Lowery became the founder and chairwoman of the fastest growing department of the SCLC. SCLC's Women's Organizational Movement for Equality Now (SCLC/W.O.M.E.N.) was the manifestation of a vision of a woman whose commitment to improving the quality of life went beyond the boundaries of color. Immediately after the development of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., she moved to develop coalitions and alliances with a variety of women's groups throughout the nation and other parts of the world.

Lowery has been involved in many civil rights struggles. She has marched, boycotted, served jail time and traveled the world spreading the message of human and civil rights. Her dedication to civil rights and human rights has not gone unnoticed. In Atlanta, she was one of a five-member committee appointed by former Mayor Maynard Jackson to make arrangements for clothing and burial of missing and murdered children. She has served as a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Christian Council of Atlanta, and has worked with the YWCA, Church Women United, and many other organizations. Lowery has received numerous awards and recognition for her leadership and service including the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers Award, the APEX Museum's Tribute Award to Black Women for Achievement in Civil Rights (Collections of Life and Heritage); the Rosa Parks Award; WXIA-11 Alive Community Service Award; and the Atlanta Business League's Women of Vision - 100 Most Influential Women of Atlanta, to name a few.

At the time of the interview, Lowery was still very active in her community. She continued to work with the SCLC/W.O.M.E.N, and with her husband to spread the message to encourage African Americans to vote.

Accession Number

A2004.170

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/21/2004

Last Name

Lowery

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar School

Porter Elementary School

Booker T. Washington High School

Rayen High School

Youngstown State University

Clark Atlanta University

Dunbar Elementary School

First Name

Evelyn

Birth City, State, Country

Wichita

HM ID

LOW04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Kansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

2/16/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

9/26/2013

Short Description

Civil rights activist and nonprofit executive Evelyn Gibson Lowery (1925 - 2013 ) is the founder and chairwoman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Women's Organizational Movement of Equality Now and wife of SCLC leader Rev. Joseph Lowery.

Employment

Miles College

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
213,0:2201,38:2556,44:4260,68:4615,74:5467,90:6319,105:6816,114:7668,128:11078,148:11815,162:12619,176:13222,188:13624,196:15567,246:15835,251:20480,260:28130,304:33650,354:36100,414:37500,443:38690,468:42330,574:43240,590:43520,595:43940,603:44290,609:50992,662:51713,671:54288,700:56554,725:56966,730:57687,735:58408,743:64382,773:64976,806:65570,813:65966,818:67946,839:68441,845:71852,858:73877,886:74201,891:74930,902:75254,907:82107,975:82581,982:82897,987:84240,1011:84951,1020:85741,1031:88348,1067:88664,1072:92486,1086:92972,1093:93701,1104:99256,1224:99584,1229:101962,1249:104996,1293:105570,1302:106636,1318:106964,1323:110390,1337:112265,1366:113915,