October 1963: “Freedom Day” in Selma


“Freedom Day” in Selma, October 1963. Blacks line up at the courthouse to apply to register to vote.
“The line of men and women stretched from the registrar’s office in the Dallas County courthouse down its steps into the street, and it was only 9 a.m. It was made up of hundreds of local men and women who had awakened before dawn, determined to try and register to vote. Doing so, they defied local custom and facing violent hostility, especially from the Dallas County sheriff’s department. It was October, 1963; ‘Freedom Day’ Black locals had dubbed it. Dallas County was one of the most repressive places in the Alabama Black Belt when SNCC field secretaries, Bernard Lafayette and his new wife, Colia Liddell, arrived there in February 1963. Less than one percent of the African American population in the county was registered to vote. But after four months of organizing, the two began to make inroads into the fearful local Black community. One night during this period of early organizing, Bernard was brutally beaten just outside of his apartment. But that effort to intimidate did not work; attendance at mass meetings increased, and local high school students began demanding direct action against segregation. …”
SNCC Digital
SNCC Digital: Bernard Lafayette
SNCC Digital: Colia Liddell (Lafayette)
SNCC Digital: Spring 1963 – Bernard & Colia Lafayette begin Selma Project

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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