Helping Preserve Civil Rights Era History - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/17/04

Helping Preserve Civil Rights Era History

Civil rights leaders want to bring part of the past into the future. The A.A.R.P. is involved in a national campaign to bring stories of the civil rights era to light. And theye looking for stories from all walks of life rims.

"I remember we had a lot of people who got involved in the civil rights movement in Milwaukee. The bathrooms were not open to blacks. They had let grass grow up around the bathrooms. There was snakes and rats," said Civil Rights Activist Verlee Triplett.

"When I first got here, I was met by the police," said Civil Rights Activist Rims Barber.

"We finally almost ended up getting killed," said Triplett.

"I much didn't like that, but I still got a little card that says I'm registered with the police," said Barber.

Civil rights activists say everybody has a story to tell.

Mattie Stevens with A.A.R.P. said, "These are not just stories for black people and minorities. It's stories about everybody."

The AARP is asking for those stories.

"What we're doing in all of the states is asking people to either write their stories, do them by oral histories or do them by cassette, however they want to do them," said Stevens. 

The A.A.R.P. is teaming with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to document the nation's history of the civil right's era. The stories will go up on a website and later be donated to the Library of Congress.

"It's important to me because I am history," said Triplett.

"Young people today just don't know. You know, when I talk to classes sometimes, they don't know. They think the world is always the way it's been today," said Barber.

To submit your civil rights story go to www.voicesofcivilrights.com.

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