1394:115265,1419:118124,1442:118861,1454:119464,1464:119933,1473:120268,1479:121990,1496:124615,1553:124915,1558:125515,1567:126040,1576:126565,1591:127165,1600:127840,1613:128140,1618:128815,1630:129490,1640:130540,1659:139355,1754:139950,1762:140290,1767:145815,1883:146155,1888:148990,1898:149380,1905:149640,1910:150095,1920:152630,1978:153085,1987:153345,1992:154320,2011:154710,2021:156075,2056:156660,2066:157180,2097:157440,2102:157700,2107:161045,2130:161570,2138:162095,2146:162770,2157:163220,2164:163895,2181:164420,2189:165920,2210:166220,2215:166520,2220:166820,2225:167120,2230:167420,2235:172916,2267:173380,2272:173844,2277:177482,2307:177770,2312:179210,2341:179642,2346:180506,2361:181442,2381:181802,2387:185764,2412:186092,2418:186420,2423:186830,2429:188060,2449:189700,2485:191422,2510:192078,2519:192406,2524:192734,2529:193144,2535:193718,2546:194046,2554:194374,2559:195194,2573:199828,2605:200269,2612:200710,2620:204679,2712:207474,2726:208130,2737:209114,2751:209770,2762:210754,2800:212066,2819:212804,2831:213460,2841:213788,2846:221530,2933:221910,2939:222290,2944:224000,2971:225045,2983:226565,2991:233063,3057$0,0:273,4:1820,27:2184,32:3003,42:14264,189:14572,194:18550,234:20450,269:23634,303:23986,308:24514,325:24954,331:25306,336:26450,354:28351,363:28779,368:36516,436:38030,453:38450,460:38870,501:42790,575:43630,603:43910,608:46500,651:52705,714:53150,721:54040,733:54752,754:58057,770:58624,779:61216,818:62431,843:62755,848:66076,956:69073,1010:70369,1035:70936,1044:80384,1097:80716,1102:81380,1112:82127,1127:84783,1182:85281,1189:85613,1194:86360,1206:104275,1425:106060,1459:109450,1468:109852,1475:111460,1507:114521,1548:114813,1553:115616,1566:116346,1579:118098,1607:118682,1616:119339,1627:121091,1665:121967,1680:125382,1689:127209,1717:127992,1727:128340,1732:128688,1737:129732,1752:130167,1758:132820,1769:133372,1787:133878,1802:136028,1817:136520,1825:137668,1853:138324,1862:138734,1868:143900,1953:144228,1958:147962,1968:148622,1980:148886,1985:149348,1996:149942,2008:151545,2026:151965,2031:152910,2043:154625,2056:155113,2065:155845,2080:156333,2089:156577,2094:157126,2106:159370,2123:162330,2180:163144,2197:163440,2202:164032,2224:165142,2237:165438,2242:165734,2247:169140,2262:169998,2278:170778,2291:173352,2345:173664,2350:174756,2377:183320,2472:183923,2484:184325,2492:185741,2507:186434,2517:188340,2528:189165,2541:192540,2598:193590,2622:193890,2627:195240,2647:199134,2681:202020,2740:202538,2749:203352,2762:208828,2888:215680,2971:215976,2976:216716,2988:217086,2994:220046,3072:220564,3080:221378,3096:221822,3103:222340,3111:222858,3120:223228,3126:225470,3131:225960,3140:226870,3155:227850,3176:233380,3346:234150,3363:234640,3372:238700,3391:240315,3430:246350,3550:256458,3636:259902,3715:260804,3729:266700,3764:268106,3882:269216,3902:269586,3908:270104,3917:270918,3934:271288,3940:271732,3947:272028,3952:273064,3969:273804,3982:274618,3997:275728,4016:276394,4027:278318,4065:279206,4077:283448,4090:283910,4099:284372,4108:285032,4121:285494,4130:288728,4186:291029,4196
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evelyn Lowery interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evelyn Lowery lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evelyn Lowery recalls her family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evelyn Lowery shares early memories

