Below are curated short clips from our interviewees. More short clips may be produced in the near future.
Interview Date: November 9, 2020
Interview Team: Simona Nigusse '21 (lead), Makana Leavitt '21 and Jean-Luc Desnoyers-Piña '22 (support)
When Mike Met Martin Luther King
Mike talks about how he met Martin Luther King, Jr. when he helped get him to come speak at the local Berkeley, CA YMCA in 1955 when King was still relatively unknown.
How Mike Met Saul Alinksy
Mike recalls being fired from his job for being a "Little Alinsky." At that time, Mike did not know who the famous community organizer, Saul Alinsky. Later that year in 1962, Mike recounts meeting Alinsky who he closely followed for many years later.
SNCC and the Peg Leg Bates Meeting
Mike recalls the turning-point Peg Leg Bates meeting in 1966 when SNCC debated whether to retain whites in the organization. He also recalls what Fannie Lou Hamer said to him on that day. This clip shows the relationship everyone in the Committee had towards one another.
Linda Wetmore Halpern
Interview Date: November 6, 2020
Interview Team: Sarah Barnes '21 (lead), Jean-Luc Desnoyers-Piña '22 (support)
The Violence of Freedom Summer
Linda describes the black family she stayed with in Mississippi. She tells stories of the hatred she endured, such as being taunted with a noose and witnessing others being viciously attacked.
Shooting of Silas McGhee in 1964
After Silas was released from prison for picketing, he is out celebrating when he is shot in the head. Linda and a couple of white men take Silas to the hospital, only to be greeted by officers who make them go around the building to enter the “colored” entrance. The men are not allowed to enter because they are not wearing shirts, which are wrapped around Silas’ bleeding head.
On Being Arrested in Mississippi
Linda tells the story of the time she got arrested. She sings songs from her jail time and explains the loosely enforced hunger strike. Her incarceration lasted a week when she was bailed out by wealthy Northerners.
Chude Pam Parker Allen
Interview Date: November 6, 2020
Interview Team: Sam Yancey '22 (lead), Simona Nigusse '21 (support)
Family Reaction on Her Participation in Freedom Movement
Chude Allen recalls her 6 year old little brother's suprising realization that she is leaving to join the freedom movement and the danger that it could cause in affecting her life. He questions her parents about the threat that segregationalists would want to harm her or kill her and that she might not come back. When returning home to her parents, her two younger brothers never bothered to question if she was scared or not, and she nor her parents went into the details initially of her involvement when having discussions about it.
Religious Motivation to Join the SNCC
Chude Allen talks about how growing up Christian with religious morals has been an important encouragement throughout her journey to be apart of the SNCC. Underlining the philosophy of non-violence and God's love inside each individual, she acknowledges the power that religion has had in her life. Her desire to connect with victims that need healing from the depravity of racism through the belief of a God or spiritual higher being is an important focal point of her decision to accompany the Movement.
Significance of Social Togetherness in the Community
Chude Allen discusses the importance of mass meetings and social events regarding her assistance in the freedom movement with her fellow civil rights activists when attending Spellman College. A collective group relating and building each other up in numbers is always more affective than being singled out and doing it by oneself. Gathering together and singing freedom songs was portrayed to be a wonderful support method in helping one another move forward, correct, and relieve the pressure of past racial occurrences. In addition, it soothes their mental state with the presence of a mutually shared positive energy.
Interview Date: November 6, 2020
Interview Team: Makana Leavitt '21 (lead), Anthony Sharp '21 (support)
Experience at the March on Washington 1963
Mitchell Zimmerman recounts his experience of participating in the March on Washington in 1963. Mr. Zimmerman reflects on the emotions and thoughts provoked by participating in the march. He talks about the thousands of people participating in the march and how that personally changed his life and perspective of civil rights in America.
On His Participation In a Civil Rights Act Case
Mitchell Zimmerman talks about his testimony for a Civil Rights Act case involving Lester Maddox, the former Governor of Georgia. Mitchell talks about how he traveled to Georgia to investigate Lester Maddox's business after he threatened African American's with violence. Mitchell's testimony along with others lead to a Supreme Court ruling that prohibited businesses the right to refuse service to African Americans.
