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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Glennon Threatt, June 16, 2005. Interview U-0023. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Violent response to civil rights movement

Threatt remembers some of the violence of the civil rights movement, including the savage attacks on Freedom Riders in 1964. It sounds like Threatt may have been too young to get involved in serious violence, but many children protested in at least one children's march. Birmingham Chief of Police Eugene Connor had no problem arresting children, Threatt says.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Glennon Threatt, June 16, 2005. Interview U-0023. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

GLENNON THREATT:
Oh man, when you read about the Freedom Riders it's just horrible, what happened to them. I mean it's bad enough to be spit on, but it's another thing altogether to be padlocked in a bus and have it be set on fire.
KIMBERLY HILL:
Yeah, when I saw the bus at the Civil Rights Institute.
GLENNON THREATT:
That's the bus he's been in! You ought to read his book, it's powerful. He talks about people who were Freedom Riders with him, several of them who are mentally ill now. One of the guys that was with him in S.N.C.C. and was a Freedom Rider with him got beaten so bad that he is mentally retarded now. It was just horrible what happened, people were disfigured and John was beaten unconscious several times. That never happened to me, I never had to take any beatings by police. I got in fights with other kids, but I never got beat by the police. I got mistreated by police officers a couple of times, but I never got beat with night sticks and I never had any dogs sicced on me. My sister did, as a protester. My sister is ten years older than I am and she snuck out of school to participate in the children's marches.
KIMBERLY HILL:
Did she get sent to jail?
GLENNON THREATT:
I don't know if she went to jail, she doesn't talk about it very much. A lot of people that were part of that don't talk about it.
KIMBERLY HILL:
Since we just start with the school's desegregating, we really haven't talked with anybody about the children's march. I'd like to in my own time.
GLENNON THREATT:
You should, the children's march was a powerful, powerful thing. It got so bad that they used Rickwood Field as a holding cell, they used a baseball stadium to hold kids because they ran out of jail space. Conner said that he wasn't going to stop arresting them, so they just started holding them in-but Diane McWhorter's book talks about all of that in detail.