The deep south, The Klan, and just getting along…

December 1961. The “Freedom Bus Rides” were penetrating the south, assuring compliance with new federal laws, but in Locust Grove Georgia, The “Klan” still very much had a say in the local goings on….maybe it was the fact that The The Rev Martin Luther King Jr had just arrived a few miles north to fight for equality in Albany that emboldened a little girl, but as her father stood a distance off of the road hiding, 7 year old Debbrin Thornton would defiantly spit on the ground to scorn the 20 -25 Klan members marching down Ga Hwy 23 in Locust Grove Ga. …

Mr Thornton standing near the spot where his daughter would stand up to Klan members, some 50 years ago.
While his father would teach him that “We have to get along with white folks.”, and would patiently remind him as a young man, “You say mister, not because you are afraid, but because nothin is to be gained fightin.” Years later crouching in the bushes as his daughter spit on the ground in defiance of inequality, Mr Thornton realized…Things are getting better, we just have to hold on.
Mr Thorntons story is one of courage and humility. I hope you will be watching for the rest of his story, and also portraits of others that are just as intriguing.

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