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evelyn Lowery remembers her early awareness of racism and civil rights

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evelyn Lowery recalls sights, sounds, and smells from her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evelyn Lowery recounts her early school and church experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evelyn Lowery discusses her college years at Clark

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Evelyn Lowery explains how she met her husband, Joseph Lowery

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evelyn Lowery outlines her father's many pastoral assignments and details his death

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evelyn Lowery details the tension surrounding her husband's activities in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evelyn Lowery recalls her participation in the Selma to Montgomery March

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evelyn Lowery describes her near-death experience during a civil rights demonstration in the 1970s

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evelyn Lowery recalls the founding of SCLC/WOMEN, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evelyn Lowery discusses the greatest achievements of SCLC/WOMEN

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evelyn Lowery discusses some of the current projects and activities of SCLC/WOMEN, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evelyn Lowery reflects on the course of her life and career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evelyn Lowery shares her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evelyn Lowery considers her legacy

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Evelyn Lowery remembers her early awareness of racism and civil rights
Evelyn Lowery recalls her participation in the Selma to Montgomery March
Transcript
Perhaps if you were reflecting one of those neighborhoods or one of those blocks, can you describe to me what the community was like there or maybe even what the community was like in the church, church communities that you were living in as you were moving?$$Those were the early years and the years in Oklahoma were--are, are still a bit vague. But I just recall that in Muskogee, Oklahoma you could--where the church was and the parsonage next door you could walk just about to the other side of town. Quite often my brother [Harry Brown Gibson, Jr.] and I on a Sunday afternoon would walk over to visit friends you know on the other side of the city. But Memphis, Tennessee we moved there and that is a part of, of my life that started taking on a, a flavor, for my father [Harry Brown Gibson, Sr.] became very actively involved in civil rights. And this was a time when it was very dangerous, very dangerous and those are impressive years in my life.$$What types of things were happening?$$Well as you know the segregated pattern, very segregated pattern at that time. And my father became the president of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] in Memphis and naturally he was out with leadership and, and leading causes--discrimination and, and all kinds of things to bring down barriers. He went up I recall to Stanton, Tennessee which was not far from there, about thirty five or forty miles to investigate something that had taken place. An NAACP president had been thrown in the river and drowned. And they couldn't find the cause of it or anything about it but they knew it was something that was done, you know, mysteriously and violently. So he and my brother drove up there to do this to, to--they slipped into town. My brother let him out and he went in and, and talked with them and investigated it and got in the car, they came back. It became very intense. They saw them and they really pursued and tried to follow them and they found out where we were. My father pastored Centenary [United] Methodist Church [Memphis, Tennessee] at that same time. And there was a service station across the street from us that our members owned and those men, they knew that they were coming, looking trying to see a time when they could--I don't know what they wanted to do. But we had to have members of our church guarding our house night and day. It was a very, very tense time. My--our--his church, Centenary Church was a very popular church, and mass meetings were held there also which made it even more you know intense. And you could see the police driving around. They were disturbed--they didn't--trying to frighten you or trying to see what was going on. So that was a very dramatic time in my life. The [Edward Hull 'Boss'] Crump administration was what was in charge at that time. It was very despotic and so that's a period that, that I lived through that was very, very intense.$$And what was the approximate time of this period?$$This was '40 [1940], like '39 [1939] and '40 [1940].$And what is the one of the more memorable marches that you participated--.$$(Simultaneously) Well of course the Selma to Montgomery March in '65 [1965] and that, that of course is the, the most outstanding one. And we were living in Birmingham [Alabama] then. We had moved to--back to Birmingham. We left Mobile [Alabama] after nine years, then we go back and then moved to Nashville [Tennessee] for three years and then to, back to Birmingham. And that's when he [husband, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery] finished the church and the Selma to Montgomery march was there, the 16th Street [Baptist] Church had been bombed just before we moved there. But at that Selma to Montgomery march the purpose of the march was to take a petition to Governor [George C.] Wallace for the right to vote, signed names all everywhere. So when we marched into the city after all night at St. Jude [Catholic Church, Montgomery, Alabama] where the entertainers from all over the country came and, and entertained, Sammy Davis, Jr. , Peter Paul and Mary--all kinds of entertainers came, Lena Horne. And had a long--that long march and then along the campus of the [Alabama state] capitol, and by then had gotten very late in the evening, dusk-dark. So Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] appointed a committee to take this petition to Governor Wallace who was up there in the capitol listening to us. (laughs) And so everybody had gone, it was getting dark and, and he then appointed a nineteen member committee. He, he appointed my husband chair of that committee. And so they proceeded to march to the steps of the capitol--I was standing across the street taking pictures with my little camera in half dark and they attempted to go up the steps but they were stopped by the state troopers. They wouldn't let them go up the steps. And as soon as they did that the [Alabama] National Guard came up with their bayonets or whatever they have and the state troopers parted just like that. In other words they said, "You have to let them go up." And they went up the steps to see Governor Wallace but he wouldn't come down to see them. He sent a messenger or an assistant or somebody and they said, "We have not marched this long and this far and this hard to give this petition to an assistant." So they did not give it. But it was late by then. This, this took a good while for all these little things to happen, this sequence to happen. So it was very late when we left, black-dark. And when we got back to Birmingham the telephone rang and I answered the phone and it was Richard Valeriani. I don't know if you heard of him. He was a news correspondent, very famous at that time, calling. He said, "I know that you were about the last ones there. We heard of something we believe so dark happened on the highway but we don't know what it was, wondered if you had seen or heard or anything?" So we said, "No we didn't. We had the radio on but we didn't hear of anything." So the next morning the whole world knew that Viola Liuzzo had been killed, that was the incident they were talking about. She was taking workers back and forth from Selma to Montgomery and supplies and on that dark highway they couldn't tell what had happened on Highway 80, but these Ku Klux Klanners [Collie Wilkins, Gary Rowe, William Eaton and Eugene Thomas] in their car had come by and they shot and killed her. And a young man [Leroy Moton] was in the car with her. I gave him an award a couple of years ago. And he was thrown out of the car and they came back and looked. They were going to kill him. They thought he was dead. He played dead and they came back and looked and he just played dead but he, he didn't, he wasn't dead. He found his way back. And, but this is why when I founded SCLC/WOMEN [Southern Christian Leadership Conference/Women's Organizational Movement for Equality Now, Inc.], that was one of the first things I wanted to do. I never forgot that experience and I wanted to go back and put a monument up on the highway in memory of Viola Liuzzo. She left her family, her children and came and gave her life for the right to vote. And so the monument reads, "To our sister in the struggle."