On Being Arrested in Arkansas
Mitchell Zimmerman recounts his experiences in jail during his participation in the Civil Rights Movement. Mitchell goes into the odd and scary experiences that he had while being in jail in Arkansas.
Interview Date: 11-5-2020
Interview Team: Jean-Luc Desnoyers-Piña '22 (lead), Howard Levin (support)
Being a Freedom Rider
Rick gives an astonishing 3 minute summary about why he joined CORE and his experience as a Freedom Rider while in Jackson; and explains why he himself and so many others participated in the Movement.
Welcome To Jackson, Freedom Riders
Rick gives a detailed visual map of what it was like being arrested and going to jail in Jackson. He not only tells what happened while inside but how police officers had a difficult time putting them in jail.
Rick's Emotional Memory
Rick gets emotional while explaining how people debated if non-violent ways of protest during the Civil Rights Movement was a strategy to fight against oppression or a way of life
Reverend Richard Gleason
Interview Date: 11-9-2020
Interview Team: Anthony Sharp '21 (lead), Sam Yancey '22 & Sarah Barnes '21 (support)
Reverend Gleason at Selma
Reverend Gleason reflects on the Selma to Montgomery march and how far they walked. He said Dr. King said it was the most violent march he’s been a part of.
Reverend Gleason Meeting Malcolm X
Reverend Gleason talks about meeting Malcolm X for the first time after a debate Malcolm X hosted. He also talks about his close relationship with brother Malcolm.
Reverend Gleason Meeting Dr. King
Reverend Gleason talks about his most memorable moments with Dr. King. He talks about trying alcohol for the first time with Dr. King. Also he talks about being in the room with Dr. King right before his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Reverend Gleason Freedom Rider
Reverend Gleason reflects on his first experience getting on the bus, how he got involved in the Freedom Riders, and how he got arrested in Mississippi.
Dr. Jeannine Herron
Interview Dates: April 27 & May 8, 2020
Interview Team: Elsa Hagstrom '20 (lead) & Sam Jubb '20 (support)
Jeannine Herron recounts her experience in 1963 visiting the 16th Street Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama before and after the deadly bombing that killed 4 young children . She and her husband Matt are among the only "northern" Civil Rights activists who traveled to the south with children in tow. Dr. Herron is a research neuropsychologist in San Rafael, CA . This is part of two Zoom interviews with Dr. Herron conducted by students, led by Elsa Hagstrom, '20, supported by Sam Jubb, '20 (5 min)
Dr. James Garrett
Interview Dates: April 27 & May 12, 2020
Interview Team: Diego DeLa'O '20 (lead) & Jade Despanie '20 (support)
James Garrett recounts his experience being beaten upon arrival in Houston as a Freedom Rider on one of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized integrated bus rides in 1961. Garrett was a field secretary and Los Angeles coordinator of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), currently a semi-retired attorney living in Oakand, CA. This is part of two Zoom interviews with Dr. Garrett conducted by students, led by Diego DeLa'O, '20, supported by Jade Despanie, '20 (4 min)
Interview Dates: April 27, April 30 & May 4, 2020
Interview Team: Sam Jubb (lead) & Zion deBerry '20 (support)
Bruce Hartford recounts his experience as a march organizer for SCLC during the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Bruce rushed to Selma immediately after Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965) to help civil rights actions in the city. He is a retired technical writer, author and current webspinner of CRMVet.org living in San Francisco, CA. This is part of THREE Zoom interviews with Bruce conducted by students, led by Sam Jubb, '20, supported by Zion DeBerry, '20 (6 min)
See full interviews with Bruce Hartford
Dr. Mimi Real
Interview Dates: April 28 & May 4, 2020
Interview Team: Zion DeBerry (lead) & Diego DeLa'O '20 (support)
Mimi Real recounts her experience as a Freedom Rider in 1961. Dr. Real was arrested upon arrival in Jackson Mississippi for "breach of the peace" and sent to the notorious Parchman prison. Dr. Real is a retired history teacher with college counseling consultancy in Mill Valley, CA. This is part of two Zoom interviews with Dr. Real conducted by students, led by Zion DeBerry, '20, supported by Diego DeLa'O, '20 (5 min)