By Zoe A. Colley
An exploration of the effect on imprisonment of people interested by the Civil Rights flow as an entire.
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Extra info for Ain't Scared of Your Jail: Arrest, Imprisonment, and the Civil Rights Movement
Elsewhere, authorities resorted to a dual-pronged attack of official violence combined with mass arrest. In Tallahassee and Orangeburg there was a clear lag between the start of arrests and the eventual use of violent force and mass arrest. In much of the Deep South that gap was far shorter. By the time of the Shaw Conference, the NAACP reported that over one thousand students had been arrested as part of the sit-in movement. Unsurprisingly, the need to formulate a clear and coherent response to arrest was a central point of discussion at the Shaw University meeting.
35 The eight attracted considerable attention from CORE. Having struggled to make a mark on the South since the late 1950s, events in Tallahassee appeared to confirm that the organization’s influence was growing. Jail-No-Bail! | 35 The students’ example also made an impact outside of CORE. The fact that one of the eight was the sixteen-year-old son of C. K. Steele, the SCLC’s vice president, gave that organization an indirect influence over events. ”36 A. J. Muste of the Fellowship of Reconciliation also wrote to the jailed students, congratulating them for their determined stance: “I am a kind of grandfather of CORE, I suppose, and I certainly have never experienced a deeper emotional satisfaction about any share I may have had in its work greater than your action and your statement about it have given me.
The degree to which some members of the movement, particularly in SNCC, saw imprisonment as a “badge of honor” brought the danger of portraying those who chose not to go to jail as somehow less honorable. Whether or not others viewed Julian Bond in this light, he was fully aware of the conflict himself. “Other members of the movement were arrested five, 10, I think some as many as 15 times on different occasions. ”43 Bond’s openness on this subject, recorded in a 1968 interview, offers an alternative view of imprisonment.
Ain't Scared of Your Jail: Arrest, Imprisonment, and the Civil Rights Movement by Zoe A. Colley