MORE ON SELMA 1963: First Organizer & First Teen Recruit (Part 1) [LDT038]


Charles Bonner

Charles Bonner

You’ll remember back in May I interviewed Colia Clark (episode LDT030) who, with her then-husband, Bernard LaFayette, opened the voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama in 1963. This was the movement building that laid the groundwork for the famous march from Selma to Montgomery, which was instrumental in the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Colia Clark

Colia Clark

A little later in May, I had the opportunity to discuss that important period with Colia again along with Charles Bonner, the first teenager to be recruited into this fierce nonviolent struggle. Today’s episode is Part 1 of this interview, with Part 2 coming next week.

Charles is now a Civil Rights attorney living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was in New York to participate in a panel, organized by Colia, about the Civil Rights movement which was presented at The Left Forum, an annual event in New York.

We’ll here about how Charles was invited in by Bernard LaFayette, and the training he and his friends received from both Colia and Bernard.  He’ll talk about the first action of the young nonviolent fighters and their reaction to the violence that ensued. Charles and Colia will talk about the structure they built so that the young fighters could stay organized.

In the next episode (episode LDT039), Charles will do more of the asking of questions for his upcoming book on the Civil Rights movement.

Please let us know how you respond to these interviews. These were the people who were doing the work, back in the day. Are you as psyched as I am to hear these stories?

Bernard LaFayette, showing his injures after an attack that was supposed to end in his lynching. But it didn't go that way.

Bernard LaFayette, showing his injures after an attack that was supposed to end in his lynching. But it didn’t go that way.

Useful links:

Charles Bonner:  www.bonnerlaw.com/theattorneys.html

Coilia Clark: Field Report of SNCC organizing activities, by Colia LaFayette, April 6, 1963

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